Edited by Edoardo Ongaro, Andrew Massey, Marc Holzer and Ellen Wayenberg
Chapter 9: Strategies to Join Up Resources Across Levels and Sectors of Government: A 12 Country Comparison
Lars Niklasson Collaboration and intergovernmental relations have become major issues for public policy implementation in many countries around the world. Fragmentation of resources and organizations, i.e. the means for policy implementation, are seen as important reasons why public intervention fails and resources are wasted. Some of the biggest social problems like unemployment, social exclusion and economic development demand coordinated action by several ministers and several levels of government, which is often difficult to achieve. Instead we see examples of turf wars and bureaucracies moving to shift blame and financial burdens on each other. The result is a two-dimensional fragmentation, horizontally across ministries and vertically across levels of government. A number of initiatives have been taken to integrate resources across organizational barriers, ranging from formal reorganization to setting up new legal entities where resources are pooled. Initiatives to join-up resources have been taken in the UK, Canada and Australia in particular. However, the contexts are not identical across nations. This chapter will describe and compare strategies pursued by a selection of governments to join-up resources across levels and sectors of government. It does so by using the example of resources to stimulate regional economic development in 12 different countries. The ambition is to find interesting examples and begin a discussion of contexts and causality. Can variety be explained by contextual factors – such as the constitutional room for coordination or the national administrative traditions – or is there an element of politics affecting outcomes too? The countries are affected by complex forces pushing...
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