Our Editor and Permanent Secretary for the Department for Education, Chris Wormald introduces issue 10.
The Chancellor announced the outcome of the Spending Review on 25 November, following months of work by officials and ministers across government. It marks the next phase in the Government’s plans for this Parliament, building on its manifesto commitments. It will be rounded off with the publication of departments’ business plans (Single Departmental Plans) in January.
Stephen Aldridge, Director for Analysis and Data, Angus Hawkins, Assistant Economist, and Cody Xuereb, Economic Adviser, from the Department for Communities and Local Government, write about the Public Sector Efficiency Group’s focus on improving the understanding of public sector efficiency across departments, looking at the trends in and drivers of efficiency and evidence of the scope for improving desired outcomes further.
We are all too familiar with New Year’s resolutions to stop smoking, drink less alcohol, or exercise more. Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, discusses some of the techniques used to help motivate people to make the healthy changes they need and turn them into longer lasting habits.
It isn’t easy to predict what we’re going to be doing in the future. In this article, Richard Sandford from the Government Office for Science sets out the core principles of Horizon Scanning and the techniques civil servants can use to make the future a less uncertain place.
If you run a rehabilitation programme for people who have committed criminal offences, how do you decide whether it is successful? It seems a simple question, but suppose that you are an organisation with limited resources, working with a specific group of individuals. How can you find the data to compare them to a similar group who have not been through your programme? How can you be confident that the results are not down to chance? In this article, Mark Purver and Helen Williams, from the Ministry of Justice, describe how the Justice Data Lab can provide the necessary expertise to help these organisations measure their success.
Colin Dingwall, the former Director of the Electoral Registration Transformation Programme, describes the key lessons he and his colleagues learnt delivering this fundamental change to the UK’s Electoral Registration System and what their experience means for other large scale public sector projects.
Every civil servant now gets five days of special leave a year to volunteer. In this article, Andrea Lee, Deputy Director of Strategy at the Department of Health, shows how government economists and analysts are using their professional skills to volunteer in an impactful way – helping third sector and public sector organisations in need of their particular expertise and experience.
How do we build a ‘smarter state’, alongside delivering £20 billion worth of consolidation measures? David Allen, Director of Public Spending at HM Treasury and Deputy Head of the Finance Function, and Johannes Wolff, Deputy Director, explain how HM Government Finance is helping the Civil Service rise to the challenge, developing a new way to break down departmental silos, unlock opportunities and put financial management at the heart of decision making.
It’s all too easy to criticise the next generation for not being as hard working or focused. Yet, as Charlotte Roberts from the Youth Policy Team in Cabinet Office highlights in this article, the Government’s National Citizen Service is proof positive that our young people are more passionately committed than ever to making their local communities and wider world a better place.
Research shows that people with mental health conditions are more likely to experience unemployment, poverty and poor physical health throughout their lives. In this article, Thomas Smith, policy advisor in the Department for Work and Pensions, describes the innovative work …