The Republic's activities, and the impact of our research.

Public Value Report Cited in TUC Pamphlet

A report published by The Work Foundation in association with Research Republic, 'Public Value, Citizen Expectations and User Commitment', has been extensively cited in the Trades Union Council's pamphlet 'Rethinking Public Service Reform: The "public value" alternative'. The paper is the second in a series designed to bring a trade union voice to debates over public policy. The TUC discusses the shortcomings of market-led public service reform, arguing that the value created by the public sector "cannot simply be reduced to financial profit and loss". It suggests that an approach to reform based on public value, in which strategies for delivery of services are developed through democratic engagement between providers and users, has benefits for the democratic legitimacy, responsiveness, appropriateness and fair distribution of services, particularly in a time of scarce resources.

Guardian Praises Public Value in Editorial

In an editorial, the Guardian has praised the "serious thinking" behind the concept of public value, developed by Research Republic in association with The Work Foundation. It notes the importance of development, through open discussion, of specific goals defined by the public alongside policy objectives. The pursuit of public value, it also notes, implies that deliberation also shapes the preferences of citizens through deliberation, as outlined in our report 'Public Value, Citizen Expectations and User Commitment'. The Guardian concludes that "public value might help rescue the many valuable things in life that fall between the cracks in a political culture dominated by contract and quantification".

Ricardo Blaug Discusses Public Participation at Work Foundation Seminar

In a workshop entitled 'Trial by Citizen's Jury? Public services and public participation', Ricardo Blaug examined theories of public participation and their applicability to public services, and discussed recent initiatives to enhance participation. Following on from recent work conducted by the Republic for the Work Foundation's Public Value programme, Dr. Blaug suggested three locations of public engagement: in the delivery of services itself, setting the objectives of service providers and accountability mechanisms. A creative approach to methods and locations of such engagement, he recommended, is vital to securing public interest and participation. Representatives from the BBC Trust, the Royal Opera House and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence also made presentations on public engagement in their organisations.

Public Value Test Integrated Into BBC Charter Review

Research Republic's work on the concept of public value, developed in partnership with the Work Foundation, has been integrated into the BBC's charter review. Our report, 'Public Value, Politics and Public Management', published in January, has been cited in the BBC White Paper 'A Public Service for All: the BBC in the digital age' as part of a framework for public engagement. The White Paper emphasises the "driving force" that the BBC's public purposes will play in its new charter period, to be guided by a Public Value Test derived from the report. New services to be introduced by the BBC will be evaluated by the Test, involving broad engagement with license fee payers, citizens, content providers and members of the BBC Trust and Executive Board in a variety of deliberative and consultative forms. Market impact assessments, then, will be considered alongside the public value of new services that are introduced. In this way, the white paper asserted, the BBC will be able to "continue serving its audiences across the established media and to lead them - particularly those who might otherwise be left behind - to the new experiences that technological development will provide". The flexibility required by a public value-driven approach, it suggests, will allow the BBC to "adapt to the changing landscape and help shape audience expectations, with all the benefits that will deliver for individual license fee payers and the industry alike".

Visit the BBC charter review website


Research Republic Contributes to Public Value Debate at Heritage Conference

Research Republic's Ricardo Blaug presented a paper, 'Heritage, Democracy and Public Value', co-authored with Louise Horner and the Republic's Rohit Lehki, to a conference held by the Royal Geographical Society called 'Capturing the Public Value of Heritage'. The presentation emphasised the need for heritage organisations can use an orientation towards creating public value to engage and inform public interest and assert their democratic legitimacy. The conference was opened by Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, who spoke on how heritage organisations can fulfill their cultural role through creating public value, and Minister for Culture David Lammy MP, who discussed the role of heritage in connecting the public to the past. Over 400 delegates were in attendance at the conference, which was "notable for the recognition that value derives from the views of the whole of society, and not just experts" according to a press release by English Heritage.