Making it Personal

Making it Personal was the interim report of the ACEVO Commission on Personalisation, chaired by Matthew Pike.

We consider that disillusionment with top-down reform processes as well as the scale of the current crisis in public finances should propel us to think in much bolder terms about public service reform. In particular we should draw confidence that moving in a bold way to a system of social markets can help us achieve real cost-efficiency, giving us the opportunity to stop funding services that aren’t needed, wanted or delivering quality; join-up spending; enable more self-help and mutual aid; encourage more private investment into the system; place more emphasis on prevention; and use carefully managed market forces to allow good services to drive out bad over time.

The report set out a vision for the future, consisting of 5 building blocks:

  1. Devolving financial control: control over how money is spent on services should be devolved down to a level as close as possible to the service user. There are a wide variety of tools that can be used to achieve this.
  2. Self-help and mutual aid: the service-centric model of ‘public services’ should be turned inside-out, with self-help and mutual aid (in other words, community) placed firmly at its heart. We should see people not as ‘service users’ but as ‘service helpers’ and change agents.
  3. Building ‘can do’ assets: personalisation should be accompanied by a renewed focus on building up the emotional, financial and intellectual assets of service users in a risk-smart and preventative way.
  4. Culture change: personalisation should inspire a revolution on the supply side of public services, a revolution that sees far-reaching culture change throughout the system, that frees up public service professionals and that creates an environment in which innovation flourishes.
  5. Social markets: a new generation of genuine social markets should be created, in which power shifts from commissioner and provider to service users, and in which good performance is rewarded and invested in and poor performance is driven out.


To read the full report, and more detailed recommendations, see here.