The principles of choice and competition have underpinned successive governments’ public service reform agendas in an effort to improve quality, efficiency and value for money across a range of public services. This programme explores:

  • where choice and competition are appropriate
  • how to test and implement new delivery models
  • how to improve value for money in public services where choice and competition play a major role.


A guide to public service markets

Our research has highlighted a lack of practical information and support for those designing, managing and stewarding public service markets across central and local government. To address this we have created Public Service Markets – A Practical Guide. This explains what public market systems are and how they can best be managed. It includes a diagnostic tool that allows you to analyse a particular public service market in depth and receive a tailored report with practical suggestions for addressing the risks identified.


Our research

The research underpinning our guide to public service markets is in our report Making Public Service Markets Work.

We also examine:

  • the history of choice and competition across a range of sectors
  • contemporary innovations, such as payment by results contracting, public sector mutuals and other new delivery models
  • current practice in a range of service areas in the UK and (to a lesser degree) internationally.

Our aim is to influence policy and practice by informing public, political and practitioner debates.