A beginner’s guide to communitisation from NLGN
- 5 April 2019
- Posted by: Helen Nicol
- Category: PSTA
Adam Lent of the New Local Government Network (NLGN) reckons that the generational debate over the privatisation or nationalisation of public services is becoming a sideshow, as things are changing on the frontlines of service provision — nowadays communitisation is the new black. But what’s it all about?
Communitisation is the process of transferring power and resource into the hands of communities. By contrast, nationalisation is the process of transferring power and resource into the hands of the state; and privatisation is the process of transferring power and resource into the hands of the private sector.
And why would you do it?
- It offers a more effective route to address rising demand for public services than nationalisation or privatisation…
- Mobilising communities is a very powerful way of reducing demand…
- Communitisation is a far more relevant response to the political demands of today than nationalisation or privatisation…
- Communitisation is both more humane and more humanist than nationalisation and privatisation.
Those are fairly bold claims, you might say, particularly when they refer to a paradigm that’s arguably emerging out of necessity and desperation… but Lent’s got a whole lot more answers to the following questions in his essay:
- Is communitisation happening?
- How is a public service communitised?
- Does communitisation address economic inequality?
- Can communitisation generate efficiencies and cost-savings?
- Does communitisation allow a role for the state and private sector?
- What needs to change to make communitisation more widespread?
It may come as no surprise to learn that Lent’s argument is based on NLGN’s recent report, titled “The Community Paradigm” — but if you find these ideas intriguing, that’s probably the next place you should look.