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Edited by Stephen P. Osborne and Louise Brown
Chapter 19: Innovation and information in public/third sector partnerships for older people’s services: case studies from England and Italy
The last decade has seen numerous initiatives to transform care and health services through electronic government (e-government) initiatives at central, regional and local levels. E-government (also known variously as digital era and transformational government) has been defined as using Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to support modernised public services (Silcock 2001). More recently, as public management has become increasingly inter-organisational, the emphasis has been on multiagency and partnership-oriented developments involving statutory agencies, the voluntary and charitable sector, and commercial suppliers (Pestoffand Brandsen 2010). Importance attached to Third Sector Organisations (TSOs) in public services is an international phenomenon (Milligan and Conradson 2006). Many governments have been looking for new ways to involve them; however, there are national variations in rationales for doing so as well as in the established roles and responsibilities of different sectors (Lyon and Glucksmann 2008; Pestoffand Brandsden 2010). Arguments for enrolling charities, social enterprises and community-based organisations in public services rest on claims that include: they are embedded within communities (of place and identity); they are responsive to the needs of service users; and, perhaps most of all, they can innovate. Together these have been described as important resources for service transformation (Lewis 2005).
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