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'Beyond Nudge to Managing Demand’ argues that we urgently need to give demand management serious consideration if we are to avoid a situation of managed decline. The paper looks at the scale of the challenge that public service agencies currently face, explores what is already being done in demand management and why it has not been mainstreamed further. 

Public services are seeing a generational challenge of rising demand and declining resources. Local authorities in England face a £14.4bn black hole in funding, with expenditure rising by £7.4bn and budgets being cut by £7bn between 2010 and 2020.

With these trends set to continue for the foreseeable future, and with press reports predicting the end of services that we take for granted – from arts and culture to street lighting – so that statutory services such as care for the elderly and vulnerable children can continue, many local authorities could be forgiven for believing that they now find themselves in the business of managed decline. All this is taking place in an economic and social context which is far from rosy, with challenges around growth and the cost of living adding further pressure to public services.

‘Beyond Nudge to Managing Demand’ argues that we urgently need to give demand management serious consideration if we are to avoid a situation of managed decline. The paper looks at the scale of the challenge that public service agencies currently face; explores what is already being done in demand management and why it has not been mainstreamed further; and asks how new relationships between the state, citizens and communities can overcome these barriers.

This report recommends the following:

  • Greater calibration of the role of the state and the role of the citizen

  • Developing stronger behaviour change approaches for citizens and the state

  • Find ways to generate greater insight into the motivations, influences and behaviours of people working in the system

 

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