UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The coproduction model of service delivery : a case study of integrated service delivery in the city… Chua, Karen Brigid 1997

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


831-ubc_1998-0069.pdf [ 3.89MB ]
JSON: 831-1.0088498.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0088498-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0088498-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0088498-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0088498-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0088498-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0088498-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

THE COPRODUCTION MODEL OF SERVICE DELIVERY: A CASE STUDY OF INTEGRATED SERVICE, DELIVERY IN THE CITY OF VANCOUVER by KAREN BRIGID CHUA B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1985 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS (Planning) in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES School of Community and Regional Planning We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA November 1997 © Karen Brigid Chua, 1997 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) Abstract In attempts to improve municipal services, a number of cities in North America have begun moving away from the traditional bureaucratic methods of service delivery towards alternative approaches. The coproduction model, a system in which the consumers of a service also assist to produce this service, has become increasingly favoured by municipalities as an alternative. In 1995, the City of Vancouver adopted a coproduction approach to service delivery. This new program of Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) involves the reorganization of City staff into multi-departmental teams assigned to specific geographic neighbourhoods. This paper sought to assess the prospects for improved service delivery under a coproduction approach. It examined the City of Vancouver's experience with Integrated Service Delivery in order to identify the features which are critical to the success of a coproduction model. The study encompassed a qualitative analysis of the program based on a review of the academic literature and relevant City documents, as well as key informant interviews with City management, ISD team members, and residents and agency representatives from two Vancouver neighbourhoods. The Vancouver experience illustrates that moving to a coproduction model of service delivery will not by itself ensure that significant gains in service delivery are achieved. Rather, careful attention must be paid to the structure of the proposed model. Specifically, the Vancouver experience demonstrates: • effective coproduction efforts require a shift in focus of service delivery to those service producers (staff) who have greater contact with consumers/users of the services (public); • any new lines of authority resulting from this shift must be clearly delineated and understood by all service producers; • flattening of hierarchical structures works well when adopted in tandem with the integration of staff across departments; • formal mechanisms for public consultation must be established. Adhoc approaches to public consultation minimizes public awareness and militates against effective problem identification and problem solving; • where the approach encompasses the use of multi-disciplinary teams, consideration must be given to establishing the appropriate environment for team-based work; • base line measurements for service delivery and team operations are critical to program success and identifying future refinements. T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S A B S T R A C T ii L IST O F T A B L E S vii LIST O F F I G U R E S viii A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S ix 1.0 C H A P T E R 1: T H E R E S E A R C H P R O J E C T 1 1.1 Introduction 1 1.2 Problem Statement 2 1.3 Research Question 3 1.4 Report Objectives 3 1.4.1 Overall Objective 3 1.4.2 Specific Objectives 3 1.5 Rationale 4 1.6 Research Methodology 5 1.6.1 Program evaluation 5 1.6.2 Case-study approach 6 1.6.3 Types/Sources of information 7 1.6.4 Scope of case study 8 1.7 Thesis Overview 9 2.0 C H A P T E R 2: S T R U C T U R A L C H A N G E S 11 2.1 Old ways, New ways: the move away from the bureaucratic model of local government services 11 iv 2.2 Bureaucracy 12 2.2.1 Emergence of Bureaucratic Local Governments 13 2.2.2 Failures of Bureaucracy and implications for local service delivery 15 2.3 Coproduction Model of Service Delivery 16 2.3.1 Coproduction: Towards a singular view 17 2.4 The Coproduction vs. Bureaucratic Model of Service Delivery 19 2.5 Coproduction and Service Delivery 21 2.5.1 Efficiency and Effectiveness 21 2.5.2 Responsiveness 21 2.5.3 Information 21 2.5.4 Costs 22 2.5.5 Empowerment/Community Health 22 2.6 Citizen Participation in Planning Practice: Limitations and Merits 23 2.6.1 Citizen Participation Defined 23 2.6.2 The Debate over Participation 24 Limitations 24 Merits 27 3.0 CHAPTER 3: TEAMWORK 32 3.1 Team work Defined 32 3.2 Determinants of Successful Teams 34 4.0 CHAPTER 4: REAL WORLD EXPERIENCES 39 4.1 Portland, Oregon 39 4.2 Seattle, Washington 40 4.3 Richmond, Virginia 41 4.4 Canadian Experiences 43 5.0 CHAPTER 5: ISD - THE VANCOUVER APPROACH TO COPRODUCTION 45 v 5.1 Background to the Problem 45 5.2 Integrated Service Delivery 48 5.2.1 What an Integrated Service Team looks like 5 ] 5.2.2 Supports/Funding 52 5.3 Coproduction and ISD 53 6.0 CHAPTER 6: RESEARCH FINDINGS 54 6.1 The Research 54 6.2 General Research Findings 57 6.3 Efficiency 58 6.4 Effectiveness 62 6.5 Responsiveness/Accessibility 67 6.6 Collaboration/Community Involvement 68 6.7 Summary of Findings 75 7.0 CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSION 81 7.1 Coproduction and ISD 81 7.2 The Vancouver Experience: Lessons learned 82 7.3 Coproduction: Determinants of Success 83 BIBLIOGRAPHY 85 APPENDIX I LIST OF INFORMANTS 89 APPENDIX II VANCOUVER COURIER ARTICLE, "CITY REPORT CARD SHOWS FAILING GRADES" 90 vi List of Tables Tables Summary of Findings List of Figures Figures Figure 1. Pyramid form of bureaucratic structure 14 Figure 2. Traditional bureaucratic model of service delivery 20 Figure3. Coproduction model of service delivery 20 Figure 4. ISD and Service Delivery 50 viii Acknowledgements I am grateful to a number of people who assisted me in this project. Warm thanks to all those at the City of Vancouver, as well as residents and representatives of organizations in the Mount Pleasant and Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhoods who took the time to speak with me and assist me with my research. Special thanks to Penny Gurstein, Peter Boothroyd, and Sandy James for their guidance and helpful comments. This project would not have been completed without the love and support of my family and friends. Special thanks to Teresa and Michele for their moral support and their company throughout the many dreary days and nights in the lab. I am deeply grateful to my parents for all their love, the hot meals and the much needed babysitting. A huge thank you to my children Luke.and Maija, for making sure that I continued to laugh inspite of it all. Most of all, I am indebted to Joe. This is dedicated to you. ix 1.0 CHAPTER 1: THE RESEARCH PROJECT 1.1 Introduction By the early 1990's, a number of municipal governments in North America had sought to improve service' delivery by abandoning the traditional bureaucratic methods of service delivery in favour of alternative approaches. While some municipalities have turned to alternatives such as vouchers and contracting out, other cities have adopted a system known as coproduction, a model in which the users of services play a greater role in the identification of service issues, as well as the actual production of those services. In 1995, in an effort to improve their ability to deal with a series of recurring community problems, the City of Vancouver also adopted a coproduction approach to service delivery. This new program of Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) involves the reorganization of City staff into multi-departmental teams assigned to specific geographic neighbourhoods. The introduction of ISD can be viewed as part of the broader trend towards coproduction in North American cities such as Seattle, Portland and Richmond, Virginia. These programs share several common features with ISD. In particular, they: • do not rely on the traditional bureaucratic model; • involve greater degrees of public/consumer involvement; • involve a shift in focus of service delivery to the front lines where greater public contact exists. 1 refers to those services provided directly by municipalities including police, fire control, garbage collection, water supply, and public works. In addition, Richmond also has in common with Vancouver the use of multi-disciplinary teams. Improvement of service delivery is increasingly seen as an important component of building healthy communities. As noted by the Canadian Healthy Communities Project, local governments play an important role in improving community health by their actions in such areas as parks and recreation, social services, roads and transportation, education, housing, etc. (Mathur 1990, 47). This paper seeks to assess the prospects for improved service delivery under coproduction. It examines the Vancouver Integrated Service Delivery experience in order to identify the features which are critical to the success of a coproduction model. From this analysis, it is hoped that the broader implications of implementing coproduction as a means of improving community health will become evident to planning professionals . 1.2 Problem Statement A number of North American cities including the City of Vancouver have sought to improve service delivery by turning to coproduction models. While the academic literature suggests that coproduction models have the potential to improve service delivery, there is a dearth of data on the real world experience and the factors which are important to successful implementation of 2 The term health is used in the broadest sense of the word. It goes beyond physical health and refers to the ability of a group or individual to respond to life in a balanced way - to realize goals, satisfy needs, as well as to adapt or cope with a changing environment; it is a positive concept which focuses on social and personal resources, as well as physical capabilities (Boothroyd and Eberle 1990, 3). coproduction. 1.3 Research Question Through a case study of the Vancouver experience with ISD, this paper seeks to determine if coproduction models can produce significant improvements in service delivery and if so, the factors which are critical to its success. Conversely, it seeks to identify the features which limit its potential for success. More particularly, this paper examines the features which have either contributed to, or limited the ability of ISD to achieve it stated objectives of: • ensuring accessible, efficient, effective and friendly service delivery; • coordinating inter-department responses through line staff; • establishing approaches at the neighbourhood level to issues and services; • involving the community in identifying issues and problem solving; • solving problems collaboratively and creatively (City of Vancouver, City Manager 1995, 3). 1.4 Report Objectives 1.4.1 Overall Objective In addressing this problem, the overall objective of this report is: to assess whether coproduction models can improve service delivery by making municipal services more responsive to the needs of the community and thereby, resulting in more effective municipal governance and healthier neighbourhoods. 1.4.2 Specific Objectives Specifically, the project aims: • to review the academic literature on the bureaucratic model of service delivery in order to gain insight into shortcomings of the traditional approach and the need for alternative models; • to review the academic literature on coproduction models to gain insight into the strengths of this alternative service delivery model; • to selectively review the experience of several North American cities which have adopted coproduction models in order to compare and contrast their approach with that of the City of Vancouver; • to review the academic literature on team-based work in order to assess the ability of multi-departmental teams to improve service delivery outcomes; • through a case study of the Mount Pleasant and Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhoods in Vancouver, to examine how ISD has performed to date and to assess the program's performance against its stated objectives; • through a study of the Vancouver experience, to determine those factors which are critical to the success of a coproduction approach to service delivery or conversely, those factors which limit its potential for success. 1.5 Rationale Municipal services play an integral role in the quality of our daily lives. In an era when senior levels of government are increasingly off-loading greater responsibilities onto local governments, many cities, including Vancouver are faced with having to provide more services with limited fiscal resources. At the same time, citizens' groups are demanding improvements in service delivery and greater involvement in service issues. In this context, there is a need for planning professionals to continually gauge the quality of municipal services and to seek out means for improvement. Assessments of initiatives such as ISD, are useful diagnostic tools in the quest for healthier communities. In the end, these assessments are critical to the work of municipal planners as they allow them to engage in preventative, rather than curative planning efforts and to undertake proactive, rather than reactive measures. 4 1.6 Research Methodology 1.6.1 Program evaluation This study encompasses an assessment of the City's program for Integrated Service Delivery. For the most part, the research focuses its attention on a qualitative examination of the "front end" of the service delivery program - inputs, such as the staffing of ISD teams, as well as the service delivery process itself, including problem solving and community input. A smaller component of this analysis consists of a qualitative assessment of the end products of the program - its outputs, such as the number of people served and its outcomes, including the impacts on services and the community at large. The imbalance between the two types of evaluations in this project is, in part, a reflection of the availability of the data. Information regarding inputs was easily obtained from key informants at the City of Vancouver; data on outputs and outcomes were more difficult to attain and therefore, were gleaned largely from anecdotal evidence from City staff and from interviews with City residents impacted by the program. Opportunities to obtain specific data on program outputs and outcomes was constrained by a number of factors. Firstly, the relatively short time in which the program has been in operation limits the number of residents who have had interaction with the ISD program and thus the data upon which to assess outputs. Implementing an extensive neighbourhood-wide survey in order to capture the appropriate constituents would have required significant time and financial resources beyond the scope of this project. Secondly, the City's own failure to maintain records 5 of Neighbourhood Integrated Service Team (NIST) activity to-date, as well as to establish baseline standards for service delivery severely limited the quantity of available empirical data. For instance, no records are kept by City teams regarding the type of issues handled by the team nor the time it takes to respond to an issue. Thirdly, the incipient nature of ISD places constraints on undertaking a broader analysis of the outcomes of the program such as its impact on City neighbourhoods in general. Although scholars in the field of program evaluation believe that assessments are best conducted against outputs and outcomes, they also recognise that assessments of inputs provide important insights and are useful first steps to understanding the inherent weaknesses in a program. As well, the literature notes that reviewing programs at their formative stages, such as is being done in this study, allows for opportunities to modify the components of the project and ultimately, improve the overall program (Poister, McDavid and Magoun 1979, 5). A further note on the approach presented here is that it is not aimed at assessing performance in light of the broader policy and social issues, such as whether the objectives of the program are valid or worthwhile in the first place, or whether any positive impacts of the program are equally distributed across the city. These types of questions are best reserved for macro level policy studies (Poister, McDavid Magoun 1979, 4). 1.6.2 Case-study approach This paper utilizes a case-study approach. By conducting an examination of the ISD experience in a specific geographic area such as Mount Pleasant and Hastings-Sunrise, insight was gained 6 into the suitability of the program for the entire City, without the incumbent costs associated with a city-wide survey. 