Renewing Public Services


The pandemic has pushed our public services to a tipping point. Almost overnight, services have had to pivot to a socially distant world, necessitating rapid technological innovations in the way services are managed and delivered. But the pandemic has also put remarkable pressures on capacity and resources while increasing needs and costs, leaving many of the most vulnerable feeling isolated and dislocated. Fiscal forecasts predict a gap of £100bn between what our public services will need twenty years from now, and what taxes will generate.

Working with Capita, Demos will run a programme to re-imagine public services in a post-pandemic world. We will consider how we can move on from the transactional model that has driven public service reform thinking for generations: a model that treats people as individuals, instead of communities; a model that is obsessed about processes instead of outcomes; a model that disconnects professionals from citizens instead of connecting them together. This will include working to develop a set of principles and practical proposals for relational public services, that are designed to build social capital and community strength in order to both reduce need and mobilise civil society to manage need more successfully in collaboration with the public sector. 

We will focus on the following areas: 

  • Employment support services 
  • Criminal justice and policing 
  • Citizen engagement in local government 

We would love to hear from members of the public, practitioners, innovators, and academics interested in any or all of these issues. 

If this programme is of interest to you, please contact Rose Lasko-Skinner, Senior Researcher at [email protected].