Archives for September 2003

INFORMATION, TRUST AND PFI IN SOCIAL HOUSING

Abstracts, PublicNet: 25 September, 2003

By Suzana Grubnic and Ron Hodges.This article considers the role of information and trust in Private Finance Initiative (PFI) ‘Pathfinder’ schemes in the social housing sector in England. It uses the work of Tomkins and a series of interviews with local authority PFI project managers to provide a critique of the structure of the pathfinder process. The authors conclude that the pathfinder process cannot provide information about willingness to trust and they suggest that this may be one of the reasons for the delay in the contractual signing of the first wave of these schemes.
Public Administration Volume 23: Issue 3. ISSN: 0954-0962

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PARTNERSHIP SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOLKIT

Book News, PublicNet: 24 September, 2003

This practical toolkit has been developed in the recognition that, although the current trend in developing partnerships is positive, many discover difficulties in working effectively. Using the experience of the wide variety of partnerships that exist in Leeds, the author highlights the potential for duplication of effort and dilution of resources and expertise as partnerships continue to emerge.CONTENT
Described as a toolkit, this document provides a brief overview of good practice in partnership working and includes a tool for assessing the effectiveness of partnership groups. Although emerging through the experience of a primary care trust, this document targets all sector organisations involved in the development of partnerships. It can be used for developing partnerships at organisation, community and district levels.

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COUNCILS READY TO BOOST LOCAL DEMOCRACY

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 September, 2003

More than 250 local councils are already geared up to take part in Local Democracy Week 2003, which begins on October 13th. This year the focus is on young people, under the heading ‘Listening To Tomorrow’s Voters Today’ and the Local Government Association says it is on target to involve at least 300 councils in events and activities during the week.The events are designed to promote the role of councils in the community and to give people a better understanding of local government. The idea is to ensure that local people feel they have a stake in the democratic process and a real say about the services provided by their local authorities. The LGA says that with the fall in interest in local and national politics and the decline in turnout for elections, it is focusing on the potential young people have to shape the future of society and help redress this trend in the long term.

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INTERNET IS WAY INTO WORLD OF POLITICS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 September, 2003

New research shows that the Internet is opening up politics to young people in Britain and it could help to engage more of them with the political process, according to a study by a team at the University of Salford, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council through its Democracy and Participation Programme.The research is the first major study into how UK political organisations use the Internet to improve political participation. Its findings will be presented at an ESRC conference on public participation to be held in London today.

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PATHWAYS: LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Features, PublicNet: 23 September, 2003

By Yasmin Hussein Reproduced by permission of the Centre for Management and Policy Studies. Pathways, the leadership development programme for people with ethnic minority backgrounds, seeks to identify people with the potential to reach the Senior Civil Service. Jasmin Hessein describes how the programme has helped in the development of her career which has taken her to Head of Equality at the Welsh Assembly.

LOCAL E-GOVERNMENT IN SPOTLIGHT AT PARTY CONFERENCES

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 September, 2003

The independent think-tank the New Local Government Network will tonight stage the first of three fringe events at the political party conferences looking at e-government and ways of improving how local government is perceived. The events have been arranged in association with Vertex under the title, “Can e-Government Really Transform Public Services in Local Government?”Tonight’s session at the Liberal-Democrat conference will be chaired by NLGN’s head of research, Warren Hatter. Speakers will include the Lib-Dem spokesman on the Cabinet and IT, Richard Allan, Councillor David Tutt, the deputy leader of Eastbourne Council and Dr Andrew Larner from the Improvement and Development Agency.

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ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

Book News, PublicNet: 22 September, 2003

By Mark Easterby-Smith and Marjorie Lyles.This book draws together analyses and critical commentary from the leading experts on organizational learning and knowledge management around the world. Links are made to existing bodies of theory in economics, psychology and social theory. The definitive up-to-date guide to the field shows links between ‘knowledge’ and ‘learning’ literatures.

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NEIGHBOURHOODS THAT WORK

Features, PublicNet: 22 September, 2003

By Rick Groves, Alan Middleton, Alan Murie and Kevin Broughton Much has been written about neighbourhoods that do not work with the focus on failing estates. The continuing success and popularity of Birmingham’s 100-year-old Bournville Village Trust estate, a neighbourhood that does work, holds important lessons for policy makers and practitioners struggling to improve the quality of life for less popular neighbourhoods and estates. The authors outline the factors that make it successful.

PUBLIC SECTOR GROWTH SET TO CONTINUE

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 September, 2003

Almost a quarter of the UK workforce is now employed in the public sector and there is no sign of the trend slowing down. Over 50% of all jobs created this year have been in the public arena, which now employs more people than at any time since the creation of the Welfare State in 1948.The latest figures from the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey forecasts a net employment outlook of +11% for Public Administration. The ‘net employment outlook’ is calculated by subtracting those employers who plan to reduce staffing levels from those who plan to hire staff. This figure represent a reduction from the previous quarter which was +21%, but significantly up on the corresponding final quarter of 2002 (+4%).

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CULTURAL DIFFERENCES SLOW JOINED-UP WORKING

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 September, 2003

The drive to joined-up working between public sector organizations is being slowed down by cultural differences. A survey commissioned by LogicaCMG found that over half of local government and health service respondents and nearly 40 per cent from central government departments believe that the many different cultures are inhibiting this new way of working.Bringing different cultures together presents the greatest challenge for middle management according to two thirds of respondents. Any major organisational transformation makes people wary of what lies ahead and this can lead to resistance to change. Middle managers have to manage the change process and get commitment at all levels, but this is proving difficult because of a lack of understanding.

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