Research shows need to rethink commissioning process
The findings of a three-year study (conducted in partnership with NCVO) shows the need to rethink traditional commissioning models for public services.
Published at a time when the sector faces significant budget cuts and efficiency savings, the report – Measuring Outcomes for Public Service Users (MOPSU), published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) - highlights the need to measure outcomes and value for money in the widest possible way.
Focusing on two public service areas (adult social care and early years education) as well as examining the role of the voluntary and community sector (VCS) in delivering such services, the research recommends focusing not just on the benefits to individuals but on wider social value as well.
The report also shows that the volume of service provision by the voluntary sector has substantially increased over the last five years, with more than 50% of local government funding in the sector being allocated to the provision of social services.
The research is particularly timely because the Government’s vision for a 'Big Society' includes reforming public services and enabling the VCS to play an even greater role in public service delivery.
Commenting on this research, Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive, NCVO said:
"Effective commissioning must focus on outcomes. Only then will we achieve the high quality, value for money public services that people deserve. All too often, statutory funding for front line services adopts narrow performance measurement models. It should be no surprise that if you define, commission and manage services in the same way you always have, you will get the same outcomes, regardless of who is delivering them.
Commissioning public service delivery by outcomes gives voluntary and community organisations the opportunity to demonstrate the full value they give to individuals and communities. It ensures that hard pressed public funding is used to best effect in the wider public interest."
Read the full research findings in our Policy, Campaigns and Research section.