As many states recognise the need to enter into new relationships with the third sector, strategic commissioning of services has moved up the political agenda. The establishment of the Office of the Third Sector in the UK Cabinet Office heralded a commitment to engage the “voice” and “choice” of third sector organizations in designing, delivering and measuring public service delivery. This paper seeks to report on the findings gathered from a series of workshops and other data collection on public sector commissioning of third sector service delivery, and to highlight some tensions and emerging issues in this policy field.
Qualitative data from workshops were supplemented with observations, interview data, existing research, and secondary data from a number of government agencies and third sector representative organizations.
The findings from the workshops and other data collection methods will feed into future design and development of training programmes for public sector and third sector officers. They should also inform the policy debate and enhance understanding of some of the tensions and problems facing practitioners in this policy field.
Little research exists on third sector or public sector commissioning, and this work will be of value to policy makers, practitioners and academics concerned with strategic commissioning. The paper augments existing theory on state and non‐governmental relationships and the contribution of third sector agencies to public service delivery.
Jones, M. and Liddle, J. (2011), "Implementing the UK Central Government's policy agenda for improved third sector engagement: Reflecting on issues arising from third sector commissioning workshops", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 157-171. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513551111109053
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