Coordinating for Cohesion in the Public Sector of the Future

Joined-up Govt: New Working Paper

COCOPS Working Paper No. 9 ‘Joined-Up-Government: Reform Challenges, Experiences and Accountability Relations’ by Anne-Lise Filmreite, Tom Christensen,  and PerLægreid on now online available.

It examines the merger of the employment and national insurance administrations and the collaboration between this new administration and local social services in Norway. The aims of the reform are to get passive beneficiaries back into work and activity and to make the administration more user-friendly, holistic and efficient. These aims are to be achieved by increasing the administration’s capacity to address so called “wicked issues” by cutting across existing policy fields and territorial levels. The joined-up-government approach of this reform poses three main challenges: 1) to get a merged central government agency to work, 2) to establish constructive cooperation between the central and local authorities and 3) to coordinate front-line services with user-oriented employment and welfare offices. The paper discusses the experience gained from these three challenges five years into the reform process. The reform can hardly be proclaimed a success given its aims. The idea of increasing the capacity of government to cut across existing policy fields and handle transboundary wicked issues is still struggling to be implemented. Cooperation between sectors seems to be easier to achieve than cooperation between levels. Experience has also revealed that the joined-up-government-approach of the reform tends to make accountability relations more blurred and ambiguous.

It can be downloaded here



This page has been modified on 25 February 2013