An Update from INLOGOV's Director of Research, Professor Vivien Lowndes

21st-century-public-servant
21st century public servant

INLOGOV's research focuses on public services, governance and citizen participation. Catherine Mangan (Director of INLOGOV) has been awarded a major grant (by the Department of Health) to research local authority market-shaping activities in social care and investigate the lessons that can be derived to drive up performance, quality and choice. The project will also assess local authority progress in implementing care planning and support services that enable people to have personalised services, which deliver choice, control and good care outcomes.

Dr Catherine Durose is leading two new projects, both focusing on social innovation in urban governance.  'Jam and Justice', funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC),  brings together different partners in Greater Manchester to co-produce, test and learn from new ways of governing cities ('Jam' is about bringing together different partners, and 'Justice' is about re-connecting with those who have been excluded from the search for solutions.  The second project, funded by the European Union's ERA-NET programme, investigates the role of 'Smart Urban Intermediaries' in forging links within and between communities, and with the institutions of urban governance in Birmingham, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Amsterdam. We are delighted to have Dr Alison Gilchrist joining us to work on the project, focusing on data collection and the development of 'living labs' in the four cities. 

Other research in INLOGOV is looking at institutional design challenges for the new combined authorities, including workforce restructuring and the role of directly elected mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners (Catherine Mangan, Dr Karin Bottom, Professor Vivien Lowndes).  Professor Chris Skelcher has developed a research proposal for the ESRC on the role of local authority companies, while Dr Stephen Jeffares continues his research on the use of social media and other digital technologies in public services, with a focus on policing.  Dr Louise Reardon, joining INLOGOV this summer as a new Lecturer, will be continuing her research into governance and decision-making, with a specialisation in transport and wellbeing policies. 

Our PhD students are very much part of our research team, pursuing projects (for instance) on coproduction, citizen participation, the governance of climate change, the use of evidence in policymaking, and central-local relations. All INLOGOV’s research seeks to make significant academic contributions whilst also focusing on real world puzzles and challenges in public governance. We work closely with non-academic partners in order to maximise the relevance of our research and the accessibility of our findings.

Professor Vivien Lowndes (Director of Research) is always happy to discuss new research ideas and opportunities (v.b.lowndes@bham.ac.uk).

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