1.6.3 Types/Sources of information The research included both primary and secondary data gathering. The primary means of data gathering was key informant interviews with personnel in the City of Vancouver responsible for formulating policy regarding ISD, as well as other City management, City staff who are members of teams in either Mount Pleasant or Hastings-Sunrise, as well as residents and agency representatives in the case study neighbourhoods. One interview was conducted with a planner from the City of Richmond, Virginia. A total of 27 key informant interviews were conducted. See Appendix I for list of informants. The interviews were utilized to supplement the information obtained from City records. A series of questions was developed to collect information related to the four main objectives of ISD. In broad terms, the questions were aimed at assessing the degree to which ISD has resulted in significant changes in the process of service delivery and its outcomes. More specifically, interviews with those at the City responsible for overseeing the ISD program were aimed at determining broad visions of the program and existing systems problems; questions to NIST members focused on the particulars of their involvement in ISD and the team aspect of NIST; questions to residents and agency representatives in the two neighbourhoods were aimed at determining their perception of the efforts of the local NIST; the questions to the representative from the City of Richmond were aimed at supplementing the information from that City's documents. 7 Secondary data gathering involved a review of relevant City documents and records, as well as the literature on models of service delivery, in particular, the traditional bureaucratic model and the coproduction model. In addition, this study includes a survey of select North American cities that have adopted coproduction strategies in service delivery. Finally, a review of the research and knowledge of team-based work was conducted to gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the team-based approach to problem solving adopted by ISD. 1.6.4 Scope of case study Due to the extensive time requirements associated with conducting a city-wide study, the scope of the case-study research was limited to the neighbourhoods of Mount Pleasant and Hastings-Sunrise. The Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood was selected because it was the first area to have a Neighbourhood Integrated Service Team (NIST). The team is, thus, the most established and considered one of the City's most active service teams. As such, it serves as a good example upon which to assess the program itself and in particular, the "team" aspect of the new model. Mount Pleasant was chosen because of the high number of high profile problems which exist in this neighbourhood, such as prostitution and excess garbage. As well, the residents in this inner city neighbourhood are well organized and actively participate in local area issues. As a result, Mount Pleasant was determined to be a good case study upon which to evaluate whether ISD has made a difference in service delivery to high-need neighbourhoods. 8 1.7 Thesis Overview Following this introductory chapter, Chapter two reviews the academic literature on the bureaucratic model of service delivery in order to gain insight into shortcomings of the traditional model. The discussion notes that the rigid structure of the bureaucratic model inhibits effective service delivery and identifies the need for alternative models. The following section examines an alternative approach to service delivery known as coproduction, of which ISD is an example. The analysis is directed at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the coproduction approach. While there is no single, definitive coproduction model, most encompass several structural changes from the traditional bureaucratic model. Given the importance of community input to coproduction, and its significance in the stated objectives of ISD, this section also includes an examination of the debate surrounding public participation in local issues. One of the building blocks of the Vancouver approach and other coproduction models is the use of multi-departmental teams. Team-based work and problem-solving is the focus of Chapter Three. Through a review of the academic literature, this section aims to identify the advantages associated with the team approach, and in particular, to identify the structural elements of teams which are important determinants of success. Chapter Four examines the real world experience of three select cities in North America that have undertaken coproduction activities in order to gain insight into the effectiveness of these models and to provide a basis of comparison for the Vancouver approach. 9 Chapter Five examines the Vancouver experience with coproduction . It begins with a look at specific service delivery concerns in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood which in part, led to the formation of ISD. These problems had continually plagued the area and had evaded solution by the City. As well, it identifies the growing interest on the part of Vancouver residents in local concerns and their subsequent demands to be involved in City issues. The following section reveals how the City of Vancouver responded to these pressures by establishing a new system of service delivery, ISD. This chapter concludes with a descriptive survey of specific features of the program. Drawing on the case studies of the ISD experience in Hastings/Sunrise and Mount Pleasant, as well as the academic literature reviewed in Chapters two, three and four, Chapter Six presents an analysis of the ISD and its prospect for success. In particular, it identifies the areas in which ISD has produced significant gains in City services and the factors responsible for that success. It also identifies the factors which have limited the success of ISD. Drawing on this analysis, the factors which are critical to successful implementation of coproduction models for municipal service delivery are identified and presented in the concluding chapter. 10 2.0 C H A P T E R 2: S T R U C T U R A L C H A N G E S 2.1 Old ways, New ways: the move away from the bureaucratic model of local government services As previously noted, the City of Vancouver has introduced a new model for delivering services. Other local governments have similarly begun to re-examine their operations in attempts to find better ways to carry out their service responsibilities. In many cases, the local governments have sought to replace traditional, bureaucratic organizations with new models for service delivery as a means of improving outcomes. This chapter examines the academic literature on the traditional, bureaucratic model in order to gain greater insight into the structural causes of poor service delivery and the need for alternative approaches. The first section examines the traditional model of service delivery, often referred to as the bureaucratic model. It includes a brief look at the meaning of the term, its emergence as a means of local service provision, as well as some of the contemporary scholarly critiques of the model. The thrust of this chapter focuses on an alternative model of service delivery - the coproduction model, of which ISD is an example. It is followed by a comparative analysis of the coproduction and bureaucratic models of service delivery. Finally, because the role of the public is integral to coproduction, as well as implicit in the stated objectives of ISD, this chapter concludes with a in-depth look at the issue of public participation and the limits and merits of involving the public in municipal issues. 11 2.2 Bureaucracy The term bureaucracy is a difficult one to define. The vast number of interpretations of the concept, often contradictory, make it difficult to produce a definitive meaning. For the purposes of this study, this brief look at 'bureaucracy' will focus on the model posited by Max Weber in his seminal work early this century. According to Weber, bureaucracy is a system of rule and authority. Authority, he argues, must be distinguished from power. He asserts that the latter may involve force or coercion, while the former, as a type of power, does not. Individuals voluntarily follow orders of those in authority because they accept that they should (Nachmias and Rosenbloom 1980, 3). Weber further asserts that there are three typologies of authority: charismatic, traditional and rational-legal. It is upon the rational-legal authority that modern society, particularly contemporary political systems are based (Nachmias and Ronsenbloom 1980, 4). "Its essence consists of a legal code, abstract rules, impersonality, obedience based on belief in the rationality of the system, and obedience to the system, rather than to specific individuals" (Krislov and Rosenbloom 1981,2). Bureaucracy, in Weber's view, is the ideal type of rational-legal authority and the means by which rational-legal authority is exercised. Bureaucracy emerges as a response to the need for states to dominate and their inability to rely on physical force (Krislov and Rosenbloom 1981 7). Once rational legal authority becomes the dominant mode of exercising political power, bureaucracy becomes central to the political community. Its expansion is 12 assured as a result of external and internal pressures. More aspects of life are penetrated by bureaucracy, more bureaucratic units are created, more personnel staff them (Krislov and Rosenbloom 1981, 7). Weber further contends that as a form of organization, bureaucracy is far superior to all other forms, particularly for creating a system of public administration (Ostroml977, 28). "Other forms of organization simply cannot perform as well in the face of the quantitative expansion of tasks, the need to process large numbers of cases with little deviation in routine, or the increasing complexity of social, economic, and political life" (Krislov and Rosenbloom 1981, 5). Weber characterizes such organizations as large in size, consisting of a structure of graded hierarchy, formal rules, and specialized tasks (Goodsell, 1994, 5). Employees of such organizations are highly trained in "the technical application of calculable rules of law to factual situations in a logically rigorous and machine-like manner" (Ostrom, 1977, 28). 2.2.1 Emergence of Bureaucratic Local Governments The emergence of bureaucracy as a form of organization for local government can be traced to a nineteenth-century reform movement established to fight corruption in local politics. Intent on eliminating the influence of local clubs, nepotism and patronage, reformers sought to create a system by which administrative officials would be protected from the control of politicians by life tenure and selection on the basis of competence and merit. The type of bureaucratic model which emerged emphasized efficiency over influence as the tenet of administrative performance (Viteritti 1982, 56). In this model, local government is solely responsible for determining, designing and delivering services to constituents who consume them (Brudney and England 1983, 60). The authoritative 1 hierarchy of this model is structured in a pyramid form where the positions of responsibility and decision-making are few and located at the top; those with proportionately less authority are found in larger numbers at the bottom of the pyramid. See Figure 1 below. Figure 1: Pyramid form of bureaucratic structure (Ruchelman 1989, 2). In this type of administrative structure, work is highly departmentalized and carried out in a manner which adheres strictly to policies and rules. Direct contact with constituents is limited to the front-line staff (those personnel at the bottom of the pyramid). The underlying assumption of this mode of service delivery is that decisions are impartial and that services are carried out efficiently by knowledgeable staff (Ruchelman 1989, 2). In general, the trend towards bureaucratization in the twentieth century has been striking (Nachmias, Rosenbloom 1980, 14). While today's version of government bureaucracy is somewhat modified from the initial form, many of the underlying principles of the early model still endure. Career civil service is still evident in our public organizations, and efficiency 14 remains a key postulate of public bureaucracies (Viteritti 1982, 56). Bureaucracy's emphasis on precision, unity and expertise have also made it an obvious vehicle by which local governments control service delivery systems (Ostrom 1977, 28). 2.2.2 Failures of Bureaucracy and implications for local service delivery In the last several decades, however, there has been growing dissatisfaction with the functioning of bureaucratic administration. In contrast to its earlier promises, bureaucracy has now become synonymous with big, lumbering, unresponsive, inept and inefficient organizations (Stillman 1996, 4). The career civil servant has come to be viewed as inept and ineffective. Specifically, critics charge that the work of personnel in bureaucracies is limited by department rules and regulations. Personal judgement and individual initiative are suppressed by the bureaucratic structure and, decision making...is limited to sorting cases into appropriate categories...When citizens' circumstances and requests do not fit prescribed categories....agents typically find themselves with no legitimate alternative to the unworkable bureaucratic model. Because agents are not encouraged to develop and to use their own judgement, informally defined categories of people and problems based on personal experiences and prejudices and the views of peers, replace administrative regulations as the categories for sorting cases (Whitaker 1980, 242). Further, the concentration of decision-making authority within a hierarchical structure isolated from the consuming public produces an organization which is both ill-equipped to assess citizen needs and is resistant to change (Ostrom Chapter 1, pages 19 to 43). Osborne and Gaebler (1992) state the case against the bureaucratic model more forcefully: The kind of government that developed during the industrial era, with their sluggish, centralized bureaucracies, their preoccupation with rules and regulations, and their hierarchical chains of command, no longer work very well. They accomplished great things in their time, but somewhere along the line they got away from us. They became bloated, wasteful, ineffective. And when the 15 world began to change, they failed to change with it. Hierarchical, centralized bureaucracies designed in the 1930s or 1940s simply do not function well in the rapidly changing, information-rich, knowledge-intensive society and economy of the 1990s. They are like luxury ocean liners in an age of supersonic jets: big, cumbersome, expensive, and extremely difficult to turn around. Gradually, new kinds of public institutions are taking their place (12). While some scholars argue that much of these criticisms are based on myth (Goodsell 1994; Stillman 1996), municipal administrators have, nonetheless, recently begun to reassess the traditional means of providing services as pressures for both increased services and fiscal restraint mount. The need to increase service delivery responsibilities, as well as improve the quality of services while at the same time, reducing taxes and other revenue sources (Skelly 1996, vii) have spurred on their search for more effective systems of service delivery. Some municipalities have adopted a variety of measures in response to these pressures ranging from elimination of some services, to assessment of user fees for others (Brudney and England 1983, 59). Still others have turned to alternate models of service delivery including contracting out, the voucher system and coproduction. It is the latter model of service delivery which is the focus of the following section. 2.3 Coproduction Model of Service Delivery While there exists a large body of literature on coproduction, the divergent scholarly discourse on the subject makes it difficult to establish a definitive meaning of the term. Rather than attempting such a daunting task, this section focuses on a review of the various academic interpretations of coproduction in an attempt to detail the most important components of the model in order to provide a basis for assessing the relative strengths of this approach. This is followed by a comparative analysis of the coproduction and bureaucratic models of service 16 delivery. 