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The Serco Institute was established in 1994 to undertake practical research into public service contracting and the design and management of public service markets
The Serco Institute's researched is published in the form of reports, case studies, discussion papers, articles and speeches


Raising standards, reducing costs.

Serco has commissioned various studies relating to competition and contracting in public service markets as part of our participation in the ongoing policy debate.

As part of our remit to provide thought-leadership in the field, we make our research findings, case studies and discussion papers freely available. Our latest reports can be found here, which draw on published data and on Serco's wide range of public service contracts in over 30 countries around the world.

Integrated Commissioning for Open Public Services: Building a better model for the delivery of social value through diverse networks of local providers
Stephen Duckworth and Alexis Sotiropoulos, 2012
The Serco Institute

To tackle the challenge of decentralised public service delivery, government must adopt a new approach to managing increasingly long networks of local providers. This report examines the 'Service Integrator' delivery model through case-studies of its current application in welfare-to-work and offender management as well as drawing insights from parallel sectors such as construction whilst further areas of application are also discussion. In particular, it captures the skills and approach to designing and mapping networks of local providers, in addition to a proactive performance regime that supports continuous and sustainable improvement.

Something Old, Something New: Catch 22's work in Doncaster Prison and how Payment by Results is driving innovation and benefits for offenders
Chris Wright and Peter Jones, 2012
Catch 22/The Criminal Justice Alliance

A case study of the innovative offender management initiative at HMP/YOI Doncaster which is based on an intensive case management model and paid on the basis of reduced rates of recidivism. It also showcases a unique alliance between the private, voluntary & community sectors that has supported radical redesign in service delivery.

Frugal Innovation: Learning from social entrepreneurs in India
Shalabh K Singh, Ashish Gambhir, Alexis Sotiropoulos, Dr Stephen Duckworth, 2012 
The Serco Institute

Over the last 60 years, innovation and improvements in India's public services have frequently emerged in the absence of state intervention or involvement. Social enterprises have stepped in to address the challenges where the government has failed. As a consequence, radical new perspectives have developed that might not have emerged if governments had imposed top-down initiatives adopted from the West.
"Frugal Innovation" is the idiom applied to this sweeping revolution in public service design and delivery. The term is used in India and other developing economies to describe innovation that minimises costs by creating frugal solutions to deliver improved or previously non-existent public services. Frugal innovation has given more people access to a wider range of services.
This paper provides insights into how solutions developed from the bottom-up in some of the most challenging public service environments can better meet the needs of citizens. It investigates a range of new perspectives applied to services by over 40 social enterprises in India. It challenges the notion that uniformity in delivering public services driven by a top-down centralist ideology translates into good value for money.  

Glasgow Access LLP - Case Study
Alexis Sotiropoulos and Dr Stephen Duckworth OBE, 2011 
The Serco Institute

In 2008 Glasgow City Council established a ground-breaking joint venture company with Serco Group plc to consolidate its strategically important ICT and property management services. In so doing, it created a powerful vehicle for innovation and securing greater value for taxpayers' money. The 265m contract guarantees savings of around 20% whilst maintaining high quality standards. Carefully designed governance structures also enshrine democratic accountability alongside a drive for continuous service improvement.

Ethos Journal

In the UK, Serco produces Ethos, which aims to stimulate thought and provoke reaction to the big issues shaping the world of public services