I set up this blog to stimulate debate around the rapid changes in the way we deliver public services, especially in the arenas of crime and drug & alcohol treatment, which I specialise in. The blog went live on 1 September 2011 and initially focused on two key topics:
Over the last two years, there have been tremendous developments in both these areas.
Despite its predominantly negative press (mainly associated with the Work Programme), PbR continues to generate plenty of interest, not least because there are currently PbR schemes across at least six government departments.
My PbR resource pack has now been updated over 90 times and runs to 12 pages – it’s free to download here. In the absence of an evidence base for PbR, I compiled a “10 Commandments of PbR” eBook which you can buy here – all proceeds to the Howard League for Penal Reform.
Things have moved equally quickly in the world of digital engagement; particularly in the public sector. Police forces around the world have become increasingly adept at using social media – Twitter in particular – for a whole range of reasons and in increasingly creative ways.
The government’s plans for privatising the probation service via its Transforming Rehabilitation initiative (with new contracts being let on a payment by results basis) has also been a major focus of the blog over the last year – and has certainly prompted the most comment. You can find all the relevant (and ever growing) documentation in one place at my TR resource pack.
Visual content on the web has become increasingly important and infographics – whether on Using Social Media to Promote Events, How Burglars use Social Media, or Explaining PbR jargon – have been among the blog’s most popular content in 2013.
The blog has continued to grow steadily with traffic doubling in the last year – nearly 40,000 unique visitors and over 200,000 page views and, more importantly, has stimulated plenty of comment and debate. Although, like most blogs, discussion tends to happen less in the comments section at the end of posts, more on Twitter, Google+, phone and e-mail – and even occasionally in person!
A blog, of course, is just a waste of hyperspace unless visitors read something that makes them want to express an opinion. I hope you’ll want to post comments and generally get involved.
The blog covers the main topic areas below, click on any of them to go straight to the relevant content:
- Payment by Results
- Digital Engagement
- Social Media innovation
- Drug use & Offending