2.3.1 Coproduction: Towards a singular view A survey of the academic literature on coproduction reveals that a single all encompassing definition of the term is elusive. The approach taken by Parks et al, focuses on the concepts of "regular producers" and "consumer producers"; the former (government agencies) produces goods and services for the purposes of exchange (usually money) while the latter (clients, citizens and neighbourhood associations) undertakes productive efforts in order to consume more service outputs (Brudney and England 1983, 60). Coproduction occurs when both regular producers and consumer producers "undertake efforts to produce the same good or service" (Percy 1984, 433). The efforts undertaken by the regular and consumer producers do not necessarily have to involve direct interaction but must have occurred somewhat simultaneously (Percy 1984, 433). Others including Warren et al. prefer narrower definitions and view direct interaction between regular and consumer producers as integral to coproduction. Service delivery in this case involves conscious, cooperative behaviour between service agency and citizens (Percy 1984, 433). A broader definition developed by Whitaker holds that numerous types of interaction between service agencies and local residents should be considered as coproduction. Similar to the definition developed by Parks et al., Whitaker views citizen provision of assistance to service agencies (such as a neighbourhood watch program or other crime prevention programs) as part of 17 coproduction. He notes that this type of coproduction is based on cooperation and can be distinguished from compliance where citizen actions are in accordance with service objectives because of fear of reprisals. As well, he recognizes citizen requests for service as a form of the model because the requests alone can shape what an agency does. In particular, requests may influence agencies to improve their practices or alter the distribution of service in a community. Conversely, requests for a particular type of service may result in the continuation of an activity that leads to ineffective or inequitable public policies. Finally, Whitaker views the mutual adjustment of expectations and actions between service agencies and citizens which results from direct interaction as coproduction (Whitaker 1980, 244). Brudney and England (1983) differentiate between three types of coproduction activities: individual, group and collective. Individual coproduction involves activities in which consumers are forced to participate such as welfare and education services. This type of coproduction also encompasses activities in which citizens take on responsibility for their own consumption, including turning in fire alarms, or picking up litter. In this kind of coproduction, the benefits accrue to the individual. The benefits of group coproduction, on the other hand, are dispersed to a larger group of individuals. Examples include, neighbourhood watch groups and associations where citizens work together to improve the quality and quantity of local area services. Collective coproduction again involves a number of citizens participating in the service delivery process. In this type of activity, however, benefits accrue to the city as a whole and not just to the participants. Volunteer work forces assisting various City departments are one illustration of this type of coproduction (59). 18 Other scholars view coproduction efforts as action by both citizens and service personnel that affect the quantity and quality of urban services. This definition takes into account both positive services such as clean up efforts as part of community cleanliness campaigns, as well as, negative actions such as littering (Percy, 1984, 435). Because of the broad range of interpretations of coproduction, a singular, definitive view is difficult. However, there are a number of dimensions which are common throughout the interpretations of coproduction. Decision making authority is no longer concentrated within a hierarchical structure remote from the consuming public. Instead, decision making authority is devolved to front line workers who have greater contact and interaction with the consuming public who in turn play a greater role in the identification of service issues as well as the actual delivery of those services. 2.4 The Coproduction vs. Bureaucratic Model of Service Delivery The differences between the traditional bureaucratic model and the coproduction model of service delivery is best illustrated by the two diagrams below. The traditional model is characterized by two distinct circles which are set apart. The first sphere represents the service producers who function by providing services to their constituents and reacting to their various demands. The second sphere is comprised of the constituents - residents, interest groups etc. who consume the services. They inform the service providers as to the adequacy of services by making demands, rejecting or supporting services, or providing input through complaining, sitting on boards or advisory committees, and other participatory mechanisms (Brudney and England, 1983, 60). 19 Feedback Figure 2: Traditional bureaucratic model of service delivery (Brudney and England 1983, 61) Coproduction: The critical mix, the degree to which the regular producer and consumer spheres overlap Figure 3: Coproduction model of service delivery (Brudney and England 1983, 61) The interaction of the service providers and consumers is key to the coproduction model. The schematic for the coproduction model reflects two concentric circles which overlap, with the area between the two representing the active participatory efforts of consumers in service delivery. The size of overlap varies depending on the degree of coproduction. Within this model, feedback is internal to the process of service delivery (Brudney and England, 1983, 60). 20 2.5 Coproduction and Service Delivery The case for this structure to enhance service delivery from that produced by the traditional bureaucratic approach is reviewed below. 2.5.1 Efficiency and Effectiveness Generally coproduction is viewed as enhancing the level of local services. While some citizen actions, such as resident patrols that develop into vigilante groups ,may hinder the activities of service providers, most others affect services positively. Efforts such as community cleanup, fire prevention, neighbourhood watch all serve to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of particular services and enhance community well-being (Percy 1984, 436). 2.5.2 Responsiveness Some urban scholars assert that because coproduction increases the interactions of citizens with local service agencies, it results in local governments being more responsive to the needs of its constituents. This interaction may mean that municipalities have more information regarding important issues and therefore, can develop better services as well as, allocate services more effectively (Percy 1984, 437). 2.5.3 Information Citizens in general are unaware of the efforts/costs involved with providing local services. Since coproduction efforts apprise local residents of the difficulties involved in service delivery, such programs may result in better relations between service provider and constituent in future 21 coproduction initiatives as well as in resident contacts in general (Percy 1984, 438). 2.5.4 Costs To the extent that coproduction results in enhanced information flows as well as more responsive service delivery, it may also lead to reduced service costs. Scholars caution that such savings are limited where coproduction efforts involve direct citizen participation in service delivery. In this case they assert that the training required for citizens to deliver services would offset any savings in budgetary costs. Therefore, savings are maximized where coproduction actions are limited to citizens assisting service workers rather than taking on the work of service personnel. (Percy 1984, 436). 2.5.5 Empowerment/Community Health If coproduction improves service delivery and services, it follows that it also positively affects community health. Further, the health of the community is enhanced when citizens are empowered to have some ability to affect their quality of life. As can be seen from above, the strength of the coproduction approach derives from enhanced interaction with the consumer public in the service delivery process. The role of the public in service delivery is highly contentious and there is considerable debate amongst commentators as to whether or not increased public involvement enhances service outcomes. As public involvement is a critical aspect of coproduction, as well as a stated objective of the ISD initiative, this debate is examined in greater detail in the next section. 22 2.6 Citizen Participation in Planning Practice: Limitations and Merits Involvement of the public in decision-making has at various periods been a prominent issue in the planning profession. In North America the ascendance of such a movement was evident from the late 1950's to the 1970's. It began in the US with the Equal Opportunity Act calling for "maximum feasible participation", while in Canada the interest in the topic was reflected in the organization of several major conferences on public participation in the late 70's. The predominance of public participation programs has faded somewhat in planning circles but the debate over the efficacy of "bottom up" or grassroots planning methods remains strong. This section begins by reviewing the plethora of literature on the topic of participation to establish a definition of the topic. The main objective of this section is review the major empirical critiques of citizen participation in planning and the salient counter arguments espousing its merits. 2.6.1 Citizen Participation Defined A review of the literature reveals a diverse number of definitions of citizen participation and equally innumerable expressions of the concept in practice. Participation can take on various forms, depending on those involved, the issue area and/or the specific interest promoted (Bregha 1975, 1). In the arena of politics for example, participation may be aimed at influencing the decisions and policies of government, while in the field of education, citizen involvement may suggest membership in a parent advisory committee. 23 Even within professional disciplines, there appears to be disagreement as to the scope of citizen participation. In the field of planning, Arnstein broadly defines participation as: a categorical term for citizen power. It is the redistribution of power that enables the have-not citizens presently excluded from the political and economic processes to be deliberately included in the future (Arnstein 1968, 216). Some writers have criticized such definitions for ignoring situations where participation involves assisting rather than challenging government (Langton 1978, 16). Perhaps a more inclusive definition, and one which will be the starting point for this study is offered by the following two definitions: A continuing, dynamic process of two-way communication between public officials and citizens during which there is a sharing or influence on the choices made and the field of choice is continually narrowed until a final agreed upon solution/plan/program is determined (Appleby 1971, 23). An equally useful but less cumbersome definition is: Citizen participation refers to purposeful activities in which citizens take part in relation to government (Langton 1978, 17).3 2.6.2 The Debate over Participation Limitations One of the most common arguments against public participation in planning is that it constitutes one of the least efficient ways to arrive at a decision (Aleshire 1970, 371; Langton Langton differentiates between citizen participation and other types of participation including public participation and citizen involvement. For the purposes of this paper, however, these terms are used interchangeably. 24 1978, 48,). In theory, the fewer people involved in making a decision, the more efficient the process (Aleshire 1970, 372). The difficulties in identifying and consolidating disparate views and opinions can be enormous. Moreover, since most ordinary citizens either have no opinion regarding specific policy issues or lack the ability to understand the complexities of some policy implications (Langton 1978, 48) any attempts to involve the public would require extensive efforts at educating and apprising constituents. Critics note that the delays resulting from disseminating information are relatively minor. Far more serious are claims that the activities of public interest groups have at times severely jeopardized the proper functioning of administrative and judicial processes in their quest to have their views prevail (Cupps 1977, 482; Langton, 1978, 49). Cupps (1977) cites several examples in which the tactics by citizen groups have led to near paralysis of administrative agencies and notes that the power these groups wield can be termed "blackmail" (482). The inability for institutions to act decisively has obvious negative implications for administrative costs (Aleshire 1970, 371; Cupps 1977, 483). Critics charge advocates of public involvement with ignoring cost benefit analysis in their arguments. Even when costs are factored into the analysis, they appear to hold little weight when balanced against other concerns such as health, safety and the environment (Cupps 1977, 484). Opponents thus contend that public groups and their supporters ignore the trade-offs and approach questions of policy with oversimplified, narrowly-defined perspectives. As Cupps (1977) points out, 25 The point here is simply that citizen groups generally do not aid public officials in defining and analyzing the full range of policy options available in public interest disputes, nor the possible consequences of different choices in cost-benefit terms. Worse, their limited perspectives and strident advocacy often appear designed to discourage the administrator from undertaking these critical calculations independently (484). Perhaps the most commonly cited argument against citizen participation involves the question of legitimacy and representation (Aleshire 1970, 372; Checkoway 1981, 568; Langton 1978; 48; Milbraith 1981, 89; Cupps 1977, 480; Crosby Kelly & Schaefer 1986, 170, Riedel 1972, 213). Exactly who is the public, and do those involved accurately reflect the larger population or the viewpoints of those whom planners have intended to solicit? In a study of neighbourhood organizations in Cincinnati, John Clayton Thomas found definite biases in activism towards those of higher socio-economic status and education (1986, 44-46). In his study of the effectiveness of public hearings, Checkoway (1981) found that those who attend hearings were not representative of the larger population. Those who did attend generally had a large enough stake (economic) in the issue to warrant their investment in time (Checkoway 1981, 569). Thus Checkoway asserts that participation is unfairly biased towards those members at higher socio-economic levels. The poor not only lack the resources and access to information essential to effective participation (Smith 1984, 255), they lack the motivation. Poor people probably do the least planning of any segment of our society. There is no point in developing a long range career pattern when one is unemployed. There is no point in setting goals for housing or education when the source of the evening meal or the month's rent is unsettled. Asking poor people to participate in a planning process, which in itself implies delayed action, is somewhat contradictory (Aleshire 1970, 373). 26 It is obvious that there is no one public and that the term encompasses a diverse number of viewpoints. In light of this, critics assert participation by the various publics and interest groups can only confound the planner's ability to make sense of the already perplexing myriad of issues (Aleshire 1970, 373). Moreover, by definition, the term interest group represents a "specific, topical viewpoint" (Smith 1984, 255). How then can the planner ensure that involvement of such groups does not bias the outcome nor that NIMBYist attitudes do not prevail at the expense of the common good? Merits Contemporary proponents of citizen participation often couch their arguments in normative ideals. Most commonly heard is the assertion that participation is a political right in a democratic society (Aleshire 1970, 375) and that involvement enhances self confidence and responsibility (Rosenbaum 1978, 51). A review of the case study literature also reveals a body of empirical evidence which serves to refute many of the assertions of critics of public participation. In an extensive study conducted by Berry et al. (1993), the authors blame the failure of many public participation initiatives in the 60's and 70's on the fact that programs were poorly designed and that the public simply was not interested in participating. Those who did get involved were viewed as either elites or radicals who were out of touch with the concerns of the general populace (21). In their research they discovered that if structures which facilitate meaningful participation exists, grassroots involvement can be effective. In the 5 US cities studied, neighbourhood associations were found to be the engines which facilitated local area 27 involvement. The authors determined that, although the associations did not necessarily increase the number of citizens who participated, they did nurture face-to-face participation and led to a change in the balance of political power in their respective cities (286). Further, rather than hinder administrative functions, Berry et al. (1993) found that empowering neighbourhoods led to decreased conflict and to smoothly operating administrative systems (289). In fact the authors discovered a significant level of cooperation between the neighbourhood association, administrators and business people (289). Even on a city-wide level cooperation appeared to prevail. In all five cities there seemed to be no evidence that neighbourhood interests took precedence over those of the city at large (297). Nor did their data indicate that the power of the City was severely weakened by the devolution of some authority to neighbourhoods. Other research has also shown that while participatory mechanisms can lengthen the entire planning process, they do not necessarily result in added costs. In Thomas's study of community involvement conducted in Cincinnati, researchers found that although there was more time invested early on in projects due to the number of parties involved, the implementation stage was shortened because stakeholders more readily accepted a final decision which took into consideration their wishes (Thomas 1986, 103). The author concluded that in the end, the process may have been no longer than one that had excluded the public. 