Scottish Cabinet reshuffle: gender trouble?

, 21 November 2014

Nicola Sturgeon has announced her new Cabinet today. Following her selection as Scotland’s first female First Minister, she told the Scottish Parliament that she hoped her presence in the top job would send ‘a strong, positive message to girls and young women – indeed, to all women – across our land’. But...

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Guest blog: Evidence check – are the Department for Education’s policies evidence-based?

, 21 November 2014

In March 2013, the Department for Education published a paper by Dr Ben Goldacre which argued that teachers have the opportunity to “become an evidence based profession”, by using evidence to improve outcomes in education in the same way as in medicine.


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Morale compass points in the right direction: Civil Service engagement in 2014

, 20 November 2014

The Civil Service Engagement score is now 59%, 1 up on 2013. As this incredibly exciting graph shows, the Engagement Index score for the whole Civil Service is 59%, up from 58% in 2013. Although the relatively straight line may not look especially interesting, it is actually quite significant: despite the large staff reductions...

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Taking transparency to taskforce

, 19 November 2014

Yesterday’s launch of the Open Contracting Data Standard marked a significant step in enabling governments to be more transparent about their contracting arrangements of public services. Last week the Institute for Government, in collaboration with the CBI, looked at practical ways to change transparency in contracting from a ‘nice to have’ to the new...

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Special advice: how to make a prime ministerial unit work

, 19 November 2014

The phone rings. It’s the prime minister. You’re being asked to lead a unit to take on the burning issue which Whitehall business-as-usual can’t or won’t solve. What should you do? Our advice is to pause, breathe deeply, and read the Institute for Government’s guide to leading a central government unit. The Special Ones:...

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Lord Browne – Successes but ragged at the edges

, 18 November 2014

What is striking is how Lord Browne and other prominent business figures who are lead non-executive directors on 17 Whitehall boards have gained acceptance from departmental permanent secretaries – the very group who most strongly resisted their introduction by Francis Maude in 2010. Cynics might see this as producer capture, but there are positive...

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