Public services are under pressure. Changing lifestyles, demographics, globalisation and more are placing increasing demands on public services and the State to be more responsive to user needs and deliver public sector reform. Alongside spending constraints in many countries, new approaches are needed to public service delivery, including opening public services to a wider range of providers from the private, not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors.
Government and the economy
The global financial crisis highlighted the need to deliver growth which is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable – good growth. A priority for government includes providing the enablers of good growth, such as skills, and creating the infrastructure needed for any modern economy to function effectively and competitively through a balanced and integrated infrastructure programme, alongside a need to innovate the methods of financing.
For many governments (particularly in developed economies) the first priority is to deal with current (and avoid future) deficits and debts. Prioritisation, making tough choices and doing more (or increasingly the same or less) for less is the key to success. There is a range of ways in which governments can do things differently as well as doing different things to meet the needs of citizens and businesses alike.
With increasing urbanisation, state and local governments face constraints on funding combined with ever-increasing citizen demands and pressures on the delivery of public services. As well as a need to innovate funding models and develop new revenue streams, cities are a key engine of sustainable growth. ‘Smart cities’ and regional innovation clusters are also heralding a new level of cross-sector collaboration, driven by a focus on clean technologies, energy efficiency and sustainability.