28 The argument that the diversity in opinions can only confuse the process is not substantiated by the facts. Berry et al. (1993) found that diverse opinions do get heard when formalized structures are in place that give voices to neighbourhoods. In the four cities researched, city-wide networks of neighbourhood associations facilitated the process of issue identification and development. "Administrative officials at city hall rely on these feed back systems as monitoring devices to evaluate satisfaction with agency services. City officials respond to the neighbourhood associations not simply because they get lots of messages as to what each community wants, but because they know that the neighbourhood associations are trusted by neighbourhoods residents" (288). Similarly, Gundry and Heberlein's (1984) research found that a range of interests can be accommodated if public meetings are organized properly. In particular, their study found that if the meetings are well publicized, held at times to maximize access and involve soliciting opinions from everyone at the meeting, the opinions expressed will indeed broadly reflect those of the general public (175). In the end, even if participation is not neighbourhood-wide, the "concentration of political activism on the neighbourhood level works to empower the whole neighbourhood and not just the activists who go to the meetings" (Berry 1993, 293). Some commentators have concluded that the public can make valuable contributions even when the issue is complex. As long as participants are given accurate and meaningful information, even if it is highly technical, citizens are capable of doing an effective job (Crosby, Kelly, Schaefer 1986, 171). 29 Smith (1984) has examined the issue of representation. Based on his empirical research he argues that, "interest group involvement per se is not the problem. Rather, the issue is to ensure that a balance is struck between differing viewpoints...thus the 'public interest' can be gauged by mediating between various interests, and the key to the issue of representatives becomes the involvement of a complete range of the interests on a topic rather than the nature of the public involved" (255). In a recent study of regional government in Italy, Putnam (1993) set out to evaluate the performance of regional governments and ascertain why some governments were more successful than others. Although he expected to conclude that the more successful regional governments were those from areas with high levels of economic development, he found something quite different. He discovered that regional governments were most effective in those areas where there were long histories of social cooperation and citizen participation. The degree of "civic community" affected both a region's ability to achieve economic prosperity, as well as the capacity for democratic self-government (181-183). He concluded: Effective and responsive institutions depend, in the language of civic humanism, on republican virtues and practices. Tocqueville was right: Democratic government is strengthened, not weakened, when it faces a vigorous civil society...citizens in civic communities expect better government and (in part through their own efforts), they get it. They demand more effective public service, and they are prepared to act collectively to achieve their shared goals. Their counterparts in less civic regions more commonly assume the role of alienated and cynical supplicants (182). While this section has focused on the academic debate over the merits of public participation, the experience of three U.S. cities and two Canadian cities which have employed coproduction models in local service delivery is reviewed in Chapter Four. The purpose of this review is both to examine the real world experience with coproduction and also, to provide a basis for 30 comparison of the Vancouver approach. Before turning to the real world experience, Chapter Three examines the academic literature on another important feature of the Vancouver approach -the use of teams. 31 3.0 CHAPTER 3: TEAM WORK The notion of a team is not new, particularly in the field of sports. A survey of the academic literature on the subject reveals that teams are also becoming increasingly more common in the workplace. Factors such as the shrinking global economy, technological advances, workforce changes to name a few, have all made it necessary for organizations to introduce new and innovative styles of operating in order to maintain a competitive edge (Parker 1990, 1). For many organizations, team based work provides the means of achieving this. 3.1 Team work Defined The starting point for this review of the literature on teams begins with the following definition adopted by the work of one scholar in the field. Teams are comprised of: two or more people; it has a specific performance objective or recognizable goal to be attained; and coordination of activity among the members of the team is required for the attainment of the team goal or objective (Larson and LaFasto 1989, 19). The growing prominence of team based work is partly a response to the increasing complexity of problems in the workplace. The turbulent nature of today's business environment requires new ways of thinking and new strategies (Larson and LaFasto 1989, 17). Complex problems demand complex solutions that reflect the mix of a diversity of opinions and the collaboration of many individuals (Larson and LaFasto 1989, 17). Teams provide a breadth of ideas by bringing together individuals with the knowledge, experience and skills that far outmatch that of any one person. This multi-talented group is 32 considered best equipped to tackle the multi-faceted problems of today's business world (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 18). While an individual in one department sees the isolated symptom of a problem, a multi-departmental team can see the whole problem (Osborne and Gaebler 1992, 270). Secondly, teams engender collaborative work by breaking down departmental barriers. This, in turn, establishes long lasting networks throughout the organization (Osborne and Gaebler 1992, 270). Thirdly, by developing an effective communications network, teams have the ability to be flexible and are able to respond more quickly, more effectively and more accurately to changing work environments and demands than individuals (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 18). Fourthly, as Osborne and Gaebler note, team members become used to looking at issues from varying perspectives and ultimately begin to think "outside the box" of their respective departments. In the end, they bring this new approach and new creativity back to their own jobs (270). Fifthly, the process of team building results in the development of social dimension of trust and respect between members. This faith in each other reinforces personal commitment to the team mission superseding all other personal objectives or agendas. Finally, the nature of the team environment supports learning and behavioural change. Teams motivate members, as well as making work more challenging, more rewarding and ultimately more fun than working individually (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 18). However, merely organizing workers into teams, does not automatically translate into increased efficiency and more effective work. As the literature suggests, in order for teams to be highly effective and thus beneficial to organizations, a number of criteria must be met. The following is a survey of the characteristics of high performing teams. 33 3.2 Determinants of Successful Teams The literature suggests that the most important characteristic of effective teams are that they have clear vision or goals (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 43; Larson and LaFasto 27, 1989; Parker 1990, 33). Scholars assert that objectives set the purpose and direction of the team and that this common purpose helps team members develop ownership and commitment to the cause. "The better teams often treat their teams like an offspring in need of constant nurturing and care. Naturally, they spend relatively more time in the beginning shaping their purpose; but, even after the team is operative, the members periodically revisit the purpose to clarify it implication for action" (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 43). Further, broad objectives must translate into specific and actionable goals. Specific goals assist in maintaining team focus as well as differentiating team work from individual job tasks and broad organization-wide objectives. Specific action plans should also give teams the opportunity to achieve small wins while pursuing overall objectives (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 44). Finally, tasks should also elevate members by challenging them to reach for their goals (Parker 1990, 34). Significant performance challenges energize teams. No team arises without a performance challenge that is meaningful to those involved. Good personal chemistry or the desire to become a team, for example, can foster teamwork values, but teamwork is not the same thing as a team. Rather, a common set of demanding performance goals that a group considers important to achieve will lead, most of the time, to both performance and team. Performance, however, is the primary objective while a team remains the means, not the end (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 12). 34 The process of establishing shared actionable goals often also leads to establishing common approaches such as clarifying roles/assignments and procedural issues such as communication methods, decision-making, schedules, record-keeping methods as well as other administrative tasks (Parker 1990, 32). Effective teams also hold themselves accountable to the team goals (Larson and LaFasto 1989 56; Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 21). Team action is only as good as the collective efforts by each member. Therefore, it is important that all individuals understand their responsibilities and what they are accountable for. Accountability ensures that efforts are not random and sporadic (Larson and LaFasto 1989, 55). A high degree of trust between members is also characteristic of successful teams (Larson and LaFasto 1989, 87; Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 23). Trust promotes collaborative efforts by engendering an environment where, members feel they can express their views, have their opinions considered and listened to (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 25), take risks, disclose information, are allowed to fail, and disagree (Larson and LaFasto 1989, 88-94). Ultimately, trust is the foundation of all team work and the glue that binds individuals together as a team. A centrepiece of highly successful teams is the informal nature of their meetings and interactions. This informality characterizes the atmosphere of team operations and does not preclude the establishment of formal procedures for action. The team context encourages members to share their own ideas as well as listen to those of others. Such levels of open communication allow for disagreements or difficulties to be worked out in a civilized manner 35 (Parker 1990, 32). Decision making and problem solving in productive teams is achieved by consensus. While all members may not agree with the resolution, in this decision-making model consensus is achieved when all participants have had an opportunity to have "their say" (Parker 1990, 44). Effective teams are comprised of members who have the essential skills and abilities, work well with others and enjoy collaborative efforts, have a strong desire to contribute and gel things done (Larson and LaFasto 1989, 68). In researching the topic, one scholar noted that a particular team leader looked for members who didn't operate 'by the book' and who were "willing to buck the system and not be bound by traditional thinking and reporting relationships" (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 64). For teams who focus on problem solving, it is particularly important for members to be street smart and know how to read the pulse of the problem (Larson and LaFasto 1989 ,68). In summary, team members must want to be part of a team. Given that team based work often requires extra hours, members must be energetic, enthusiastic and highly committed to the work of the team (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 38). In order to determine whether work is progressing on track, successful teams must periodically take stock of their work. Teams must reassert their broad objectives and ascertain whether enough progress has been made towards their actionable goals. This type of self evaluation maintains team focus and engenders self confidence in members. Many teams are unable to function as a true team and as a result fail to achieve any of their objectives. Some commonly cited sources of problems include lack of belief in the efficacy of 36 team based worked. Many people view team meetings as unproductive and the amount of time involved in deliberating the multitude of opinions as unconstructive. There are also those who see the value of teams but do not apply the principles necessary for team based work to flourish . Many other people are by nature "loners" and function better individually (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 20). Still others are unable to let down their guard enough and fear the risks involved with trusting other colleagues. Further reasons for the failure of team efforts are many and as diverse as the characteristics of success. Parker lists several signs that the operations of the team may potentially be in trouble (57). • You cannot easily describe the team's mission; • Meetings are formal, stuffy, or tense; • There is a great deal of participation but little accomplishment; • There is talk but not much communication; • Disagreements are aired in private conversations after the meeting; • There is confusion or disagreement about roles or work assignments; • People in other part of the organization who are critical to the success of the team are not cooperating; • The team has been inexistence for a least three months and has never assessed its functioning. In summary, teams have the capability to function at a high level and produce outcomes which are significantly superior to those achieved within a strictly departmental approach. The following structural elements are important determinants of team success: • clear vision or goals 37 • specific and actionable goals • common approaches • accountability to the team • trust between members • informal meetings • evaluations As will be demonstrated in the analysis chapter, the determinants of successful teams play pivotal roles in the overall success of the multi-departmental approach of Integrated Service Delivery. 38 4.0 CHAPTER 4: REAL WORLD EXPERIENCES The following describes the efforts of three cities involved in collaborative and coproduction activity. This survey was not intended to be exhaustive but strived to be representative of the range of coproduction approaches to service delivery. Moreover, it was not intended to be a review of the broader topic of public participation. Instead, it looks specifically at examples of collaboration (formally or informally) between residents and local government for the provision of some type of local service. 4 4.1 Portland, Oregon Portland is organized into 8 District Coalition Boards (DCBs) with representatives selected from the 90 neighbourhood associations which make up the City. The non profit DCBs report directly to city administrators and council and are responsible for facilitating citizen participation and neighbourhood crime prevention services. The 89 neighbourhood associations are also active in local service delivery and are consulted by the City on a range of issues from proposals for zoning and development changes to infrastructure improvements and crime prevention strategies. As well, they prepare neighbourhood plans detailing requirements for all future developments in the neighbourhood. In addition, there is an Office of Neighbourhood Associations (ONA) which supports the work of DCBs and Neighbourhood Associations. The ONA assists with the dissemination of information from the City to its residents and facilitates intra neighbourhood communication. In 4 The information on the City of Portland and Seattle, unless otherwise cited, is from (Morris, 1993). 39 addition, it provides a number of programs including: Neighbourhood Mediation Program, Neighbourhood Needs Program, Citizens' Bureau Advisory Program, Refugee Program, Metropolitan Human Relations Program and Commission on Ageing. In 1992, the City of Portland provided in excess of $1 million to the DCBs. Some of these funds were passed on to Neighbourhood Associations. Each DCB employs 2 professional staff and an office manager. 