Why is it hard to know if you are making a difference in public services? What can you do about it?
Public services throughout the world face the challenge of tackling complex issues where multiple factors influence change. This book sets out practical and theoretically robust, tried and tested approaches to understanding and tracking change that any organisation can use to ensure it makes a difference to the people it cares about.
With case studies from health, community, research, international development and social care, this book shows that with the right tools and techniques, public services can track their contribution to social change and become more efficient and effective.
What lies behind England’s crisis in adult social care, why has real change been so hard and what can be done?
Ensuring effective, sustainable and affordable care and support for people of all ages is an urgent public policy challenge. This vital book outlines a different vision of social care as an essential part of the country’s economic and social infrastructure that enables people to live good lives.
Drawing on the history of social care, international comparisons and lived experience, it sets out a different road to reform that will secure political traction and public support for change.
This book explores how the uncertainties of the 21st century present existential challenges to civil society. These include changing modes of governance (through devolution and Brexit), austerity, migration, growing digital divides, issues of (mis)trust and democratic confidence, welfare delivery and the COVID-19 pandemic and the contemporary threat to minority languages and cultures.
Presenting original empirical findings, this book brings together core strands of social theory to provide a new way of understanding existential challenges to the form and function of civil society. It highlights pressing social issues and transferable lessons that will inform policy and practice in today’s age of uncertainty.
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The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the landscape of voluntary action. Some volunteering projects had to be paused, while others were delivered in different ways, but across all four UK nations large numbers of people began volunteering for the first time.
This book provides an overview of the constraints and opportunities of mobilising voluntary action across the four UK jurisdictions during the pandemic. Sector experts and academics examine the divergent voluntary action policy frameworks adopted, the state and non-state supported volunteer responses, the changes in the profile of volunteers and the plans to sustain their involvement.
This book addresses the urgent policy and practice need for evidence-based considerations to support the recovery from the pandemic and to prepare for future emergencies.
The voluntary sector was central to the COVID-19 response: fulfilling basic needs, highlighting new and existing inequalities and coordinating action where the state had been slow to respond.
This book curates rigorous academic, policy and practice-based research into the response and adaptation of the UK voluntary sector during the pandemic. Contributions explore the ways the sector responded to new challenges and the longer-term consequences for the sector’s workforce, volunteers and beneficiaries.
Written for researchers and practitioners, this book considers what the voluntary sector can learn from the pandemic to maximise its contribution in the event of future crises.
Based on the Transforming Lives research project, this book explores the transformative power of further education.
Outlining a timely and critical approach to educational research and practice, the book draws extensively on the testimonies of students and teachers to construct a model of transformative teaching and learning. The book critiques reductive ‘skills’ policies in further education and illuminates the impact colleges and Lifelong Learning have on social justice both for individuals, their families and communities.
For trainee teachers, teachers, leaders, researchers and policymakers alike, this is a persuasive argument for transformative approaches to teaching and learning which highlights the often unmeasured and under-appreciated strong holistic social benefits of further education.
In this challenging and original study, Wistow positions social policy within political economy and social contract debates.
Focusing on individual, intergenerational and societal outcomes related to health, place and social mobility in England, he draws on empirical evidence to show how the social contract produces longstanding, highly patterned and inequitable consequences in these areas. Globalisation and the political economy simultaneously contribute to the extent and nature of social problems and to social policy’s capacity to address them effectively.
Applying social contract theory, this book shows that society needs to take ownership of the outcomes it produces and critically interrogates the individualism inherent within the political economy.
Chris O’Leary looks afresh at the reasons for prosocial work choices in the first substantive critique of Public Service Motivation (PSM).
With critical analysis of theoretical and empirical research to date, this book explores the pros and cons of PSM and interrogates the reasons why people choose to work in the public and third sectors. It proposes an alternative theory for the pursuit of service, rooted in rational choice theory, that shows public servants are expressly motivated to confirm their values and identity through their work.
For those involved in public policy, administration and management, this is a constructive and stimulating review of an important but often neglected aspect of the sector.
Is transparency a necessary condition to build and restore citizen and civil society trust in governance and democracy?
Throughout Europe, there is a growing demand for effective forms of citizen engagement and decentralisation in policy-making to increase trust and engage increasingly diverse populations.
This volume addresses the relationship between trust and transparency in the context of multi-level governance. Drawing on fieldwork from the UK, France and Germany, this comparative analysis examines different efforts to build trust between key actors involved in decision-making at the sub-national level. It outlines the challenges of delivering this agenda and explores the paradox that trust might require transparency, yet in some instances transparency may undermine trust.
The first book of its kind, this volume brings together a range of experts to review key methodological issues in the study of voluntary action, charitable behaviour and participation in voluntary organisations.
Using case studies from around the world – from ethnography to media analysis and surveys to peer research – chapters illustrate the challenges of researching altruistic actions and our conceptualisations of them. Across different fields and methods, authors unpick the methodological innovations and challenges in their own research to help guide future study.
Demystifying research and deepening our ability to understand the role of the third sector, this accessible book is suitable for social researchers at all levels.