Many to many: How the relational state will transform public services

Published Wed 12 Feb 2014
This landmark report sets out a new 'relational state' agenda for public service reform that would address complex problems holistically, provide more intensive and personalised engagement at the frontline of service delivery, and empower and engage citizens.

We need a radical reconfiguration of our public services to make them better able to tackle the complex challenges - such as antisocial behaviour, chronic ill-health, and long-term unemployment - that are consuming a growing proportion of public expenditure. In the past, public service reform has relied too heavily on bureaucratic and market-based tools that are ill-equipped to deal with these problems.

In this publication, the authors set out how we can build a more relational state in practice, and consider how the lessons offered by some cutting-edge initiatives could help reshape mainstream services. By managing public services as interconnected and decentralised systems, promoting deep relationships and neighbourhood-based approaches in key services, and designing institutions that enable citizens to tackle shared problems together, we can make those services fit for the more complex times that we live in.

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