NEWS28 September 2010

Think tank calls for new focus in public sector research

Government UK

UK— As cuts loom over local government a new think tank, LGinsight, has urged public sector researchers to “up their game”.

The think tank has been established to represent the current thinking of local government researchers and to promote “the true value of their research.”

Neil Wholey, chair of LGinsight and head of research and customer insight at Westminster City Council said: “Council leaders and chief executives are demanding that all services stand up and prove their worth and it’s time we demonstrated that research can more than hold that ground.”

He told Research: “For much of the past ten years local government research has predominantly been about measuring performance against benchmarks and targets. Research has reported the facts, figures and raw stats but there has been little in the way of real insight. We need to outline the factors and opinions that will allow local government to deliver real value. We need to focus on providing the insights that allow them to make the right
decisions.”

The think tank has put out a call for public sector researchers willing to participate in ‘Commissions of Enquiry’. The commissions will generate insights on topics such as driving behaviour change, empowering people through personal responsibility and examining what services the public wants local government to deliver in the face of budget cuts.

The commissions will also test opinion as to what should replace the bi-annual Place Survey, which was abolished by the government last month. The Place Survey polled council residents about their views on council performance.

Early participants in the commissions include researchers from Coventry, Southampton, Blackburn with Darwen, Stockport and Leeds City Councils.

LGinsight is a sister organisation of LGcommunications, an association of authorities that exists to “raise the standard of communications in local government.” The commissions of enquiry will report into the LGcomms
conference in May 2011.

@RESEARCH LIVE

1 Comment

10 years ago

Can anybody help/advise? I am part of a voluntary partnership seeking to assess the impact of cuts across Wiltshire as they occur. We are in ugent need of a simple user-friendly template which ordinary people and groups can use to provide us with information and reactions. Just key categories etc.; a layperson's framework. Any suggestions hugely welcome. Thank you. Jim Lynch

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