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close this bookTraining for Elected Leadership - The Councillor as Enabler (HABITAT, 1994, 18 p.)
close this folderPart I - Essay on the councillor as enabler
View the documentDefinition
View the documentSummary
View the documentReflection
View the documentConcepts and ideas
View the documentThe art of enabling
View the documentEnabling strategies
View the documentReflection
View the documentNetworking
View the documentCollabouration
View the documentCreativity
View the documentFacilitating/enabling/empowering
View the documentEnabling and community development
View the documentKey points
View the documentAnnex - Service delivery options for local government
View the documentReferences

Annex - Service delivery options for local government

Mention has been made of the recent book, Reinventing Government, that documents many of the changes that are taking place in the United States within the public sector, particularly local governments. For example, the contrasting perspectives about professional vs. community-owned service-delivery systems by John McKnight is from this book. Below, we've summarized 25 of the 36 service-delivery options included by the authors in Reinventing Government. These options are both interesting and provocative, particularly to those who might believe that government should be "the provider of first resort."

1. Creating legal rules and sanctions. Direct government action can be taken to encourage certain activities by making them legal or discourage them by making them illegal.

2. Regulation and deregulation. Momentous changes in service delivery can be brought about by a simple change in government regulations.

3. Monitoring and investigation. Government can dramatically improve the quality of public goods or services by monitoring their delivery or investigating complaints.

4. Licensing. Government can expand or contract the number of providers of a service by changing its licensing requirements (who can and who cannot provide a service).

5. Tax policy. Government can encourage private providers by offering them tax reductions or credits and can discourage them by imposing taxes on unwanted products or services.

6. Grants. Direct allocations of money can be made to groups targeted for aid by the government.

7. Subsidies. Governments can underwrite the cost of services they consider to be beneficial to the public interest.

8. Loans. Governments can offer financing for the activities of worthy individuals or groups by loans secured by a promise to repay over time at a prescribed rate of interest.

9. Contracting. Private individuals or firms may be invited by government to undertake public services on a contractual basis.

10. Franchising. Private individuals or firms providing a service can be paid directly by the user of the service.

11. Public-private partnerships. Joint ventures can be undertaken by government with private firms to carry out and finance public services.

12. Public enterprises. Businesses can be owned and operated by the government when the private sector cannot or will not provide a needed public service.

13. Procurement. Government can encourage certain activities by buying only from companies that engage in these activities.

14. Insurance. Government can underwrite the cost of insurance for special groups (unemployed, elderly, poor) and insurance for depositors in banks to prevent financial panic.

15. Changing public investment policy. Government can encourage or discourage the behaviour of others by changing how and with whom they choose to invest government funds.

16. Technical assistance. Government can offer technical assistance to businesses, community organizations, and other governments so that they can better provide some service of value.

17. Information. Government may have a significant impact by providing health and other types of information to the public.

18. Referral. Government can operate services that steer people to other organizations that provide the services they need.

19. Volunteers. Governments can make use of volunteers to provide many services, usually under the supervision of paid employees.

20. Vouchers. Governments may give special groups of people the ability to buy goods or services using vouchers.

21. Impact fees. The social cost of an activity can be passed along to those who benefit from the activity.

22. Catalysing non-governmental efforts. Government can support and encourage the formation of community-wide efforts to provide a needed public service or activity.

23. Co-production or self-help. The government can assist individuals or groups to operate and manage their own activities.

24. Demand management. The government can take steps to reduce the demand for certain services (e.g., tolls to cut demand for highway use or charges for unnecessary calls for fire service).

25. Sale, exchange, or use of property. Government action can be taken to encourage the construction of desirable public facilities by selling, exchanging, or sharing the use of land or buildings with other governments or private firms.