Joined-Up Government for Welfare Administration Reform in Norway
Tom Christensen, Anne Lise Fimreite and Per Lægreid have published an article on the NAV reform in "Public Organization Review".
One of the largest public sector reforms in Norway is the welfare administrative reform of 2005. The aims are to get passive beneficiaries back into work and to make the administration more user-friendly, holistic and efficient. The aims are to be achieved by increasing the administration’s capacity to address “wicked issues” by cutting across existing policy fields and administrative levels. This joined-up-government approach poses three main challenges: 1) to get a merged central government agency to work, 2) to establish constructive cooperation between the central and local authorities and 3) to coordinate front-line services with user-oriented employment and welfare offices. The article shows that increasing the capacity of government to cut across existing policy fields and handle transboundary wicked issues are still struggling to be implemented. Cooperation between sectors is however easier to achieve than cooperation between levels. The joined-up-government-approach also tends to make accountability relations more ambiguous.
The article can be read here.