As the first stage in helping inform a review of sponsorship arrangements between departments and arm’s-length bodies (ALBs), the Innovation Lab held a Strategic Insight Lab on the following challenge question:
How can the relationship between departments and ALBs be developed to ensure the effective delivery of public services and improved outcomes?
Together with the Lab sponsor and representatives from key stakeholder groups (departments, chairs and chief executives from a range of departments and ALBs) the Innovation Lab delivered a two day intensive workshop in January 2018. Attendees adopted a collaborative and partnership approach in working through a series of exercises that encouraged an understanding of the challenge question from a holistic perspective. This approach led the group to identify and develop proposed measures in the form of 16 recommendations that were presented to the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) Board in March 2018. The Lab produced an insight report for the Lab sponsor that contains information on the process followed over the two days and more detailed information on the recommendations made.
As a result of the NICS Board’s consideration of the Lab insight report DoF officials have been asked to develop a more detailed action plan on the recommendations accepted by the board. This will be presented to the NICS Board for their further consideration of the necessary workstreams.