Think Tank Round-up

The Think Tank Round-Up is a short summary of recent reports of interest to local government and the wider public sector, put together by members of the policy team at Oxfordshire County Council.

This edition covers the first four months of 2016, and includes:

* The Institute for Government on "Making Devolution Deals Work"
* The LGA on behavioural insights in health, and digital transformation
* Policy Exchange on "Smart Devolution"
* The NLGN Commission on Place-Based Health
* The RSA on localism and devolution, including the Wiltshire experience
* Nesta on "Connected Councils"

...and many more, as they say.

Do drop me a line if you see (or indeed produce) other reports you think it would be worth summarising and circulating.

John Courouble

April 2016


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Institute for Government (2015)

Required reading before the general election on 7 May 2015, in 30 pages the authors outline the challenges that await those attempting to form a (possible) coalition government.

Institute for Government (2015)

In 2010, the Coalition introduced a new system of performance management, with each department agreeing a list of actions and a set of impact indicators.

Electoral Reform Society (2015)

"The public are tired of 'yah boo' politics and want something different – something more co-operative. Coalitions and power sharing can help restore faith in politics if they are done well."

NLGN (2015)

Arguing that local authorities, housing associations and the health sector are 'natural partners' this report suggests that greater collaboration would achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes for residents, particularly those with 'multiple and complex needs'.

County Councils Network (2015)

Following the Interim Plan for Government, this report follows a six month research project and "detailed engagement with member councils to put forward the first blueprint for County Devolution".

PwC (2015)

The fifth such annual survey presents the views of 100 local government leaders and chief executives, and contrasts their view of the services provided by local government with the perception of their residents.

Localis (2015)

This report provides figures to illustrate that many councils are already operating entrepreneurially and argues that central government should encourage more of this, by having annual surveys and promoting best practice.

Hansard Society (April 2015)

The twelfth audit of the public mood in relation to politics and political engagement shows that even in an election year, the public mood remains disillusioned and disengaged with the political process but with "Scotland being the notable exception".

What Works Network (November 2014)

The first report to emerge from the 'What Works' initiative since its launch in March 2013 provides a summary of early findings from the first six centres established (later additions to the stable have included Wellbeing and Devolved centres for Wales and Scotland).

Service Transformation Challenge Panel (November 2014)

The final report of the panel set up in April 2014, which was asked to recommend changes to help public services to deal with demographic changes, increasing expectations, and the need to reduce the cost of public services.

The Strategic Society Centre (November 2014)

Using Census data, DWP and HSCIC data, and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, this report gives an overview of the prevalence of disability amongst the over 65 population, and a summary of the sort of care they need and are receiving (and where these are mismatched).

Research in Practice (November 2014)

"When resources are strained, adolescents' needs are frequently deprioritised in favour of those of younger children"; so begins this report which goes on to call for fundamental change in how adolescent risk is identified, understood and addressed.

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