Performance Art report - Institute for Government

3 Dec 2008 by Karl Hallam

The Institute for Government has published its first research report. Performance Art is broadly about improving public services, but with a strong focus on PSAs and LAAs. It argues that the death of performance management and targets in Central Government have been wildly exaggerated.

The document does add that; 'Nevertheless, performance management clearly must evolve in order to reflect both what government has learned from its experience of recent years and wider changes in context'. It then borrows language from inspirational South Tyneside Chief Executive, Irene Lucas, saying; 'Many of the main challenges faced by government today are so-called ‘wicked' issues such as climate change and obesity - long-term problems that will only be addressed through changes in citizens' behaviour'.

This report is useful for us as Cadence Works' work on innovation for the Whitehall Innovation Hub progresses. What also caught our eye was their innovative reportage of their consultation for the report. It takes the form of a video with 'actors' (probably their own staff!) reading out the quotes of various consultees, giving only thier job titles. This is very powerful and something we would like to use in future consultation reports we do.

The Institute for Government is the think tank kid on the block and has an interesting line up of staff. Here is what they say about themselves in their first report:

The Institute for Government is here to act as a catalyst for better government.

The Institute for Government is an independent centre founded in 2008 to help make government more effective.
We carry out research, look into the big governance challenges of the day and find ways to help government improve, re-think and sometimes see things differently;

• We offer unique insights and advice from experienced people who know what it's like to be inside government both in the UK and overseas; and

• We provide inspirational learning and development for very senior policy makers. We do this through seminars, workshops, talks or interesting connections that invigorate
and provide fresh ideas.

We are a place where senior member of all parties and the Civil Service can discuss the challenges of making government work and where they can seek and exchange practical insights from leading thinkers, practitioners, public servants, academics and opinion formers.


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