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.
Analysis and factual trends
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.
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.
If Britain was to match US levels of productivity, our GDP would be boosted by 31% - equivalent to £21,000 a year for every household in the country. Susan Acland-Hood, Director of the Enterprise & Growth Unit, HM Treasury explains why productivity matters and how the government plans to raise productivity and thus boost our economy by ‘Fixing the Foundations’.
HMRC has reduced error and fraud in the tax credits system to its lowest level since they were introduced in 2003. Tom Smith, HMRC’s Director, Customers, Strategy and Policy (Benefits and Credits) examines the reasons for the turnaround and lessons learned.
In the Civil Service we are constantly trying to improve our performance and the services that we offer to the public. We often use data or research to help measure and improve our own team's or our Department’s performance, but how would we go about measuring the performance of the Civil Service as a whole? The Analysis & Insight team in the Cabinet Office have been exploring this question.
The Department of Health is leading the development of a $100 million global Dementia Discovery Fund. Siobhan Jones, Deputy Director of the Dementia Fund at the Department Health explains how they plan to use private investment to deliver positive social returns.
Alex Morris, from the Strategy and Growth Directorate in BIS, explains how they are planning for the rising demand for people trained in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Data science is an emerging discipline which combines analysis, programming and business knowledge and uses new and advanced techniques and technologies to work with complex data. Jonathan Athow, John Lord and Claire Potter, from Knowledge Analysis and Intelligence at HMRC, explain how HMRC are making better use of data to tackle non-compliance.
Crime in general has fallen, but thieves are still targeting mobile phones. The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) has
developed a risk index to keep consumers informed and even prevent crimes before they happen. Simon Ruda, Ed Bradon and David Halpern from BIT show us how they did it.