4.2 Seattle, Washington The cooperative approach between residents and the City adopted in Seattle operates within a system of neighbourhood associations which represent all areas of the city. These associations are loosely organized into 13 districts. The City also has a Council of Neighbourhoods in which one resident and one business representative from each District sits. Neighbourhood Associations report directly to Council or City administrators and are heavily involved in local area revitalization and economic development projects. Neighbourhoods are provided with the authority to set priorities for their area annually. Requests for city services are given to appropriate City departments who are required to respond. In general, three out of every four requests are responded to positively. The City operates Neighbourhood Service Centres in each of the 13 districts. Some of these serve as collections for civic taxes as well as payment centres for utility services. These centres are staffed by one coordinator. Together with civic staff, residents and area service providers, 40 Neighbourhood Service Centre Coordinators often form round tables to address problems and issues which affect the neighbourhood. The City of Seattle has also encouraged grassroots initiatives through its Neighbourhood Matching Fund. Through this program the City provides a one-time grant to neighbourhoods to fund a community project. The neighbourhood is obliged to match the city's contribution, usually with door-to-door fundraising efforts, volunteer labour and donated material and professional time. 4.3 Richmond, Virginia3 In attempting to focus on municipal needs at the neighbourhood level, the City of Richmond, Virginia has developed a program known as the Neighborhood Team Process (NTP). This program is aimed at enhancing neighbourhoods by: • building stronger working partnerships among neighbourhoods, city government, business, and non-profit organizations. • Developing a coordinated planning and public service delivery process that responds to citizen needs, influences resource decisions, and develops action strategies at the neighbourhoods level (City of Richmond, Virginia, 1997). Central to the program are nine teams that operate in each of the City's nine planning districts. Each team is comprised of residents and business people appointed from neighbourhood based 5 All information for the City of Richmond is obtained from City of Richmond, Virginia, 1997. 41 organizations. As well, City staff from various departments such as Police, Fire, Public Works, Recreation and Parks, Schools etc. are represented on each team. The responsibilities of each team are to resolve and coordinate service requests through monthly meetings and special presentations. Specifically, the functions of the team include, providing neighbourhood planning and assistance, handling public service requests, prioritizing capital improvements, collecting neighbourhood information and data, holding monthly team meetings to address neighbourhood concerns and share information, and empowering residents. The teams have produced a number of long term accomplishments, including, the development of NTP newsletters, the organization of an annual city-wide neighbourhood conference, the development of district action plans, the establishment of neighbourhood of the year awards and the implementation of public safety initiatives. Although the specifics of the manner in which teams operate are left up to the individual team members, the City encourages teams to adhere to basic organizational and operating guidelines set out by the City. The experience of the three U.S. cities demonstrate the efficacy of coproduction efforts in practice. The Director of the Department of Neighbourhoods in Seattle notes that, processes such as these, "....helps citizens become part of the solution and also provides good public service by the City" (Vancouver Sun 1992, B4). He further asserts that the process in Seattle has been inclusive. "Incredibly innovative things have come out of the neighborhoods. ...It's become a vehicle for people to get involved who wouldn't otherwise go to public meetings and talk about by-laws. Everybody's got something to contribute (Vancouver Sun 1993, Bl). The Director 42 from Portland's Office of Neighbourhoods acknowledges that, while involving the public in service delivery and problem solving makes the work of Cities much longer and more complex than traditional processes, in the end, ".. citizen involvement, I think, gives government better product" (Vancouver Sun 1992, B4). A planner from the City of Richmond, Va., asserted that their city's experience has been similarly positive, noting that City councillors often complain that citizens no longer come to them with their problems and seek out their Neighbourhood Team instead (Cuffee-Glenn interview, 1997). 4.4 Canadian Experiences Some Canadian municipalities are also turning to alternative forms of service delivery. Those that have, have done so with the intention of reducing costs. Their focus has generally been on a few services and not at a city-wide level. The most common forms of alternative service delivery have been, contracting out, adopting user fees, engaging in intergovernmental agreements and utilizing volunteer groups (Skelly 1996, 56). The use of volunteers, generally considered one type of coproduction, has been adopted in a number of cities. In Vernon, council has entered into a contract with the existing volunteer fire department to provide municipal fire services to a recently annexed area. The Community Services Department of metropolitan Toronto is engaged in a variety of coproduction efforts. In the Homes for the Aged Division, the department has initiated an integrated system of advisory committees whereby representatives from a variety of sectors including service users can be involved in the decision-making-process (Skelly 1996, 45). In both these cases, the quality of services has improved with no added costs involved. In Vernon, the volunteer fire department is 43 more accountable to the local area while in Metro, services have become more responsive and customer-focused (Skelly 1996, 47). 44 5.0 C H A P T E R 5: ISD - T H E V A N C O U V E R A P P R O A C H T O C O P R O D U C T I O N 5.1 Background to the Problem Prior to the development of ISD, there existed a number of nagging problems which had plagued a variety of neighbourhoods. These issues had been on-going and were representative of the fact that the system of service delivery at the time had become ineffective in addressing community concerns and needs. While individual departments may have responded quickly to community problems, the overall approach was piecemeal with little communication occurring between departments. Moreover, the philosophical differences between departments ensured that approaches to singular issues remained divergent. Thus, City efforts often lacked holistic, coordinated approaches to cross-departmental issues and as a result, problems continued to reoccur. Further, the lack of interdepartmental coordination restricted the City's ability to be proactive in its attempts to provide improved service delivery. The issue of poor property management is one example that had plagued Mount Pleasant. High numbers of absentee landlords with little accountability to the neighbourhood had led to problems with dilapidated homes, and noisy and rambunctious tenants. One well-publicized incident credited in part with precipitating the change in service delivery involved a house on Carolina Street in Mount Pleasant. This house was owned by an absentee landlord and was occupied by tenants involved in a variety of illegal activities. While a number of City departments including Fire and Police each responded to continuous complaints from neighbouring residents regarding drug-dealing and noise from the tenants, little was being done 45 to get at the source of the problem. After months of complaints, the residents along the street mobilized and the City finally responded by removing the tenants and demolishing the house (C. Dobson interview, 1997; C. White interview, 1997). Inadequate sanitation is also seen as another problem which had and continues to plague the area, Garbage in streets and alleyways contribute to the perception of Mount Pleasant as a seedy, dirty area of the City. The situation is exacerbated by residents from other neighbourhoods bringing and dumping their garbage in Mount Pleasant. Again, area residents feel that the City has done little to resolve this problem inspite of their continual complaints (M. Stuart-Stubbs interview, 1994; C. Dobson interview, 1997). A review of the Community Development Plan for the neighbourhood conducted in 1994 by UBC Planning students revealed that the City had performed poorly in implementing its plan for the Mount Pleasant community. The report points to several areas where the City has received "failing grades". In particular it notes that Mount Pleasant's streets were not pedestrian friendly, the area was in danger of losing many of its historic buildings and character, and the artist live/work studios were not addressing the need for affordable housing (The Vancouver Courier, 1994). See appendix II for complete newspaper clipping. At that same time, there was, and continues to be an increasing interest on the part of the general public with issues which affect community. This was evidenced by the large turnouts to Vancouver's CityPlan and "Ready or Not!" public forums as well as by the attendance at the "Neighbour to Neighbour" conference organized by city residents in the early 90's. 46 This interest in community issues has in turn resulted in demands by the public for greater opportunities for interaction and closer connections with the City. Vancouverites at the June and October conferences got together to discuss their common concerns about the changing nature of our neighbourhoods and communities. Participants felt alone and unprepared when issues came up in which they felt were important...Those attending expressed a desire for feelings of community; visible expressions of community. They want a measure of control over their neighbourhood space. They also want change: a different system, and (at the least) help to cope with changes...They expressed ideals that were felt to be an integral part of involving citizens in making the decisions about their neighbourhoods. Neighbours are still asking: where can we turn? How can we become informed?" (Neighbour to Neighbour Conference Proceedings, 1993). in response to the issues detailed above, the City reassessed its method of service delivery. It recognized that it must begin to move away from the old industrial model of organization towards one which gives more control to front line staff (Talbot 1994, 6). At the time, its mode of service delivery largely consisted of individual departments functioning independently of each other and developing programs which focused on departmental goals. Department staff operated within a "departmental hierarchy with very little sense of an overall corporate identity" (City of Vancouver, City Manager 1994, 1). As a consequence, this created a system of service delivery which was highly departmentalized and centred at City Hall. The lack of a coordinating mechanism amongst various departments is seen as one of the reasons that the Carolina Street problems persisted and recurred. Further, with no formal mechanism for identifying service delivery problems before they arose, problem solving tended to be reactive requiring residents to initiate contact for assistance. In general the City recognized that its operating style "limits the City's ability to respond to new demands" and "the City needs to create a new style of service delivery...to work more effectively 47 and responsively to issues raised by and in communities (City of Vancouver, City Manager 1994, 1). The following summarizes the most salient problems inherent in the City's previous system of service delivery: • system was highly centralized at City Hall; • system lacked multidisciplinary approach to problem solving; • system was remote with no channels for communication or linkages with residents (City of Vancouver, City Manager 1994, 1). 5.2 Integrated Service Delivery6 Operationalized in 1995, the ISD model of service delivery is aimed at the following objectives: • to ensure accessible, efficient, effective and friendly service delivery; • to coordinate service response; • to establish approaches at a neighbourhood level on issues and service; • to involve the community in issue identification and problem solving; • to result in creative, collaborative problem solving (City of Vancouver, City Manager 1995, 3). The basis of this new approach is the organization of City staff into inter departmental work teams. These teams are designated to deal with all issues which arise in a specific area of the City. 6 all information in this section regarding ISD, unless noted, is taken from City of Vancouver, City Manager. Administrative Report to Council, September 20, 1994). 48 This interdepartmental approach was intended to take advantage of the extensive network of City services and community agencies which already exist throughout the City. This includes the 3,000 plus City staff currently employed at various agencies throughout Vancouver such as libraries, community centres, health units etc., as well as the various non-profit organizations involved in community issues and funded by the City. In addition, ISD was intended to build upon existing structures such as Community Policing and Community Centre associations, as well as, networks in the community which were established by previous City initiatives such as, CityPlan, Greenways, Ready or Not, Safer City, Barriers to Bridges. In addressing local area problems, teams are expected to draw on the expertise and resources already in the community such as Block Watch members, church groups, community organizations, merchants' associations, non-profit service providers, parent committees and interested residents. Staff are expected to work closely with the community and with other teams to resolve problems in a local area. As noted in its report on ISD "each group will set up its own working arrangements; respond to issues as required to resolve them; work with adjacent service teams, if necessary; involve resources from City Hall when required; and find creative solutions to community issues, drawing on their own and community expertise. We expect many problems to be resolved in the community, rather than at City Hall" ( 4). Further, "teams are expected to be close to their community, and to respond proactively to issues and opportunities by engaging 49 team members and the community in problem solving and encouraging community based solutions (5). While the initiative is to involve a greater degree of public contact, there is no formal mechanism established for public involvement in the ISD process. The absence of formal collaborative mechanisms in the program is a conscious one. The connections between the City and residents are neighbourhood-specific and are expected to develop somewhat organically (J. Rogers interview, 1994). As well, the ISD model is not meant to address the larger issue of equity. While the City recognizes that its resources/services are disproportionately allocated across neighbourhoods, the Integrated Service Delivery program is not seen as the instrument through which to deal with inequalities in output (J. Rogers interview, 1994). Fundamentally, the ISD model aims to be customer-focused and to push service delivery level to the neighbourhood level. Figure 4: ISD and Service Delivery (City of Vancouver, Orientation Session Handbook, 7). 50 5.2.1 What an Integrated Service Team looks like A typical service team includes members from Engineering, Police, Fire, Library, Health, Housing and Properties, Parks Board, Police, Social Planning, Planning Permits and Licenses. Some teams such as the Hastings-Sunrise team have requested that representatives from other areas such as School Board join their team. All departments continue to be based in their current locations. There are currently 15 ISD teams in operation. They focus their activities on one of the 22 local areas in the city, though boundaries are not fixed. Some staff have been required to work with several teams and some teams have responsibility for more than one neighbourhood. The base for team operations is selected by each team and is generally in a community centre, firehall, health unit or non-profit facility in the respective local area. This is the location for team meetings and community discussion. In addition to regular team meetings, team communication is facilitated by E-mail as well as a News Group on the internet. Team actions are recorded on a computer generated system called "Problem Property Tracking" system (N. Cheung interview, 1997). Team members are expected to continue to be responsible for their regular duties in their respective departments. However, they are also accountable to their team for their department's role in problem solving. Team members are expected to deal with any conflict between these roles within the departmental structure. 51 While the City recognizes that ISD places additional responsibilities on staff and thus may prove challenging in the begimiing, it believes that in the long term, "issues should be dealt with more efficiently, and residents would receive better services with the same expenditure of resources" (6). 