T06P04 - Implementing Innovation: Theory, Praxis, Policies

Topic : Policy Implementation

Chair : Evangelia Petridou - evangelia.petridou@miun.se

Second Chair : Inga Narbutaite Aflaki - inganarb@kau.se

Third Chair : Lee Miles - lmiles@bournemouth.ac.uk

General Objectives, Research Questions and Scientific Relevance

Call for papers

Session 1

Wednesday, June 28th 14:00 to 16:00 (Block B 2 - 1)


Inga Narbutaite Aflaki - inganarb@kau.se - Karlstad University - Sweden


Collaboration in Routine Emergency Management: Lessons from Sweden

Jorgen Sparf - jorgen.sparf@miun.se - Sweden

Evangelia Petridou - evangelia.petridou@miun.se - Mid-Sweden University - Sweden

Download the paper

Effective collaborations in emergency management is the Holy Grail for practitioners in Sweden and elsewhere. More than mere coordination, interorganizational collaboration is deemed by many as the most optimal arrangement to share resources and respond to emergencies more quickly and efficiently. It is also considered to be the source of a broadly and rather vaguely defined concept of greater good. Such collaborations tend to be uncritically accepted as innovative, especially in instances of large-scale disasters or planned events while routine emergency management arrangements tend to be under researched. This research in an in-depth case study of an interorganizational collaboration in the greater Stockholm region in Sweden concerning routine emergency management. The collaboration comprises the physical relocation of one operator each from seven organizations in the area and the establishment of the “Collaboration Cluster”.  Rather than attempt to define the concept of “greater good” we set out to evaluate the quality of collaboration from the perspective of each member organization. We build a multi-dimensional model to assess the expectations of each organization at the political, managerial, and operative level. What is more, we view the Collaboration Cluster as a network at the operative level and for this reason we employ formal Social Network Analysis (SNA) to tease out network variables that have an effect on the quality of collaboration.


Payment by Results and Social Impact Bonds: theory and evidence

Chris Fox - c.fox@mmu.ac.uk - Manchester Metropolitan University - United Kingdom

Kevin Albertson - k.albertson@mmu.ac.uk - Manchester Metropolitan University Business School - United Kingdom

Chris O'Leary - c.oleary@mmu.ac.uk - Manchester Metropolitan University - United Kingdom

Download the paper

Over recent years there has been increasing interest in ‘Payment by Results’ (Pay for Success in the US) as a model for commissioning innovative services in the public sector. A Social Impact Bond (SIB) (Pay for Success Bonds in the US) is a class of PbR contract where the finance needed to make the contract work is provided by private investment, usually social investors, rather than the service provider. These models blur the boundaries between public and private sector delivery of services. A stated aim of most PbR and SIB schemes as been to encourage innovation in service design and delivery and find new ways to address ‘wicked issues’ in social policy.

This paper asks whether PbR and Social Impact Bonds are an effective way to encourage innovation in the design and delivery of services and, in a UK context, what future they have in the new government’s thinking. The paper includes three main sections. First, we set out a brief history of PbR and SIB and chart its recent growth, particularly in the UK. Secondly, we report on the results of a Rapid Evidence Review of the literature on PbR and SIB. Although formal evaluations of both PbR and SIB are still limited some evaluation findings are starting to be published and some tentative conclusions on the potential for innovation are drawn from the REA. Finally we consider key theoretical issues raised by the growth in PbR and SIB, again with a particular focus on the UK. A key question is the extent to which PbR and SIBs are part of re-alignment of the role of the state the provision of welfare services. The UK Cabinet Office (undated, unnumbered) is clear that they expect that “SIBs shift financial risk of new interventions away from the public sector, towards investors, resulting in innovation and diversification of service provision” and most PbR contracts have been won by private sector organisations or private sector-led consortiums. But does this amount to a fundamental shift in state responsibilities? The limited academic discourse to date tends to argue that it does. So, for example, McHugh et al (2013: 253) argue that SIBs are "the latest stage in an ideological shift which favours removing delivery of social and welfare services from conventional public or third sector providers", Dowling and Harvie (2014: 869) see social investment as a“deepening of capitalist disciplinary logics into the social fabric” and Lowe and Wilson (2016) apply the New Public Management (NPM) paradigm and see the rise of PbR as representing an extension of market power extended by commissioners towards private providers of social services (Lowe and Wilson, 2016). However, In the UK there has always been a mixed economy in the provision of ‘public services’ in terms of the balance between public and private provision, finance and control (Hills 2011). Recent pronouncements by the new government led by the prime minister of the UK, Theresa May, suggest a possible re-calibration of government policy with a retreat from laissez-faire liberalism and more emphasis on government regulation and a ‘shared society’(May 2017). If this is more than a rhetorical shift what are the implications for PbR and SIB and their role in promoting innovation?


