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Editorial: a few of my favourite things

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I have long been interested in the idea of giving more weight to wellbeing analysis in developing Government policies and services. While securing balanced economic recovery remains the Government’s overarching priority, interest in the broader wellbeing of the country continues to increase, both here and in many other countries. I would like the British Civil Service to be amongst the leading thinkers on this issue. Lisa Ollerhead’s article gives an excellent introduction to the power of wellbeing analysis.

One of the lessons I draw from thinking about wellbeing is that what matters to the public does not always fit into the departmental structures of the Civil Service. If we want to address complex issues in society, such as loneliness or pollution, we need to collaborate more and join up better. That’s one of the messages of Social Justice Month, which is taking place across eight Government departments this month – Selvin Brown’s article in this edition tells you more. Similarly a more joined-up approach is one of the reasons why the Office for Low Emission Vehicles gets on so well with its key stakeholders in the car industry – as Richard Bruce explains in his article.

You will all face challenges in working more collaboratively. But overcoming those challenges will help you do a better job for the country.

In this edition you can also read about the work of the Cabinet Office’s Implementation Unit at the heart of Government; the task facing the Gangmasters Licensing Authority in cracking down on the exploitation of workers; how a team in Department for Culture, Media and Sport delivered on the Government’s commitment to enable same sex couples to marry; the experiences of Cat Drew and Pat Russell in trying to connect policy with practice on an Institute for Government Programme; the thoughts of Peter Housden on refocusing the Civil Service in Scotland over the last few years; and hackdays run by Tech City and the Civil Service.

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