Commissioning Public Services

Program Code: 

Helen Dickinson (


In recent years ideas of commissioning and contestability have become important words within the language of public services.  Government agencies are increasingly moving away from being the sole bodies who design and deliver public services and instead work with a range of third party organisations.  This shift has profound implications for the identity and operation of these organisations and the competencies required within the workforce to deliver on various activities.  Research projects might address questions such as: what does high quality commissioning look like; what are the outcomes of moving to a commissioning approach; what are the implications of a commissioning approach for the workforce and competencies of organisations; how can commissioners work with others in joint commissioning.  Projects might look at one policy area (e.g. health, family and children’s services), at the interaction of different commissioning bodies or compare approaches to commissioning internationally.