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    • 978-1-4602-6974-9
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  • Keywords
    • Leadership,
    • public policy,
    • governance,
    • Canada,
    • public service,
    • innovation,
    • alternative service delivery

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Building Better Public Services
A Guide for Practitioners
by Tony Dean

For decades, public service organizations have been under constant and growing pressure from citizens and stakeholders to provide more integrated, effective and accountable programs and services. Governments are beginning to acknowledge that they can’t own every issue and increasingly look to collaboration, networking and consultation at many levels as they design and develop polices, programs and service delivery mechanisms. Building Better Public Services explores the challenges facing public services in the 21st century, including the need for systemic cultural change, enhanced governance, evidence-informed policy and program design, and shared approaches to service delivery. Based on case studies and interviews, supplemented by first person experience, Building Better Public Services will take you inside the world of public services in Canada and the United Kingdom to explore capacity building successes and lessons learned. The book offers insights into innovations that will inform public servants as they work to improve services for citizens and gives directional advice and observations on the importance of public services leadership, an area rarely explored in business leadership literature. “An essential handbook on how to improve public policy and services. This is not yet another book focused primarily on making government smaller or driven by an ideology of austerity. It is rather grounded in a deep appreciation of the importance of public service to our quality of life and well-being and of the great advantages Canada’s professional, nonpartisan public service affords. Drawing on examples across Canada and internationally of what works and what does not, Tony offers concrete recommendations for building a more citizen-centred, open, collaborative public service.” —Alex Himelfarb – Former Clerk of the Privy Council – Government of Canada, and current Chair of WWF-Canada and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. “I hope Tony Dean's reflections bring a long overdue debate to a critical subject - how to make public services work better. Innovation in the public sector is a subject that cries out for real discussion, and Tony has done us all a great favour by analysing these issues with commitment and flair. It's not about cutting things, it's about creativity and getting things done, breaking down silos and making it happen.” —Bob Rae – Lawyer, negotiator, and Ontario’s 21st Premier. “This is a book written by someone who knows the day to day challenges and reality of making governments work. It should be read by both current and future politicians and public servants who want to improve their governments’ focus on outcomes for, and with, citizens. Dean underpins this book with relentlessly wanting to achieve more. He celebrates the passion, commitment and innovation of public servants but is not blind to the need for change.” --Ray Shostak – International Government Adviser and former head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and Director General, Performance, HM Government (UK)

Tony Dean photo

Tony Dean teaches public administration at the graduate School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. He advises governments in Canada and internationally on public service reform and building capacity for policy-making and delivery. Dean has worked for governments of every political stripe and has observed public services at all levels, including his former role as Cabinet Secretary and head of Ontario’s 63,000-member public service. He has led expert reviews on workplace health and safety, pension governance and business and human resource planning for the Government of Canada. Dean has written on public sector leadership and on pathways to fiscal sustainability in Canada. He is a weekly columnist for the Toronto Star’s “Queen’s Park Briefing”. In 2009, Dean was inducted as a member of the Order of Ontario in recognition of his contributions in transforming the Ontario Public Service.


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