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

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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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Overview and analysis of country practices on co-production of key public services

This chapter provides an initial mapping of partnerships with citizens and CSOs in service delivery across OECD countries, building on the examples collected through an OECD exploratory survey. It applies the analytical models developed in Chapter 2 to a set of country examples and practices. It identifies: the extent and depth of citizen and user input in observed country practices; which services are using which types of co-production schemes; the benefits realised, including effectiveness and cost reduction; what type of barriers countries have encountered or can anticipate, and how they have dealt with them; and leading-edge practices.

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