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Playing the Targets Game Workshop

13 June 2005, 13:00-16:30, Oxford Internet Institute, 1 St. Giles, Oxford OX1 3JS

Targets in various forms have become a widespread instrument of public policy and governance, from broad-gauge international targets such as those applying to world poverty reduction through national-level policy targets to the targets that apply within individual organizations. This afternoon workshop developed the intriguing conclusions of the Playing the Targets Game’ seminar series held in spring 2005 and examined ideas informing new research in the Public Services Programme. Convened by Christopher Hood (All Souls College Oxford and Director of the ESRC Public Services Programme) and hosted by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) the workshop brought together a diverse group of scholars and practitioners from local government to examine targets from central/local government and public service perspectives.
Combining a good mix of presentation, questions and discussion the workshop began with a presentation from Christopher Hood on ‘Targets and Gaming in Central Government’, which introduced some initial findings from an interview study conducted jointly with Steve Kelman (Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, USA). This was followed by a presentation – ‘Metrics, Targets and Performance in the NHS‘ – from Philip Stevens (National Institute of Economic and Social Research) discussing initial work on the project ‘Metrics, Targets and Performance: the case of NHS Trusts’. Iain McLean (Director of the Public Policy Unit, Department of Politics and International Relations, Nuffield) opened the second session with initial considerations on his project ‘Correlates of Success in Performance Assessment’ and reviewed a short history of the local-central government nexus in his presentation ‘Correlates of Success and Local Government‘. The workshop ended with an opportunity to draw together the ideas and themes from the three presentations in a group discussion facilitated by Helen Margetts (Mansfield, OII, Oxford), Sharon Gilad (Nuffield College, Oxford) and Antoni Chawluk (Mansfield College, Oxford).
Targets Workshop Agenda (pdf)
Targets Workshop Attendance List (pdf)