Skip to Content


Home » Noticeboard » News » Policy Briefing paper “Managing by Numbers” featured in Financial Times and others

Monday, 9th November, 2009

A policy briefing paper entitled “Managing by Numbers: the Way to Make Public Services Better?” by Christopher Hood, Ruth Dixon and Deborah Wilson has been featured in an article by Nick Timmins in the Financial Times.  The policy briefing includes research findings from a wide range of Public Service Programme projects.

As Nick Timmins puts it, “The use of targets and league tables in public services, and the whole panoply of audit and inspection, will come under growing pressure as public spending faces its fiercest squeeze in decades, a study by leading academics said on Monday … Targets, performance indicators and rankings do have a role in public management … but such measurements need to be used more intelligently.”

It was also featured in in a report on Guardian Public on 12th November and in The Scotsman on 19th November 2009 where an article discussed how Britain’s public services are measured and monitored, and quotes the policy briefing as suggesting that as public sector budgets are squeezed money should be used to provide services, with less focus on “user satisfaction measures”.