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Outcomes-based commissioning and social value

A briefing for leaders and senior decision makers

This half day session explains the concepts behind outcomes-based commissioning and social value.  Discussing how these approaches may impact your organisation’s strategic planning, policy, organisational development and culture, it also provides an overview of how to apply the concepts in practice.

It will enable leaders and senior decision makers in commissioning and procurement to lead and support a shift in direction within their organisation.

The background

Public and health services are faced with the seemingly impossible task of stretching dwindling funds while demand swells. And, too often, commissioning has failed to achieve real value for money. It has side-lined local residents and ignored the insight and resources they could offer. By focusing too much on narrow outputs and performance you could, in the long-term, fail to prevent harm or achieve wellbeing.

But new strategies are out there.

By embracing the skills, time and energy of those who know most about public and health services – the people who use them – and focusing on identifying and achieving the long-term outcomes that really matter, you can breathe new life into the services your organisation commissions.

The model

This briefing introduces a model for designing, commissioning and delivering services. It is the result of ten years of collaboration, testing and implementation between the New Economics Foundation, NEF Consulting and commissioners from a broad range of local authorities and CCGs. The model:

  • Enables commissioners, and the services in which they invest, to:
    • Focus on commissioning for ‘outcomes’ – resulting in long-term changes.
    • Promote co-production – working in partnership with those using their services to make the services more effective.
    • Promote social value by placing social, environmental and economic outcomes at the heart of commissioning.
  • Shows how a focus on the triple bottom line (social, environmental and economic impacts) and on co-production can enable commissioners to get real value for money, achieve wellbeing and prevent harm.
  • Has already been applied to commissioning across in-house, grant-funded and competitively tendered provision.

The approach gives those responsible for commissioning public services, a framework, a set of principles and practical guidance to re-assess how services are currently provided. The potential impact and value is enormous.

This briefing is a first step to understanding the core concepts and ideas behind the model and how to start putting them into practice. 

Email us today to discuss a briefing for your senior team

Topics covered…

  • An alternative commissioning approach focusing on outcomes and collaboration/co-production with real-world examples and an introduction to the definitions and theory.
  • The concept of outcomes, social value and wellbeing.
  • The concept of co-production and how to keep the citizen at the centre – how co-production and collaboration can be used within commissioning processes as well as encouraged as a default approach to service delivery.
  • Development of outcomes frameworks, asset mapping and needs assessments – and how insight from these processes can help plan and procure services.
  • Opportunities through procurement – procurement options that support collaboration, outcomes and co-production, including alliance contracting and innovation partnerships.

The programme

The briefing is highly interactive and collaborative. You will:

  • Undertake a quick and local asset map.
  • Develop an outcomes framework.

As an important element of each briefing is discussion, we may ask you to complete a short questionnaire prior to attending the session.

All standard briefings will include an element of tailoring to ensure examples are relevant to your organisation.  However, they can be further developed around your specific needs.

We can follow up the briefing with practical training for your teams. Let us know if this is of interest.

What you will learn…

As a result of attending this briefing you will have:

  • An overview of an alternative commissioning approach focusing on outcomes and collaboration/co-production with real-world examples and an introduction to the definitions and theory.
  • A better understanding of how to keep the citizen in the centre of the commissioning process and how co-production and collaboration can be used in commissioning both during the process and as a default approach to service delivery.
  • An increased knowledge of how procurement can support this way of working, and the parameters within which you need to work.

Who it is for…

The briefing is for leaders and senior decision-makers in local government, public health, the NHS and CCGS.

Although the standard briefing is usually for small groups delivered in about 3-4 hours, it can be developed around your strategic aims or objectives or delivered for larger groups in a longer session. 

Who will lead the briefing…

Helen Sharp, Associate, NEF Consulting

Previously Strategic Commissioning Manager at Lambeth Council, Helen Sharp has worked with NEF Consulting since 2014 on delivery of our training for public and health service organisations.

Helen started her career in the homeless sector, working directly with young people, and then with adult drug and alcohol users. She was a consultant and trainer for five years before moving into commissioning.  She has worked in partnership with the New Economics Foundation and other local authorities to develop and implement outcomes-based commissioning, co-production, asset based interventions and other new approaches.


“It was one of the sessions I’ve attended in recent years.”Dr Tom Porter, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Public Health Wales

“Excellent, inspiring and well researched’’

“Extremely helpful. I will be applying it to a large scale commissioning project which I believe will make a huge difference going forward to people’s lives!”

NEF has published a practical guide, Commissioning for Outcomes and Co-production aimed at local authorities. NEF’s approach to commissioning provides a framework, a set of principles and practical guidance to re-assess how services are currently provided. It can help to re-focus services on the outcomes that really matter to those who are intended to benefit from them.  The practical guide sets out the core ideas and how to put them  into practice. For more information click here.

Email us today to discuss a briefing

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New Economics Foundation

NEF aims to create a new economy that works for people and within environmental limits. We are guided by three missions:

A new social settlement
To ensure people are paid well, have more time off to spend with their families, and have access to the things we all need for a decent life.

A Green New Deal
A plan for government-led investment to reduce the carbon we emit and boost nature, while creating a new generation of jobs.

The democratic economy
To devolve state power and transform ownership of the economy to give everyone an equal stake in the places where we live and work.

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