New approaches to transforming public services

www.nesta.org.uk/report/new-approaches-to-transforming-public-services/
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New approaches to transforming public services

Social innovation is critical to improving public services. This report looks at social innovation in the UK and how it can be encouraged.

Social innovation is critical to improving public services. This report looks at social innovation in the UK and how it can be encouraged. 

Key findings:

  • The UK has an immature social innovation system, although recent steps have improved the social innovation system..
  • Scaling up social innovations requires action by government, entrepreneurs and investors
  • Much social innovation starts locally. Neither money nor a history of social innovation in the area are always necessary.
  • In order to encourage a socially innovative UK, recommendations include: supporting ideas, not entrepreneurs, providing new kinds of funding for social innovation, and creating ‘venture capital’ for innovation in public services.

Social innovation is driven by having the right strategies and organisations to marry real social needs with new, workable ideas to address them. But there are too few intermediary bodies to match the supply of new ideas to the demand for them. Funding is patchy, and there are insufficient incentives for public service managers to seek new and improved solutions.

 

Social innovations in one field can be spread to other areas of public services provision. Funding is important, but not the main driver, and social innovation can occur anywhere - even in areas without a long tradition of 'thinking differently'.

 

Most importantly, by making changes to leadership, incentives and funding, national governments could rapidly transform the UK's ability to innovate socially.

 

Author:
Nesta