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Improving Public ServicesInternational Experiences in Using Evaluation Tools to Measure Program Performance$
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Douglas J. Besharov, Karen J. Baehler, and Jacob Alex Klerman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190646059

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190646059.001.0001

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Top-Down Strategies for Service Improvement in UK Public Services

Top-Down Strategies for Service Improvement in UK Public Services

Chapter:
(p.121) 6 Top-Down Strategies for Service Improvement in UK Public Services
Source:
Improving Public Services
Author(s):

James Downe

Steve Martin

Tony Bovaird

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190646059.003.0006

From 1997 to 2010, the Labor government in the United Kingdom pursued an ambitious multifaceted program of reforms designed to improve local public services. This study focuses on the period 2002–2006, when local government reforms were in full flow. Data from a large multirespondent survey of local government managers reveal positive, statistically significant associations between many of the government’s policies and performance. Overall, top-down performance management and policies to increase capacity appear to have had more impact than market mechanisms and increased user involvement. But different instruments were linked to different aspects of performance, and resistance to some government policies brought attendant costs. These findings imply a need for policymakers to tailor interventions to the particular kinds of improvement that are being sought.

Keywords:   public management, public policy, reform, performance indicators, local government

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