About us

Our mission is to help enable governments to develop the next generation of public service solutions for citizens through research and innovation in service design.

 

Governments worldwide are facing increasing costs, demands, deficit challenges, and expectations from citizens who are in return often experiencing higher taxation, underwhelming user experience and inadequate public service outcomes.

In light of this, we seek to: 

  • Improve the efficiency of the services governments deliver on behalf of taxpayers
  • Make current and future public service solutions more citizen-centric and outcome-focussed
  • Engage with some of the biggest societal and economic trends affecting what governments will need to deliver to their citizens in the years to come

We do this through working independently and through working with others to create and crowd-source innovative thinking and solutions that enable governments to improve public services.

We work to deliver:

  • Research 
  • Innovation in service design
  • Entirely new approaches to service delivery

Director’s note

 

Kate Steadman, Director, Serco Institute

 

We are a think tank originally established by Serco in 2002 to explore and develop thinking on mechanisms for delivering public services, and in particular around the benefits of contestability and competition; in 2012 the Institute became dormant.  However, at a time when there has never been a greater need for public services which deliver high quality and resilience to service users, and which represent value-for-money for taxpayers, we have decided to relaunch and re-vivify the Institute.

While we will of course look at what the private sector can bring to public service provision and we believe in the merits of diversity of provision, our thinking horizon is a much broader one and we look to examine how public services can be improved as a whole.

We seek to garner insight from experts from all sectors and from across the globe to help develop ideas which will underpin the next generation of public service solutions for citizens.

The more perspectives we gather, from academics, technologists, start-ups, outsourcers, procurers, policy makers, or charities, the more likely we are to capture insight that allows for the design and delivery of public services that make society work better. 

 

View our previous research.

News & Views

UK government seeks consultation on Social Value in public procurement

UK govt goes to suppliers, public bodies & others involved in procurement to consult on initial Social Value framework through which govt depts will evaluate bids on themes around; diverse supply chains, skills & employment, inclusion & wellbeing, environmental sustainability, & safe supply chains (source: gov.uk)
12th March 2019

The OECD's Observatory of Innovation in the Public Sector

Amongst many things, this provides a fascinating global map of innovation in the public sector: SociaLab in Holland looks at ageing populations; Waterdeep in Portugal optimises water consumption; an Open Data Portal in Spain allows citizen analysis of public sector data; E-residency for location-independent businesses in Estonia builds online trust; a Flood Warning system in Finland builds citizen resilience (source: oecd.org)
5th March 2019

UK Government releases 'The Outsourcing Playbook'

Carillion's collapse provoked a (high-time) outsourcing renaissance to redefine the relationship between supplier & buyer of public services. This 'Playbook' is the charter that sets out key new policies for commercial, finance, & delivery professionals across central govt depts that aim to ensure; projects are comfortable from the start for both sides; robust procurement strategies exist; healthy markets are engaged with; contracts are made with suppliers who want to work with govt; and safety mechanisms are in place for the event of failure (source: gov.uk)
21st February 2019