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Outcomes-based management

Why are we talking about outcomes?

As public budgets shrink, local councils and other public agencies are recognising that they need to collaborate with service users, communities and the third sector in the co-commissioning of outcomes. In particular, public agencies need to embed the views of service users and other citizens in prioritising and planning public services, with a shift towards an assets-based approach.

Governance International has the mission of improving citizen outcomes, so individual, local and national outcomes are at the heart of all our activities. Our tools help you put outcomes at the centre of your policies and services.

In particular, we have tools to help you to develop:

  • Outcome-based commissioning, procurement and contracting
  • Outcome-based delivery
  • Outcome-based accountability

Outcome-based commissioning, procurement and contracting

Governance International helps you to design and implement outcome-based co-commissioning. We work with public agencies to develop commissioning strategies which go beyond the narrow service-based and short-term approaches which currently characterise public service commissioning.

Our Co-Commissioning Strategy tool takes you through all the key steps of commissioning for outcomes. In particular, it helps you to:

  • incorporate local community assets and service user capabilities, as well as needs, in a Joint Strategic Capabilities and Needs Assessment

  • identify and co-ordinate key outcomes with your partners

  • highlight the potential benefit-cost business case for long-term prevention approaches, rather than short-term treatment approaches

  • mobilise local people to play a major role in the prioritization and planning of local public services, making full use of their skills, knowledge and commitment,

  • using the Governance International Co-production Star tool

  • train expert users to assess and evaluate the outcomes of commissioned services

As well as prioritizing the outcomes that matter most to priority groups of service users and citizens, public agencies have to set up procurement and contracting processes which focus on these outcomes, so that they are more likely to be delivered in practice. The Co-Comissioning Strategy tool helps your procurement and contracting to:

  • Map and manage the market of alternative providers 
  • Support and catalyse social enterprises to co-produce outcomes with people who use services
  • Bring service users into procurement decisions
  • Develop new models for contracts which incorporate payment by results, focusing on outcomes as well as outputs
  • Build in mechanisms to provide resilience which protects service users in cases of service failure

Outcome-based delivery

Governance International can also help service providers, whether in public, private or third sectors, to become more outcome-oriented in their delivery of public services. Moreover, we can show providers how to measure their impact on outcomes, in order to be more competitive in bidding for contracts.

In particular, our Pathways to Outcomes tool can be used by providers to demonstrate the relative cost-effectiveness of their delivery approaches. 

Furthermore, our Co-production Star can show providers how to mobilise service users and other citizens in a co-production approach which meets the requirements of commissioners to engage the public more directly in co-design, co-management and co-assessment of services and the outcomes they achieve.

Outcome-based accountability

What individual outcomes do citizens most value in their personal lives? What collective outcomes are most important for an area? How can a public agency demonstrate that it has identified these priority outcomes? And, most importantly, how can it demonstrate to citizens that it has achieved them?

Governance International has developed a Pathways to Outcomes mapping tool which links outcomes to the initiatives, services and programmes which public service organizations undertake. Pathways to Outcomes helps you to identify which outcomes are most important to citizens and to other stakeholders and how to measure them. It also offers a balanced scorecard approach to reporting your achievements against these outcomes.  Understanding your pathways to outcomes and being accountable for them is a key step in moving to open government.

Our approach helps you to demonstrate how your activities improve social, economic and environmental outcomes and add public value for your service users and citizens.

Our customers

Governance International is already a world-leading authority on outcomes-based policy and management.  Our staff have published a wide range of reports, articles and book chapters on outcomes and have worked intensively with many customers over the past ten years to help improve their outcomes, including:

Assets-based approach with Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council for people who use social services

Governance International (in collaboration with INLOGOV at the University of Birmingham) is working with the Social Care and Inclusion Directorate, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, to develop and train social workers to integrate a ‘capabilities assessment’ into their needs assessment process and evaluate the results of implementing an overarching ‘strategic capabilities and needs analysis’.  

Interested? Learn more by contacting tbovaird@bham.ac.uk or elke.loeffler@govint.org for more information.

Other recent work on outcomes includes:

German Institute for Urban Management (DIfU): In March 2012, Governance International delivered a two-day training workshop to 30 senior managers from German big cities, including Munich, Mannheim and Essen.

Mannheim Council: Currently the only local council in Germany with a radical outcomes-based approach Elke and Tony ran a half-day workshop for the strategic management team as a peer review challenge.

OECD: Mapping of pathways to outcomes has been an integral part of our service improvement training for a range of countries supported by OECD capacity building programmes.

Moreover, members of the Governance International team are currently working with a range of UK local authorities to develop new models for measuring and reporting of outcomes.

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