The thoughts that count - the best of global thought leadership (March 2021)

Our new monthly digest pulls together some of the best thinking on public service policy and design from across the regions in which we work.

Health and Social Care

Reforming aged care: A practical plan for a rights-based system - Grattan Institute (Australia)

In this policy paper the authors explain why, in their view, Australia’s aged care system is not working and how with additional spending of AUD$7bn per annum the system could be reformed. November 2020

Levelling Up Health for Prosperity - IPPR (UK)

This report outlines policy to make health improvement a joint enterprise between local and national government, and recommends three “paradigm shifts” for a “new approach to health and prosperity”. December 2020

Rationalizing a Medicare Buy-In Policy for Adults Ages 50 to 64 - Urban Institute (US)

What are the potential merits of a Medicare buy-in policy that coexists with the Affordable Care Act? This report shows how older adults are at substantial risk of high health care spending, making health insurance coverage critical to their financial security. February 2021.

How Would Medicare for All Affect Health System Capacity? Evidence from Medicare for Some - Cato Institute (US)

In this research brief, Cato Institute researchers examine the scale of investment needed for a ‘Medicare for All’ policy, arguing that “countries and regions that have invested in more physicians and more hospital beds provide more care, and more intensive treatments, to their residents. While this marginal care may not always be efficient, the Covid-19 pandemic reveals some important benefits from having these investments in place, even if capacity may be excessive under normal conditions.” February 2021

What's next for the NHS? Building the resilience of the health and care system - Reform (UK)

A year into the pandemic, Reform asses the current health of the NHS and look at the “urgent” need for change to “meet a ballooning backlog of procedures put on hold”, as well as how, following Covid-19, the UK can build a more resilient health care system. February 2021

The Care Commitment: A new model of social care for England - Demos (UK)

The former Political Secretary to Boris Johnson and the author of a recent UK Government review of civil society Danny Kruger MP proposes a shift to a more family and community-centred care system in this new pamphlet. February 2021

The health and social care White Paper explainedThe King’s Fund (UK)

In this blog, the new UK Government Health and Social Care White Paper, summarising its core points. The health-focussed think tank also gives an initial assessment of the UK Government’s proposals and what they mean for the future of the health and care system. March 2021

Without skipping a beatIPPR (UK)

The UK’s death toll from the Covid-19 is one of the highest in the world. This analysis looks at the potential in-direct health impacts of Covid-19, focussing on cardiovascular diseases. IPPR outlines data showing there have been 470,000 fewer new prescriptions of preventative cardiovascular medications during the pandemic. 12,000 extra heart attacks and strokes will take place in England in the next five years, without bold government intervention, the researchers argue. March 2021

Public Service Reform

Assessing Saudi Vision 2030: A 2020 Review - Atlantic Council Rafik Hariri Center For the Middle East

This report provides a useful, independent update on the Saudi government’s ambitious Vision 2030, a key component of which is government service reform. June 2020.

Digital Public Services: What’s Next? - Reform (UK)

The challenges that arose with service delivery during Covid-19 – from lockdown and remote working to increased demand – further cemented the benefits of effective digital infrastructure. This research provides recommendations for the government to help the public sector on its transformation journey. January 2021

Transformation, digitisation & happiness: Public opinion on government services in Saudi ArabiaSerco Institute

In this ground-breaking new report, the Serco Institute outlines its research into what Saudi Arabian citizens and residents think of the government services they use and how they want them to develop in future. March 2021

Prisons & Justice

Partners in Crime: the relationship between disadvantage and Australia’s criminal justice systems - Centre for Policy Development

The failings of the Australian justice system impact those that are already disadvantaged, this report argues. It claims there is a ‘cycle of disadvantage’ which drives people on the ‘criminal justice conveyor belt’. It outlines a series of interventions that the researchers say will break this cycle. December 2020

Digital Technology in Prisons: Unlocking relationships, learning and Skills - Centre for Social Justice (UK)

This report argues the time has come to modernise the UK’s prison system by installing “controlled broadband facilities through the prison estate”. January 2021

Contraband and Interdiction Strategies in Correctional FacilitiesUrban Institute (US)

Following two years of research in ten prisons across three states, this paper focuses on the challenges and potential antidotes to contraband in prison. February 2021


The European Space Sector as an Enable for EU Strategic Autonomy - EU Institute for Security Studies

This study discusses how the EU can leverage its space capability as a means to develop stronger defence and security policy. December 2020

Competing in time: Ensuring capability advantage and mission success through adaptable resource allocation - Hudson Institute (US)

This in-depth research report looks into US defence budget allocation and how it can be optimised to combat current threats. February 2021

Defence Budget Lessons - American Enterprise Institute

Experts at the AEI provide some recommendations on which areas of defence should be prioritized in the Government’s upcoming budget. February 2021

The Pandemic Does Not Demand Government Micromanagement of Global Supply Chains - Cato Institute (US)

In a timely report, the Cato Institute looks at whether the pandemic has increased the potential of “onshoring” and “economic nationalism” in the US. The paper argues, however, that the current Covid‐​19‐​related push to achieve supply chain “resiliency” through economic nationalism “suffers from several flaws.” February 2021


Digitising Human Services - Center for Economic Development of Australia

Six technology and services experts discuss how to build on the rapid digitisation brought on by Covid-19 to deliver better human services. March 2021

Support for a Canadian “Vaccine Passport” - Public Policy Forum 

As part of their series on ‘vaccine scepticism’, this data-rich report looks at public attitudes in Canada towards vaccine passports, as well as exploring some of the practical and ethical issues related to their use. February 2021

Vaccine Passports & UK Public OpinionSerco Institute

Are vaccine passports the next big policy tool in the response to Covid-19 in the UK? The Serco Institute’s paper examines new public opinion polling which shows there is support for vaccine passports being introduced across a range of international and domestic settings. February 2021.


Beyond the hostile environment - IPPR (UK)

In this final report of a 6-part project, IPPR outline different policy options for addressing the “adverse impacts of the hostile environment on individuals and communities” and for look at options regarding how the current system of immigration enforcement can change. February 2021


Optimising Australia’s Rail System for the Future (Video) - Center for Economic Development of Australia

Hear how new technologies and innovations in rail transport are driving productivity and resilience. February 2021.

Trade & International Services

Keeping up appearances: What now for UK services trade? - Centre for European Reform

In a post-Brexit UK how will trade international work when it comes to services? That is the question this report seeks to address. It concludes that rather than “obsessing” about the export of services, UK policy-makers should “focus on investment and ensuring the UK remains an attractive destination for multinational services firms to operate out of.” February 2021

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