The UK Cabinet Office has announced a new five-year partnership with the Blavatnik School of Government to establish a centre of excellence for innovative public sector commissioning.
Harnessing expertise from across the University of Oxford and working closely with the Cabinet Office, the ‘Government Outcomes Lab’ (GO Lab) will find new ways for the public sector to commission services while achieving better social outcomes, aligning the interests of local authorities, social investors and charities.
Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) and Outcomes-based commissioning (OBC) have emerged as innovative ways for governments to achieve better social outcomes through collaboration with the private and not-for-profit sectors. One of the objectives of the GO Lab is to develop world-leading research about when these work and when they don’t, as well as providing practical support to local commissioners. The Blavatnik School of Government will also host a repository of case studies and evidence.
This marks the School’s first major collaboration with the UK Cabinet Office, and will bring new opportunities for students, faculty and practitioners alike.
Governments everywhere will benefit from research, data and training which helps them to focus on outcomes and to work better with the private and not-for-profit sectors.
Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government
Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, said: 'The partnership with the Cabinet Office brings the strength and momentum of the Blavatnik School of Government together with a powerful transformative initiative in the UK Government. Governments everywhere will benefit from research, data and training which helps them to focus on outcomes and to work better with the private and not-for-profit sectors.'
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said: 'SIBs represent a revolution in the way government can deliver public services. They generate huge savings for the taxpayer, increased revenues for charities and social enterprises and returns to social investors. The Government Outcomes Lab will give local authorities the support they need to develop SIBs, and build a centre of research excellence in the UK, helping us build a truly compassionate society.'
The Government Outcomes Lab will now enter an intensive phase of design and recruitment, starting with the appointment of a director.