Hitting the target but missing the point

07 July 2021

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a lover of targets – daily to-do lists, step challenges, running streaks and the like – all play a big role in my personal life. Having worked in local government for a decade, and now on the other side of the fence working in the private sector but with a number of public sector clients, targets also feature heavily in my professional life.

So I was fascinated to read a new report, published last month by the Institute for Government, on the use of targets in public service delivery. The report attempts to answer the all-important question: do targets improve public services?

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