Renegotiating governance via civil society public partnerships? An example from reception of asylum seeking minors in Gothenburg city

Inga Narbutaite Aflaki - inganarb@kau.se - Karlstad University - Sweden

Download the paper



The recent challenges of major immigration flows and other wicked social issues in Sweden have contributed to reinventing forms of local governance – collaborative partnerships between civil society and public actors ("Idéburna offentliga partnerskap"  or IOP) as a third-way alternative to commissioning services and traditional state grants. Being both a conceptual and organisational innovation this form of governance faces numerous challenges in providing more qualitative and targeted service delivery.  The aim of the article is to explore how this new type of governance copes with a major puzzle – sustaining a fruitful partnership, more specifically, through balancing the different roles and value basis ascribed to public and civil society realms. The article questions whether and how IOP may enable civil society a more active role in welfare policies and services without undermining their distinctiveness. The arguments of the article are based on a case study of currently the largest IOP in Sweden involving ten organisations in the work with unaccompanied minors in Gothenburg city. The Gothenburg partnership is explored against the collaboration norms in the Swedish compact and the norms of balanced relations suggested by previous research and is found to live up to their major expectations. We conclude, based on Gothenburg experiences, that there is a potential of a new evolving pattern of post-contractual relations to address wicked social issues and social investment especially in local contexts.


Community-Based Elderly Service Innovation in Shanghai

WEI LI - liwei@cuhk.edu.hk - Chinese University of Hong Kong - Hong Kong, (China)

A network model of service delivery has been considered to be a major innovation in public sector management in the last decades (Goldsmith and Eggers 2004).  Based upon comparison of two street-office networks of community-based elderly care service delivery in Shanghai, China, we propose a causal path analysis which clarifies and illustrates how resource availability mediates the impact of network structure on network performance, with a particular focus on its ability to innovate.


Key words: network structure, government resource availability, public service innovation, community-based elderly services


Learning and innovation in the design of rules for the implementation of public policies: The Brazilian experience with rainwater harvesting systems

Vitor Santana - santana.vitor@gmail.com - Ministry of Social Development of Brazil - Brazil

The utilization of rainwater has become an increasingly frequent solution in the water supply strategy, especially in a context of increasing water scarcity from surface and underground sources. Since 2003, the Brazilian government has been supporting the implementation of social technologies for access to water, whether for human consumption or for food production, as part of the strategy to guarantee the food and nutritional security of low-income families residing in the rural areas of regions with water shortages.


However, more recently it was identified that the rules that were being used were embedded in a set of obstacles that caused a huge slowness in the implementation process of this policy. It was from the diagnosis of the main bottlenecks, associated mainly with the paralyzing bureaucratic rites to be followed by the actors involved, that the proposal of a new regulation of the execution process appeared.


The aim of the paper is to present the context from which they were introduced mechanisms to simplify the implementation of social technologies of access to water for poor rural populations in regions of water scarcity situation in Brazil. From the presentation of the implementation logic hitherto used in the government action, is presented so that learning about the institutional design of policy contributed to the formulation of a new legal framework, with the prospect give more speed to its implementation process, eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks that resulted in significant delays in the delivery of expected results. The challenge was to create mechanisms adapted to the institutional arrangement hitherto considered most effective by adjusting other and / or creating new mechanisms to overcome obstacles during implementation.


The first results show that the execution model introduced from this new legal framework has been able to give the expected answers, considering that the first implementation phase has been carried out substantially more quickly than from the instruments used previously. Currently, the pace of technology deployment is twice as fast, which means a more effective response from the state to a demand that is essential, access to water. In this way, it is understood that the process that led to the design of new rules of implementation of this policy can be used with positive results in similar contexts.

Export PDF