July 1, 2009

Value in Public Services

This report argues that a new concept of value is needed to form the basis for reform of public services. We identify five elements of value against which services should be judged:

  • User value
  • Value to wider groups (such as family or friends of service users)
  • Political value (support to the democratic process, e.g. through co-planning of services with users and other stakeholders)
  • Social value (creation of social cohesion or supporting of social interaction)
  • Environmental value (ensuring sustainability of all service provision)

This will place a new emphasis on the role of service users and citizens in clarifying what they value in services, which will involve identifying both what they want services to achieve (the outcomes they value) and how they think those services should be delivered (the governance principles that guide them). We suggest some criteria of good governance that may be adopted to guide service delivery.


Rhodri Davies

Government and Philosophy Research Fellow, 2007-2009

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