Collaborative working

Publicly funded organisations should collaborate more to ensure that services join up to meet the needs of communities and individuals, according to an InsideOUT report published today.

Emily Miles' report Collaborative Working: How publicly funded services can take a whole systems approach is being launched at a roundtable discussion chaired by Institute for Government Director, Andrew Adonis. It provides examples of successful projects as far apart as Toronto and Bangalore, and offers a number of recommendations about how to make collaborative working a success.

Emily has built on her own experience as a civil servant at the Home Office, the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit and the UK Border Agency to ask how Whitehall might need to change to enable (or at least not get in the way of) collaboration.

Talking about today's publication, she says that "there are often significant barriers to collaboration, including power struggles, institutional inertia, lack of passion and time, changes in leadership, and impatience. Nevertheless, all the evidence shows that it is well worth pressing ahead because the potential benefits of collaboration significantly outweigh the costs".

Today's report concludes that collaboration can make services more effective and save money. In order to achieve this, Emily outlines four key elements in successful collaboration: a sense of common purpose, strong insistence on a whole systems approach, willingness to share power, and a focus on the service user's perspective to stimulate change.