Public sector partnerships can be an effective way to beat the downturn. This is the view of two articles appearing in the latest edition of Public Money and Management.
Cuts, collaboration and creativity by Vivien Lowndes and Sharon Squires looks at how the public, private, voluntary and community sectors can work together to provide more resources and more ideas for local areas. At the turn of the century this collaboration was mandated and special funding streams were available as incentives, the article identifies the modern challenge as ‘mainstreaming’ partnership now that this collaboration and funding have finished.
The article looks in depth at Sheffield and finds that there are a number of benefits, but also potential pitfalls, to this kind of collaboration. It concludes that difficult conversations around accountability and leadership need to be tackled head-on and that ‘special people’ who make partnerships work need to be identified and fostered to ensure successful outcomes.
The second article commercialisation partnerships as an enabler of UK public sector innovation by Magnus Schoeman, David Baxter, Keith Goffin and Pietro Micheli, examines the potential for private sector organisations to contribute to public sector innovation.
It finds that the success of these commercialisation partnerships depends on the public sector’s capacity to address barriers of awareness, lack of skills and organisational culture. Success will also depend on the private sector’s willingness to be flexible around contractual arrangements, sharing skills and sharing expertise.
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