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PbR Question Time

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There has been growing media coverage of Payment by Results schemes since the New Year, both here and abroad (particularly the USA, Canada and Australia). I’ve updated the free to download PbR resource pack three times this week already. There has been a proliferation of schemes with many scheduled to start delivery in 2012.

The PbR approach brings fundamental changes to the way Government Departments commission and pay for public services. This has led to speculation and discussion of a wide range of issues on this Blog and elsewhere, particularly around payment mechanisms and potential private-statutory-voluntary sector partnerships.

However, blogging has one main drawback – most visitors are much more interested in reading posts than commenting on them with the majority of debates taking place offline.

This blog is pretty typical. It’s had over 5,000 different visitors since its launch in September 2011 and more than 30,000 page views, but only 70 people have posted comments.

Therefore, as a way of broadening the debate about Payment by Results, I have decided to do a series of short (5 minute) video interviews with key figures involved in PbR and host them on the blog.

I’m hoping to interview representatives of Government Departments, commissioners and providers (both private and charitable) and key “others” such as Social Finance, who have developed Social Impact Bonds as a way of funding PbR initiatives.

For once, I won’t be having any editorial input, just giving the interviewees the opportunity to present their views on key PbR topics.

I’m very keen to get the questions right, so would love your views on what they should be.

In order to keep the videos watchable, I am going to aim to stick to the five minute limit. This means that after an initial 30 second introduction for interviewees to say who they are and describe their involvement in PbR, there is probably an absolute maximum of five questions.

Here’s my initial list:

  1. Do you think PbR has improved service delivery for clients/offenders/service users – and why?
  2. Do you think the outcome measures for the PbR schemes you are involved in are the right ones?
  3. What have been the main advantages of PbR for your organisation?
  4. What have been the main disadvantages of PbR for your organisation?
  5. Do you think PbR will be a common way of commissioning (procuring?) public services in three years’ time – and why?

I’m very keen to get readers views. Please tell me what you think I should be asking.

You can comment below or get in touch via Twitter @russwebt. Please send in your ideas for who you’d like to see interviewed too.


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