Bringing ideas and best practice from across the civil service and private sector to show how approaches to certain public services can be reimagined. We showcase teams of civil servants coming together to address some of public sector’s biggest challenges.
For the fourth year, the Reimagine Challenge programme brought together four teams of civil servants to tackle four policy challenges. Each team had six months access to both the public and private sector to develop an innovative and realistic solution that will help improve public services.
2019 Reimagine Challenge topics:
1. How can UK firms capitalise on the short and long term opportunities being created by the UK aid budget to trade and invest in developing markets?
In what ways do UK development programmes create trade and investment opportunities, where are the greatest value opportunities over the short and medium term, and how do these align with the UK’s commercial strengths?
What kind of government support can most effectively help UK firms overcome challenges to trading and investing in developing markets? How can this be delivered in a way that maintains a strong primary focus on development outcomes while bringing to bear private sector innovation and financing?
2. What can we do to improve access to healthy, affordable food for all people, whilst delivering on improving the environment?
Consumers often face a trade-off in choosing between healthy, affordable and sustainably grown foods – poor diet has now overtaken smoking as the biggest risk factor for preventable ill health in the UK; a third of young people say they often or sometimes worried that household food would run out before there was money to buy more; and there are inequalities in the system with poorer communities and BAME citizens having higher levels of obesity and poorer nutrition. Yet despite all of this, 14m tonnes of food is thrown away every year somewhere on the journey between farm and fork.
3. What can government do to increase the number, diversity and status of volunteers in law enforcement?
The use of volunteers is a key part of the workforce strategy for law enforcement. Most people immediately think of special constables who have been a feature of law enforcement in various forms for centuries. But are there other aspects of law enforcement which lend themselves to volunteering? Consider the skills needed in digital, cyber, social media, data, forensics, finance. Are their ways in which employers could facilitate through CSR programmes or volunteering allowances? After all, many employers make provision for staff to join the army reserve or be special constables.
4. What can government do to increase the public’s basic digital skills?
There are 11.3m people in the UK (21%) that lack 1 of the 5 basic digital skills, 8.4% of adults have never used the internet and many more are missing out on the opportunities the digital world offers, whether through lack of connectivity, digital skills or motivation.
Digital skills impacts the delivery of many public services. With the cost to serve a customer by phone being 14 times the cost online, and face to face up to 50 times higher, the benefits to government of more digitally savvy customers are clear.
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