Breaking Out of Policy Silos

Doing More with Less

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In the context of the economic recovery and public budget cuts, policy silos and fragmented short-term policy interventions have become luxuries that our economies can no longer afford. Government intervenes in a myriad of ways at the local level, and rarely are these interventions co-ordinated effectively. Most of us are familiar with policy “silos”. Such divisions are often taken for granted, blamed on historical working relationships (“it has always been like that”) and organisational cultures (“they don’t work like we do”).  However these divisions come at a cost. The issues and challenges facing local communities are often complex, and require a holistic approach to be resolved. This book provides concrete advice to policy makers at both national and local levels on how to better align policies, reduce duplication and waste, and “do more with less”. It is based on comparative analysis of 11 countries in Australisia, Europe and North America and combines rankings on where countries stand in terms of the integration of employment, skills and economic development policies, with concrete examples of successful policy integration on the ground.


Preface and Acknowledgements

In the context of the recent economic downturn, carefully balanced strategies are needed so that agencies use their increasingly limited resources to help meet shared economic priorities at the local level and set local economies back on the track to economic growth. National government policies can make a great deal of difference in building economically viable, sustainable communities, but not if policies are fragmented, services duplicated and agencies do not communicate with each other on what they are trying to achieve. As government spending is reduced to pay off deficits, a drive is needed to make public policy more effective through reducing duplication at the local level and better aligning activities. Many lessons exist from different OECD countries on how to make local governance more effective, now is the time to put these into practice.


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