5.2.2 Supports/Funding Other than funding for a Project Assistant, no additional funding has been given to ISD. All other costs are to be met within existing budgets. The responsibilities of the project assistant include implementing guidelines and procedures related to NIST, maintaining NIST record and information on City activities, assisting with cross-departmental coordination of responses, linking issues to appropriate teams, assisting with the coordination of communication procedures and administrative tasks related to the program (City of Vancouver, City Manager, 1995, 13). Current staff training and development programs are available to teams. Team staff have attended team building workshops and have received training on the new computer system (N. Cheung interview, 1997). There is a operating committee who assist all teams to address any "system problems" in administration, or any other concerns which may arise in the teams or between teams. Each team has a representative or facilitator who is a member of the operating committee (N. Cheung interview, 1997). In the long term, support is expected to come from departmental staff. Currently, it is unclear whether or not the City of Vancouver's new initiative has been able to 52 address some of the long-standing problems which have plagued neighbourhoods. Before undertaking this analysis, it is important to take a closer look at the academic literature on service delivery models, as well as survey how other cities in North America are dealing with similar service problems. As the following chapter demonstrates, the City of Vancouver is not alone in turning away from the traditional, hierarchical model of service delivery to the coproduction system, an alternative model of service delivery which incorporates a greater focus on "front-line" decision-making and problem-solving. 5.3 Coproduction and ISD It can be seen that the City of Vancouver's ISD initiative incorporates to varying degrees those elements which are at the core of co-production models. This is evident from the City's description of ISD's goals which are: • to ensure accessible, efficient, effective and friendly service delivery; • to establish approaches at a neighbourhood level on issues and service; • to involve the community in issue identification and problem solving; • to result in creative, collaborative problem solving; • to provide the community ready access to City information (City of Vancouver, City Manager 1995, 3). In short, the use of traditional, hierarchical bureaucracies has been supplanted by multi-department teams operating at the neighbourhood level. These teams are expected to facilitate greater public contact. As such, the ability of the team to function within this new approach will significantly impact the initiatives success. The results of the case study enquiry into the success of this new approach are presented in the following chapter. 53 6.0 CHAPTER 6: RESEARCH FINDINGS 6.1 The Research This chapter is aimed at reviewing the research findings to assess whether ISD has or will achieve its stated objectives. As discussed earlier, the study focuses largely on the program inputs and to a limited degree on outputs of the program and outcomes. The objective of this chapter is to provide a formative assessment of the program to-date and the potential for the program in the future. Ultimately, it is hoped that this review provides insight for planners considering implementation of coproduction as a means of improving community health. The two neighbourhoods selected for the study were Mount Pleasant and Hastings-Sunrise. Mount Pleasant was chosen because of a high number of long standing problems which exist in the area, including problem properties and excessive amounts of unclaimed garbage. As well, the residents in this inner city neighbourhood are well organized and actively participate in local area issues. As a result, Mount Pleasant was determined to be a good case study upon which to evaluate whether ISD has made a difference in service delivery to high-need neighbourhoods. The Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood was selected because it was the first area to have a NIST. The team is thus, the most established and considered one of the City's most active service teams. As such, it serves as a good example upon which to assess the program itself and in particular, the "team" aspect of the new initiative. This study encompasses a qualitative analysis of the program based on a review of City documents and academic literature, as well as key informant interviews with City staff, ISD team members and local residents and local agency representatives. The questions posed to 54 informants varied according to suitability but were broadly aimed at assessing the degree to which ISD has resulted in significant changes in the process of service delivery and its outcomes. More specifically, interviews with those at the City responsible for overseeing the ISD program were aimed at determining broad visions of the program and existing systems problems; questions to NIST members focused on the particulars of their work on ISD and the team aspect of NIST; questions to residents and agency representatives in the two neighbourhoods were aimed at determining their perception of the efforts of the local NIST. The analysis is conducted against the ISD's objectives. These main objectives have been categorized under the four main headings of Efficiency, Effectiveness, Responsiveness and Civic Involvement. Efficiency refers to how much is produced (output) with a given amount of resources such as money, personnel or time (Ruchelman 1989, 12). Put another way, it compares actual performance with a standard of performance to determine how well an organization is utilizing its resources (Von Stroh 1975, 39). The more that is produced (output) with a given amount of resources, the more efficient the service system. Efficiency is generally utilized as an economic measurement. Examples of efficiency measures are the number of building permits processed per month, or the amount of time it takes for the fire department to respond to a service call (Ruchelman 1989, 12). Since this type of data on City services was unavailable, this study turned to a qualitative assessment of the degree to which ISD has produced gains in efficiency. Specifically, it examines the multi-disciplinary approach of ISD, the conflict between work priorities and ISD responsibilities and the extent of devolved power to teams as significant factors in the drive for greater efficiency. 55 Effectiveness compares actual results to an objective or goal and determines the extent to which these goals are being met regardless of costs or other resources (Ruchelman 1989, 12). Effectiveness measures generally focus on the quality and timeliness of services (Von Stroh 1975, 38). Effectiveness and efficiency are interrelated as efficiency of services can be achieved by simply holding down costs. However, this same service may be ineffective because it is not achieving the intended objectives (Ruchelman 1989, 12). The impact of decentralizing service delivery, the degree of proactive efforts and the types of technological supports including record-keeping and evaluations are studied as determinants of effectiveness. Most importantly, given ISD's emphasis on the multi-departmental team approach to services, the analysis draws on the academic literature and examines the ability of teams to produce gains in effectiveness. Responsiveness refers to the extent, degree, level to which all citizens' needs, expectations and demands for services are being met (Ruchelman 1989, 13) and the amount of time it takes to do so (Von Stroh 1975, 40). Accessibility refers to the extent to which, and the degree of opportunities for, all citizens to utilize City services. Decentralization, the multi-departmental approach, access to services by the ethnic community, and level of community awareness of ISD are examined as determinants of accessibility and responsiveness gains. In the context of this study, collaboration/community involvement refer to the extent to which citizens are included in problem identification and problem solving in ISD. 56 6.2 General Research Findings In general, team members seemed fairly positive about the new approach to problem solving. All of the members interviewed felt that, as a result of ISD, they better understood the responsibilities of their colleagues in other departments and that this in itself helped them with doing their own work. There appears to be differing views amongst members as to the role of ISD. While some team members view ISD as simply a better method of doing what the City has traditionally done, others want the team to establish closer linkages with the community and adopt a greater proactive focus. The differences amongst members may be partially attributed to the varying philosophies and approaches to problem-solving undertaken by various City departments. Team members routinely responsible for enforcement matters, namely those from Police, Fire, Permits and Licenses, Environmental Health, typically are responsible for enforcing the law and therefore adopt approaches to issues/problems in a manner different from those with regulatory responsibilities such as Social Planning, Parks and Recreation and the Health Department (Murat-Khan 1997, 73). Differences in views was also pronounced between teams. Responses from members of the Mount Pleasant team reflect the fact that they appear to be still grappling with a number of issues. On the other hand, it was evident from interviews with members from the Hastings-Sunrise team that they have been better able to gel as a team and hence, have been able to coordinate efforts on a number of problem issues. 57 Overall it was clear that ISD is still in its formative stages. There are areas in which the program has already been successful as well as issues that still need to be worked out. The following section takes a closer look at these issues through an analysis of the research findings as they are measured against the objectives of the program. 6.3 Efficiency Efficiency refers to how much is produced (output) with a given amount of resources such as money, personnel or time (Ruchelman 1989, 12). Put in another way, it compares actual performance with a standard of performance to determine how well an organization is utilizing its resources (Von Stroh 1975, 39). The more that is produced (output) with a given amount of resources, the more efficient the service system. Efficiency is generally utilized as an economic measurement. The City of Vancouver's model for Integrated Service Teams has a number of features which have served to improve efficiency. Most importantly, the multidisciplinary approach to service delivery and attendant coordination across departments has, in some situations, resulted in less duplication of efforts and consequently, less wasted resources. The key to the improved efficiency in these cases appears to be that ISD has facilitated improved communication between City employees, as well as, given team members a better understanding of the mandates of other departments . Ultimately, this cross pollination has resulted in a generally more integrated approach and hopefully, longer lasting solutions. The Hastings-Sunrise team have had a number of situations where their coordinated efforts have successfully produced timely problem solving. An illustration of this involves a park on Wall Street which was being used by drug users. Realizing the need for the children in the area to have the use of a park, a team member initiated efforts to clean up the Wall Street playground. 58 Another team member secured funding from his department for a park leader, while another member supplied a portable trailer for the site to house the leader's office. The park has now successfully been given back to the residents. On a recent visit to the area, this researcher found the playground alive with children and their parents. The informants are certain that the problems in this park would not have been addressed in such a timely fashion had the ISD program not been in place. Another example in Hastings-Sunrise involves a "flop house" located near the Wall Street park. Complaints of noise and misconduct were being repeatedly lodged against the property. The ISD team worked together to determine the owner of the property and compile the history of complaints. Once this was completed, the appropriate action was taken culminating in the demolition of the structure. This coordinated approach strikingly contrasts attempts at problem solving undertaken in the previous method of service delivery. As mentioned earlier, the example of the house on Carolina Street was indicative of the piecemeal manner in which the City had dealt with long-standing community problems. The improvements in efficiency may also reflect, in part, changes that are occurring at the City at large. In addition to ISD, other innovative programs are being adopted by the City as part of its Better City Government campaign, a program aimed at improving services in general. There is also some evidence that the larger corporate culture at the City is slowly begimiing to change as a result of ISD. All of the NIST informants noted little resistance from staff and supervisors at large to the new program. In particular, these informants felt that those who 59 typically do not interact with the public, now have a better understanding of what happens at the front lines. One informant noted that as a result, staff are somewhat more amenable to expediting ISD-related issues. This same informant recounted how requests for assistance from other staff members were more readily dealt with after he identified himself as a team member. However, the pace of change in the culture of the City may be hindered somewhat by the resistance of team members themselves to the added workload. Although all the team respondents noted that NIST-related work constituted only a small portion of their daily responsibilities, two informants stated that this amount was, nonetheless considered "extra" work. Another four team members acknowledged difficulties in attending all the monthly meetings while one of these informants felt that the frequency of the meetings was excessive. For some members who sit on more than one NIST, several monthly meetings could prove burdensome. Without an increase in budget, nor changes to job descriptions, there is little in the way of rewards provided for the increased level of work given. In the long term, this may threaten any gains in efficiency that have accrued as a result of ISD. In theory, there is considerable potential for ISD to improve the efficiency of service delivery. In particular, the devolution of problem solving responsibility to front-line staff can increase productivity of staff and thus efficiency, by providing the incentive for people to work harder and invest more of their creativity in order to produce timely results. When managers assign employees the responsibly for important decisions, they signal their respect for them. This in turn generates more commitment, higher morale and increased productivity (Osborne and Gaebler 1992,253). 60 In practice, however, few respondents perceived any real changes in authority and only two spoke of having greater leeway to "get things done". Rather than authority, all the team interviewees expressed having a sense of empowerment, and a better ability to problem solve as a result of the support from staff, and gains in information and knowledge of city departments. While this in itself is a step towards greater efficiency, it is questionable whether such levels can be sustained in the long term without significant devolution of authority. Even if the devolution of some authority has occurred in other teams, the policy fails to delineate the extent of devolved power. Team members are given the responsibility of handling community issues, yet they are also expected to work within existing department hierarchies. The lack of clearly defined spheres of authority/responsibility of teams has the potential of being further blurred if there is resistance to ISD by middle managers. Two informants noted the existence of this situation in ISD with one interviewee describing it as an "hourglass" commitment to the new process. While those at the upper and lower echelons of the bureaucracy are strongly committed to ISD, middle managers seem less bullish on the idea. The latter were characterized as supportive of their staff involvement so long as it didn't require extra resources and interfere with their departmental work. Academics have identified this guarded mentality as a significant barrier to change, pointing out that bureaucrats are generally prone to protect their status and position, and are unwilling to accept risk associated with change, particularly if change may affect their careers (Ruchelman 1989, 16). When employees are solving problems and providing input to decisions, middle managers may become superfluous. "Too often they stand 61 in the way of action, because their instinct, to justify their existence, is to intervene" (Osborne and Gaebler 1992, 265). However, efficiency gains can be derailed if front-line workers become too involved and too closely attached to problems of a specific neighbourhood. Although the case study teams demonstrated no evidence of this, in the future, this type of situation may lead teams to become politicized and taking on advocacy roles on behalf of their local areas. The resulting NIMBY mentality would certainly prove counter productive to a more efficient service delivery system. 