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Third sector partnerships for public service delivery: an evidence review

Rees, James and Mullins, David and Bovaird, Tony (2012) Third sector partnerships for public service delivery: an evidence review. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham.


URL of Published Version: http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jfXTS2kKJV0%3d&tabid=500


Partnership working has been driven by the policy of the last Labour administration, which aimed to make the third sector more efficient and aligned to the delivery of a range of public services. Since the election of a coalition government in 2010 these drivers have not lessened but have been re-asserted. Interest in externalisation has been reinforced by the drive for efficiency, made more pressing by the financial crisis, deficit reduction programme and resulting public spending cuts in 2010-2011.

The current government has been in many respects radical in its approach to service delivery, with the promotion of a ‘Big Society’ involving new and expanded roles for third sector organisations (TSOs) in public service delivery, expanded roles for mutuals and co-ops (particularly in health), and the ‘community right to challenge’. These all have implications for the way in which TSOs enter into partnerships, with each other, public and private organisations.
The working paper is based on a full evidence review. It considers the main forms of partnership working, governance and accountability, and looks at outcomes and evaluation. Key emerging directions are the growth of the commissioning agenda, an increasing emphasis on TSO/private sector partnerships as part of a supply chain, and greater application of outcome-based approaches linked to payment by results.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Third Sector Research Centre
Date:01 January 2012
Series/Collection Name:TSRC Working Paper Series
Keywords:Partnership, public service delivery, commissioning, network governance, inter-organisational relationships, mergers, third sector organisations.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Related URLs:
Funders:Economic and Social Research Council, Office for Civil Society, Barrow Cadbury Trust
Copyright Holders:Third Sector Research Centre
ID Code:1779

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