Public services face unprecedented challenges. Rising demand, changing demographics and stretched finances mean that local authorities and public service providers face a stark choice: change the way they work, or face the possibility of service retrenchment, increasing irrelevance and perpetual crisis management.
This report looks closely at the potential of demand management to address the challenges facing public services and communities. It traces the ‘state of the art’ from emerging science through to system change and most importantly to a shifting set of relationships between citizens, the state and public services. The report also reviews the financial case for demand management, from emerging evidence from small-scale interventions to early findings from ‘whole place’ approaches. While the evidence base is nascent, Managing Demand argues that the financial case is strong enough for local authorities to prioritise demand management.