6.4 Effectiveness a Effectiveness compares actual results to an objective or goal and determines the extent to which these goals are being met regardless of costs or other resources (Ruchelman 1989, 12). Effectiveness measures generally focus on the quality and timeliness of services (Von Stroh 1975, 38). Effectiveness and efficiency are interrelated as efficiency of services can be achieved by simply holding down costs. However, this same service may be ineffective because it is not achieving the intended objectives (Ruchelman 1989, 12). The team approach of ISD offers additional opportunities for increased effectiveness. As the literature on teams has noted, team based work allows for more flexible, coordinated, collaborative and ultimately, more efficient and effective efforts. This has been particularly true for the Hastings-Sunrise team, as the examples in the previous section on efficiency have shown. Although they have not formalized a team mission statement nor approach, it appears that the members of the Hastings-Sunrise group have tacitly agreed to do whatever it takes to get things done. The team appears to meet many of the other criteria of 62 successful teams. All the team informants noted a deep commitment to the project and accountability to the team and meetings were considered informal. It was obvious from the discussion that all members respect one another and most of all, enjoy being involved on the team. As well, several individuals on the team have developed friendships as a result of their NIST involvement and socialize outside of work. The Mount Pleasant team has experienced a few difficulties in engendering a sense of team amongst its members. One source of the problem is the lack of continuity in membership and attendance at meetings from one department in particular. Difficulties can also be partly attributed to the dearth of formal team building opportunities. Three informants asserted that the lack of external interference from management in this respect is conscious, and aimed at avoiding superimposing the hierarchical bureaucratic structure onto the ISD model. While there is indeed this risk, the absence of any direction from either management or the liaison committee, threatens the effectiveness and perhaps the very survival of the Mount Pleasant team. Another source of difficulties may be attributed to the fact that the Mount Pleasant NIST appears to display few of the characteristics of effective teams set out in the literature. They seem to be struggling to establish some common approaches and specific actionable goals. In particular, it is apparent that there are differing opinions as to the role of the team. On the one hand, there are those who view the objectives of ISD as providing services and dealing with problems as they arise through integrating and coordinating staff approaches, while on the other, there are those who see its goal as developing links with the community to ascertain needs and potential problem issues. While the former view ISD as an improved way of doing what the City has 63 historically done, that is, delivering services and reacting to problems, the latter see it as more of a new, proactive process, one whose purpose is to address issues long before they develop into problems. The team aspect of the Mount Pleasant NIST has been further hampered by a lack of accountability to the team expressed by three informants. The literature notes that accountability "provides a useful litmus test of the quality of a team's purpose and approach...", and that teams whose members are not mutually accountable have difficulty sustaining themselves as a team (Katzenbach and Smith 1993, 60,61). The difficulties in developing a team approach in the Mount Pleasant NIST appear to have had a somewhat negative impact on at least one example in the neighbourhood. At the Mount Pleasant Family Centre, encouragement and influence from certain team members resulted in the organization applying for, and receiving funding to build a stroller porch. Since that time, efforts by the NIST have stalled, there has been no follow -up undertaken by team members; and due to difficulties in securing the proper building permits, as of June of this year, the porch still had not been built. The efforts of the Mount Pleasant NIST were more successful when, in October of this year, they effectively dealt with two problem properties on Carolina Street. An informant representing the Crime Prevention Office in the neighbourhood noted, however, that, while the action was eventually resolved effectively, the entire process was not undertaken expeditiously. The informant cited poor communication amongst team members as the main reason for the lengthy 64 response time. The establishment of a NIST in the area has not produced any identifiable gains in the problem of excess unclaimed garbage in Mount Pleasant. One resident from the neighbourhood expressed exasperation over the lack of action taken over her numerous complaints about garbage in a nearby property. These complaints had been lodged via phone and letter directly to team members. A lack of proactive focus hampers attempts to produce effectiveness gains by both teams. Although earlier reports note that ISD is aimed at undertaking proactive efforts, more recent conversations with a staff member responsible for coordinating ISD revealed that proactiveness is no longer considered an objective of the program. Although three team informants explicitly stated a desire to see NIST undertake greater proactive work, all members recognized that the current focus of the program was aimed at reacting to service calls. One informant argued that its strengths lie in eliminating red tape, shortening the response time for problems and ensuring that problems which do not fit the traditional department paradigms do not get shuffled. As already noted, in theory ISD is a step towards decentralizing service delivery and increasing responsibility of front line workers. Decentralization offers significant opportunities for increased effectiveness. For example, Osborne and Gaebler (1992) note that the flattened hierarchies in decentralized institutions produce advantages over centralized institutions in effectiveness. In particular, they state that because front-line workers are closest to the problems, they often can come up with the best solutions (253). Further, decentralization fosters innovation 65 given that good ideas "bubble up from employees who actually do the work and deal with the customers" (253). However, as previously noted, the degree of devolved authority in ISD is limited. The effectiveness of the teams is circumscribed by the fact that the initiative lacks formalized mechanisms for evaluating performance. The absence of base line data and a dearth of records of action taken by Service Teams makes it difficult to gauge the successfulness of the program generally and the efforts of individual teams, specifically. As the literature notes, such mechanisms are critical in order to provide feedback and reinforcement to team members and to allow teams to identify problem areas and to seek ways of addressing these problems (Parker 1989, 131). Currently, ISD record keeping is limited to a computer system which monitors 'problem properties'. The usefulness of such a system appears to be dependent on the commitment by teams to using it. Further, the use of the system has elicited debate over whether all complaints or only the more egregious infractions should be recorded (since a set number of complaints can trigger varying degrees of action taken against a property). This debate had presently stymied its usefulness to the Mount Pleasant team. Moreover, the limited focus of the system on problem properties inhibits the ability of monitoring other types of NIST action. As a result, evaluative processes are restrained and information transfer between teams limited to a one dimensional perspective. Although the multi-departmental approach of the program has improved communication at large 66 between departments, day to day contact between team members may, in fact, be weakened by the numerous modes of communication. In addition to the phone, members have access to two computer mail systems, a newsgroup page, fax and the phone. Two team informants have expressed concerns that this abundance of systems has proved to be somewhat confusing. Moreover, access to computers which provide electronic mail services is particularly difficult for some of those members who are not located at the City Hall site. 6.5 Responsiveness/Accessibility Responsiveness refers to the extent, degree, level to which all citizens' needs expectations and demands for services are being met (Ruchelman 1989, 13) and the amount of time it takes to do so (Von Stroh 1975, 40). Accessibility refers to the extent to which, or the degree of opportunities for all citizens' to utilize City services. Integration of service delivery has resulted in the City bureaucracy becoming somewhat more responsive to neighbourhood needs. The examples noted in the efficiency section are illustrative of the extent to which this has occurred. Decentralization, though limited, and the multi-departmental approach has also helped to limit citizen frustration of being transferred from department to department in search of someone with authority to respond to their complaint or enquiry. Further, the provision, at local libraries, of City information kiosks designed specifically for ISD, undoubtedly gives citizens greater access to City departments. As well, the support of a program coordinator has proved integral to the proper functioning of the overall program. 67 There remains, however, a substantial way to go towards ensuring full responsiveness in service delivery. One major obstacle to achieving this objective appears to be the lack of awareness by City residents regarding the new program. The organizer of one local area group currently trying to secure approval from the City to develop a park in the Main Street area had not even heard of the Mount Pleasant NIST nor the Parks representative on the neighbourhood NIST. Discussions with four other neighbourhood activists in the area revealed that they are unaware of the difference that ISD has had on services. The goal of improved accessibility may be compromised given that the City has allocated no additional budget for such things as communication with the multi-ethnic, hearing and visually impaired community. The Diversity Communications Strategy the City does have in place a multi-lingual, 24-hr., phone line that allows non-English speaking residents to leave enquiries. However, because the phone line operates by answering machine, residents may feel reluctant to utilize the system given that the immediacy of their concerns is lost. Thus for diverse neighbourhoods such as Mount Pleasant, the lack of resources to facilitate non-English communication does certainly pose a barrier to ISD accessibility. 6.6 Collaboration/Community Involvement In the context of this study, collaboration/community involvement refer to the extent to which citizens are included in problem identification and problem solving in ISD. The degree of community participation included as part of ISD is perplexing. In theory, the program objectives refer to "involving the community in issue identification and problem 68 solving" and "establishing approaches at the neighbourhood level on issues and service" (City of Vancouver, City Manager 1995, 3). In practice, there is little evidence of this. When asked about this issue, eight City informants noted that ISD was not a vehicle for public input. One interviewee asserted that the interpretation of "community involvement" and "neighbourhood-based approaches" was to be done in the narrowest manner while another argued that the City did not need another level of government for activists to lobby. When the idea of integrating services was first discussed in Council Reports, the notion of active participation by the citizenry appears to have been far more prominent than in more recent documents regarding ISD. In 1994, an initiative for integrating City services was developed and approved by the Corporate Management Team. In that plan, one of the goals was aimed at, "creating partnerships between the City and neighbourhoods in order to build on the capacity of neighbourhoods to solve problems and act on their own behalf (City of Vancouver 1994, 2). In the following month, the City held a workshop of City staff and residents from two neighbourhoods to discuss the proposal for a new method of service delivery in further detail. A number of recommendations emerged from the workshop including, the establishment of local offices for conducting city business, and formalized citizen input into local issues through the development of neighbourhood committees (Talbot 1994, 3). In the fall of that year an administrative report proposing details of ISD was submitted to council. The objectives of the new program again made reference to formalized links with residents. The report further emphasized that, "teams are expected to be close to their community, and to 69 respond proactively to issues and opportunities by engaging team members and the community in problem solving and encouraging community-based solutions" (City of Vancouver, City Manager 1994, 7). It is unclear why the move towards increased "partnership" and "consultation" was derailed. It is particularly perplexing given the fact that the first service teams were developed around the time of the City Plan report in which City residents voiced a desire to have more opportunities for involvement. The lack of opportunities for public involvement is even more unexplainable in light of the City's most recent project involving an evaluation of the effectiveness of citizen involvement in City affairs. The report from the first phase of the project notes that: One of the cornerstones of democracy is the idea that citizen participation is essential to good government. Nowhere is this more true than at the municipal level public involvement processes aim to inspire people, groups, and organizations to take an active role in caring for and enriching their community. Doing so builds the longer-term capacity of the City and its citizens to work together for a healthier, safer and more vibrant community (City of Vancouver, 1997, 4). Without opportunities for input from residents, it is unclear how NISTs will be able "to assist with identifying and solving problems". If, by this statement the City had meant that citizens would merely apprise staff of problem issues, how does it differ from the previous system of service delivery? This question was also asked by one resident from Hastings -Sunrise who noted that although the type of response from the City had improved and that the multi-departmental efforts of the NIST had been particularly effective in dealing with problem properties, the overall approach differed little from the previous system and that it still surmounted to crisis management. 