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Together for Better Public Services: Partnering with Citizens and Civil Society

image of Together for Better Public Services: Partnering with Citizens and Civil Society

This report analyses the partnerships that governments form with citizens, users and CSOs in order to innovate and deliver improved public service outcomes. These approaches can offer creative policy responses that enable governments to provide better public services in times of fiscal constraints.  Although co production and citizens’ involvement are still in the developmental stage in many countries, early efforts appear to lead to cost reductions, better service quality and improved user satisfaction. This report identifies the risks of citizen and user involvement in service delivery, and the barriers that must be overcome to make these models work. Top-level political commitment, adequate public sector capacity, and aligned financial incentives are the key factors for success. 

“Co-production is attracting increasing interest among scholars and practitioners alike. This report, which offers a comprehensive survey of existing practice across OECD countries, is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the state of play internationally.”

-Professor John Alford, Australia and New Zealand School of Government, (author, Engaging Public Sector Clients: From Service-Delivery to Co-Production, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

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Foreword

At the 2010 OECD Ministerial Meeting on Innovative and Open Government, ministers recognised the importance of drawing on the expertise and creativity of citizens and civil society to foster a more efficient, effective and innovative public sector delivering better public services without increasing costs. In 2009, the Public Governance Committee launched a two-year project on innovation in public service delivery which identified and mapped cutting-edge practices in public service delivery – as well as the drivers, obstacles and success factors behind their implementation.

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