Case studies in collaborating for better public services

Stream: Panel 88 - Public Policy & Social Justice: Innovation in Policymaking 
Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Time: 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm


The New Zealand Better Public Service Results (the Results) is a major reform initiative to address persistent policy problems that span multiple agencies, and has been described as the most important change in the delivery of public services in New Zealand in the past 20 years. The programme involves publically declaring measureable targets, and holding groups of agencies collectively responsible for achieving them. This paper explores why the Results programme has been successful where previous efforts had failed. 89 case vignettes were written by public servants from eight agencies to provide examples of how public services had been improved under the Results approach. Several consistent themes from these vignettes contrast the Results approach with preceding efforts: partnership with non government organisations and local businesses, using administrative data to target services to those that need it most, tailoring services to ensure they are relevant to different ethnic groups and communities, and engaging clients at venues that they already visit. The paper provides a theoretical framework to explain why the Results approach may be supporting these themes.


Rodney Scott (Presenter), UNSW
Dr Rodney James Scott is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of New South
Wales, an Adjunct Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, and
Principal Research Fellow at the State Services Commission of New Zealand, where he leads
the public management research programme. Rodney earned his PhD in system dynamics in
public management from the University of Queensland.

Ross Boyd, State Services Commission
Ross Boyd is a Principal Analyst at the State Services Commission of New Zealand, where
he leads the Better Public Services Results work stream. He has taken the BPS Results work
from policy design in 2011 through implementation during 2012 and now monitors and
reports on progress.