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Reforming the Centre of Government

When: Monday, February 26, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Where: Zoom


At this Mile End Institute webinar, a panel of public policy experts, historians and practitioners will examine recent reforms of the centre of government around the world and explore the lessons that could be learned by British policymakers.

Ahead of a potential change of government in the United Kingdom during this year, this webinar will examine the reform of the centre of government (CoG) across the world and explore the lessons that could be learned by British policy practitioners.

In every government, the centre of government performs a set of crucial functions: the institutions and units working at the centre provide managerial direction and coherence to the complex governing machinery, not least in accelerating the delivery of priority objectives. In the UK, the operation in Number 10 Downing Street has become the focus of much attention in recent years with its leadership and oversight role increasingly questioned. Over the last decade, crises, and shocks - including global pandemics, climate hazards, economic crises, technological developments, and global conflicts - have enhanced the value of anticipatory governance and foresight, cross-ministerial planning and policy design, alongside real-time performance monitoring and intervention all provided through the centre of government.

Drawing on the recent IDB Monograph, The Center of Government revisited: A Decade of Global Reforms, two of the authors Professor Ray Shostak and Martin Alessandro will take stock of recent developments in CoG practice. Further speakers will be announced shortly. The key questions that Ray and Martin will address include:

  • Should there be a Prime Minister's department in the UK?
  • Is there a need for change in the role of His Majesty’s Treasury?
  • What is the right blend of central units, in particular delivery units and policy units?
  • What is the role of the centre in strengthening policy implementation?
  • What can the UK learn from international experience?

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