In many policy and service areas, the efforts of more than one provider are needed to achieve the desired outcome. For example, using the example given above, the quality of housing will have an impact on older people’s health. You should therefore consider joined-up outcomes. These could take two forms:
- Shared outcomes – where two or more providers share a single outcome. They would have to work out between them how they were going to collaborate to achieve it;
- Mutually-reinforcing outcomes – where the commissioner sets different outcomes for two or more providers. The outcomes are designed so that the achievement of them together will produce the impact more effectively than any one or other on its own.
This joined-up approach to outcomes is now regularly promoted across the public sector, from the public service agreements at national level to sustainable communities plans and local area agreements at the local level. It can also produce efficiency, for example, by reducing duplication in the management of separate programmes.