Five images for 'joined up government'

These five images aim to indicate the challenge of the complexity in tacking complex needs, ranging from public health analysis to social inclusion policy, to the sheer range of services at local level.


Public health and systemic interventions

The first image in the side panel is a conceptual mapping of all the issues that are thought - with good reliable evidence - to contribute to the phenomenon of obesity, as a challenge for public health.

It is seen here as an example of complex needs requiring complex interventions, to indicate that single interventions with single measured 'outcomes' of success are simply inappropriate to some problems.

The three that follow are all system mappings, indicating the different sectors and agencies that can be enlisted to tackle a complex need. These are all taken from presentations prepared as part of the implementation planning for the Social Inclusion selection in the UK Labour government's Local Performance Programme,  then (2007-8) being steered by the Cabinet Office.


Action on social inclusion

The first shows all the principal actors to involve in a national strategy for inter-agency collaboration*, including bringing in all the government departments with responsibility for some specific aspect of the whole, presented with greatest clarity.

The second shows the same departments, tiers of government, agencies,  and services in the visual mapping format preferred at the time by the Cabinet Office, conceived as 'delivery chains' to 'drive' the implementation.

The third shows an alternative suggestion: to think not of 'chains' dragging services, but of a propellor with well balanced processes intended for dialogue and collaboration. It assumes a degree of welcome throughout the system for such changes that does not need 'driving' from above.


Mapping the interplay of services

The last image was prepared for a still earlier analysis of all the kinds of services that would be involved in any one locality; and the extent of the ways in which health and local authorities' responsibilities overlapped.  The circle in the centre showed the territory of the Supporting People programme's funding.

Around the outside, from left to right are thre services in the mental health ambit, and to the right, those seen as essentially housing issues. From top to bottom they range from acute or emergency needs, to long term straregic planning.



Around this time a number of reports were issued by the UK government or its subsidiaries ('QUANGOs') to support and motivate these developments with a broader framework of policies, vision and values.

Most notable of these were the reports from the Social Exclusion Taskforce, later re-named as the Social Inclusion Unit, and brought into the Cabinet, and the inter-departmental heart of government.


  • The Aftermath

NB: The whole national performance framework, including the social inclusion programme, was immediately cancelled by the incoming 'Coalition' government, which took the view that all such deliberation could be devolved to local (=local authority) level. This policy decision placed the entire burden of collaboration for effectiveness on local commissioning, yet with no additional funds or support to commissioning ,

Images of complexity

The obesity model for public health interventions

Inter-sector collaboration mapping with multiple 'authorities'



'Delivery chains' for PSA 16/NI 149


The cross-government, cross-sector 'propellor' model for PSA 16/NI 149


The territory of the Supporting People programme.