70 The absence of a formal collaborative mechanism undermines all attempts at proactive planning. Ostrom questions the validity of professionals presuming what citizens want and need: When professional persomiel presume to know what is good for people rather than providing people with opportunities to express their own preferences, we should not be surprised to find that increasing professionalization of public services is accompanied by a serious erosion in the quality of those services. High expenditures for public services supplied exclusively by highly trained cadres of professional personnel may be a factor contributing to a service paradox. The better services are, as defined by professional criteria, the less satisfied citizens are with those services. An efficient public service delivery system will depend upon service personnel working under conditions where they have incentives to assist citizens in functioning as essential coproducers (Ostrom 1977, 34). As the literature on public participation demonstrated, opportunities for grassroots input can enhance rather than hinder planning processes. Decentralization brings government closer to its citizens. This in turn makes government more trusted and officials more accountable. In the end, officials are more likely "to handcraft solutions rather than create one size fits all programs" (Osborne and Gaebler 1992, 277). Further, as the results of the case study indicate, Vancouverites desire greater input into civic issues including service delivery. The City itself has many times noted the fact that large numbers of citizens attended the CityPlan Ideas Fair to show they cared about how the City operates. Can it then also be argued that citizens do not want to be heard? The empirical evidence from other North American cities lends further support to the need for more formalized input from residents. One of the strengths of the Richmond, Va., NTP process 71 is that the formalized City-wide processes have "levelled the playing field", providing equal access to City resources to all constituents (S. Cuffee-Glenn interview, 1997). The experience of this City gives little credence to the assertion given by one City of Vancouver informant that formal channels of public involvement within ISD would simply result in the creation of another level of government for activists to lobby. The establishment of the neighbourhood teams throughout Richmond, Va., has resulted in other City structures deferring to the NTP; the NTP process has, after ten years, become the defacto access point for citizens. Moreover, the recognition by citizens that neighbourhood teams provide the most effective means of problem solving has been so successful, City councillors have complained that citizens are not coming to them with their complaints (S. Cuffee-Glenn interview, 1997). It is obvious as well, that teams feel that the issue of civic participation is important and one that needs to be addressed by management in some way. To some degree, the two teams studied have already engaged in low levels of outreach. As one example, the Hastings/Sunrise team worked together with some neighbourhood businesses to organize a meeting of the business owners. In Mount Pleasant, several members have, on their own initiative, met with local organizations and attended neighbourhood celebrations in attempts to foster links with the community. However, without official word from management regarding efforts in this direction, it is unclear as to whether teams will continue to pursue this avenue, and/or increase the level of efforts in this regard. For the Mount Pleasant team, continued absence of direction on this question may result in their inability to finally resolve their debate over the role of the team. 72 Even if teams were, on their own, to undertake the task of establishing relationships with neighbourhoods, it is problematic as to how residents would become involved. Without formal avenues for participation, would partnerships automatically be created with citizens, even with those whom do not generally get involved in community issues? More than likely, the lack of formal mechanisms would lead teams to rely on existing community groups for input rather than attempting to broaden citizen participation. In neighbourhoods where residents have not been formally mobilized, there is a significant risk of teams becoming mired in process issues. Even where residents have been organized such as Mount Pleasant, those teams who have decided to be more proactive would be faced with the problem of whether all stakeholders can come to the table with the same objectives in mind. In this neighbourhood, there were at one time, three organized community groups including, the Mount Pleasant Healthy Communities Committee, the Mount Pleasant Residents' Association, the Mount Pleasant Area Network involved in general neighbourhood affairs. In addition, numerous other community-based special interest groups including the Mount Pleasant Crime Prevention Office, Brewery Creek Historical Society, the Mount Pleasant Commercial Improvement society, the Shame the Johns Campaign and the Ready or Not Sub Committee had been formed to deal with specific issues in the area. While, for the most part, all the organizations have co-existed peacefully, there have been times when tensions have emerged. This was demonstrated by an incident where the Ready or Not Sub Committee came out publicly opposing a proposal for the conversion of a heritage building into artist live/work studios on the basis that it included no provisions for non-market housing nor 73 public gallery space. The Brewery Creek Historical Society, on the other hand, was in support of the development given that it ultimately meant the preservation of the original heritage structure. Although this situation eventually was resolved amicably, it underscores the potential problems facing service teams in areas where the community is highly mobilized (G. Ross interview, 1994). Thus while a greater focus on proactive and collaborative efforts are imperative to a more effective service delivery program, it must be incorporated through formal mechanisms for participation. Without formalized avenues, the process remains ad hoc and non-inclusive. However, this is not to suggest that the City undertake structural changes to its political system. Instead, this study argues that some degree of opportunities (formal) must exist that give residents, a voice. These need not necessarily occur on a grand scale nor be as formalized as the Seattle and Portland examples. They must, however, be incorporated slowly and thoughtfully. While the Portland and Seattle models are good examples of the kind of coproduction activities that can occur when there is the political will, they are perhaps not appropriate prototypes for Vancouver at this time. Despite affording excellent means for citizen participation, there are two major difficulties in grafting the Seattle and Portland approaches onto the current ISD proposal. First and foremost, either alternative would require significant if not massive commitment of additional resources. For example, the cost of locating space for Neighbourhood Service Centres or "satellite" city halls as they are often referred to, would undoubtedly be large. It is doubtful that such a commitment of funds would be politically defensible in our current climate of fiscal restraint. At a minimum, public input would have to be sought before any such proposal could 74 be implemented. Second, the Seattle and Portland models present a radical departure from the current method of service delivery in Vancouver and as such, would undoubtedly cause significant disruption and upheaval if an attempt was made to move immediately to these modes of municipal governance. 6.7 Summary of Findings A summary of the findings is provided in Table 1. By way of offering further understanding of the results, they are classified into the following sections: strengths of the program, weaknesses or areas of concern within the program, opportunities for future enhancement and external threats to the proper functioning of the program. Table 1: Summary of Findings Strengths \Voakjie<isos Opportunities Threats D'ficiency Multi-disciplinary approach No rewards for added workload Devolution of responsibility to front line staff Cross pollination of staff No significant devolution of authority to front-lines Resistance by mid managers Front-line workers may become too attached to neighbourhood 1 . i L ' C l l X . t l l . . No significant devolution of authority to front lines Resistance by mid managers Lack of team-based approach in M P team Front-line workers may become too attached to neighbourhood Team-based approach for Hastings/Sunrise M P team members express no accountability to team Limited focus of computer tracking system Absence of mechanisms for evaluating ISD Numerous modes of communication Responsiveness/ Accessibility Integration of service delivery and shift of focus of services to front-lines. Lack of knowledge re ISD City kiosks and ISD coordinator No additional budget to facilitate commun. w/ ethnic comment Collaboration/ Commun itv involvement No formal mechanisms for community involvement 75 The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the term integrate as "to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole" (Merriam Webster 1996, 608). This central theme of Vancouver's ISD program has resulted in some significant gains in service delivery. The team-based, multidisciplinary approach and subsequent cross-pollination of departments has lent itself to improved communication amongst staff and a more holistic perspective on community problems. As the experience of the Hastings-Sunrise NIST has demonstrated, this is particularly true when teams are comprised of energetic individuals who are committed to improving service delivery and willing to "push the envelope". The shift of problem identification responsibility to front-line staff further has, to some degree, enhanced the responsiveness of the City's services. The degree of decentralization within ISD, though limited, has somewhat shortened the communication links to residents by flattening the hierarchical structures of the traditional bureaucratic approach to service delivery. The gains in service delivery are mitigated, however, by a number of weaknesses in the program. The dearth of incentives to encourage team members to give priority to ISD concerns over their regular departmental responsibility may serve to perpetuate old style operations. The failure by the City to determine the degree of devolved power to team members serves to undermine decentralization. Without explicitly recognizing the devolution of authority to team members, the hierarchical structures in the previous method of service delivery may be perpetuated. This can pose a particularly serious threat to the efficiency/timeliness aspect of ISD given that there have already been difficulties getting middle managers "on board". 76 Timeliness and the early identification of community problems is also compromised by the failure to include meaningful involvement from constituents. If the City expects residents to assist with identification and problem solving, formal opportunities for engaging citizen input must be established. This in turn requires teams to develop some degree of links with residents. The absence of formal team building efforts in the program have had an adverse affect on the program. While the team based approach has worked for the Hastings-Sunrise team, the Mount Pleasant NIST appears to be still grappling with several team issues. In particular, the team's inability to determine goals and the lack of team-wide commitment and accountability to the process curts the team's effectiveness in the community. Without outside direction given to assist this team, it will continue to be paralyzed by process issues and impeded in their ability to carry out their mandate. In addition, ISD is hampered by a number of technological problems. Excessive modes of communication available to teams, the limited utility of the Problem Property Tracking System and the lack of evaluative mechanisms all serve to constrain the effectiveness of ISD. Finally, the dearth of knowledge regarding ISD which exists amongst citizens and the absence of concerted efforts to make City services more accessible to the ethnic community may blunt ISD's efforts to make problem identification and problem solving more neighbourhood-based. 77 In summary, if the potential of ISD is to be realized in the future, consideration must be given to the following: • Efforts must be taken to facilitate periodic evaluation of the program. This requires that documentation of all team activities is undertaken and baseline standards adopted. Record-keeping must be uniform as to how (citizen survey, trained observations, or empirical data) and when (to take into account seasonal effects ) (Ruchelman 1989, 240). The establishment of empirically-based summative evaluations allow the City to continually gauge the effectiveness of ISD. • True devolution of authority to front line staff must occur with the lines of authority clearly stated. Front-line staff must be given the freedom and responsibility to take action if problem identification and problem solving is to be effectively pushed to the service delivery level. • In order to ensure that all staff embrace a new mode of operation, it is critical that the City be able to create an internal culture around the core values of the service delivery program. Specific suggestions as to how this could be achieved are beyond the scope of this report. However, it must be noted that at a minimum, this must involve engendering in staff a feeling of ownership of the process. If this is achieved, it follows that the conflict between departmental duties and NIST responsibilities can be resolved. 78 • There is a need for management to provide greater direction. This is particularly significant in the area of team work. More consideration must be given to team building and team selection. The culture of the "team" will not spontaneously occur when members only come together from time to time. The sense of team and the features of successful teams must be proactively fostered through workshops and training sessions. As well, there should be recurrent training such as annual workshops to sharpen team skills. While the provision of assistance from management may threaten to reimpose hierarchical structures, the lack of intervention places severe constraints on the functioning of the teams. A balance can be struck between these two positions - one where more assistance can be given without circumscribing team independence and individuality. • In order to thwart any risk that the system reverts to old familiar patterns, ISD must incorporate a greater proactive focus by establishing closer linkages with their constituents/and or opportunities for input from residents. This study argues that opportunities for input do not necessarily translate into opportunities to affect outcomes or policy nor do they directly lead to staff advocating on behalf of neighbourhoods. Further, close monitoring of team efforts can lessen any possibility that team member will become politicized by the process of working closely with residents in a specific neighbourhood. Moreover, the opportunities that provide formal input do not require political changes as in the case of Seattle and Portland. Rather, the avenues for input advocated here simply serve to provide a municipality with a better communication link with the community and the ability to ascertain community concerns before they become community problems. It is believed that ISD is an appropriate vehicle to facilitate this. 79 • Finally, too many team members, other City staff and management currently see ISD as merely an improved way of doing the same thing. Already residents have expressed disappointment and dissatisfaction with this mandate. These informants have rhetorically asked that if this is the case, why does the City bother? Even one team member noted that if this is the future of ISD, he would reconsider being involved. In order for change in service delivery to be effective and lasting, it must be meaningful to all involved - to both providers and consumers. 80 7.0 CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSION 7.1 Coproduction and ISD In attempts to improve municipal services, a number of cities in North America have begun moving away from the traditional bureaucratic methods of service delivery towards alternative approaches. The coproduction model, a system which involves participation by service consumers in service production, has become increasingly favoured by municipalities as an alternative. Seattle, Portland and Richmond Va., have, in the last decade, adopted coproduction as part of their service delivery systems. In 1995, the City of Vancouver joined this list of cities by adopting a coproduction approach to service delivery. This new program of Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) involves the reorganization of City staff into multi-departmental teams assigned to specific geographic neighbourhoods. Although no single definition of coproduction exists, a review of the academic literature, and a survey of some of the approaches adopted throughout North America disclose the following core features, all of which are present to some degree in ISD: • abandonment of the traditional hierarchical bureaucracy; • shift in focus of service delivery to front lines where greater public contact exists; • greater public contact and involvement. 81 7.2 The Vancouver Experience: Lessons learned This study of the Vancouver experience with coproduction has demonstrated that the shift in focus of service delivery to the front lines has, to some degree, resulted in improved responsiveness by the City to community problems. This research has also revealed that the use of "teams" rather than the reliance on traditional bureaucracies presents opportunities for significant gains in service delivery. Successful teams bring together a range of ideas and capabilities that far outmatch that of any one individual. In the case of ISD, the multi-departmental approach has assisted to bridge the information gap which existed between departments and has served to encourage more holistic, coordinated responses to service problems from the City. As the case study shows, however, this optimism must be tempered by the recognition that several elements critical to team success have not been addressed, particularly by the Mount Pleasant team, and therefore limit the gains achieved to date. These include, the absence of team goals and mission statement, the lack of common approaches and accountability to team by individual members, and a lack of agreement regarding the role and purpose of the team. The role of the public in ISD has been dramatically curtailed when compared to the initial discussion of ISD in the formative stages. Although the City had originally expressed the notion that resident input would be integral to the work of ISD teams, at present there are no formal mechanisms for public participation. Contact with the community is expected to occur organically. This paper has shown that the lack of formal procedures for public participation is a 82 major shortcoming of ISD as it inhibits proactive problem solving and planning. In turn, the absence of a proactive focus ensures that the City continues to engage in crisis management, an approach that differs little from the previous system of services. The absence of policy regarding the extent of devolved power to teams, and incentives to encourage team members to give priority to ISD concerns may also serve to perpetuate old style problem solving. Similarly, technological issues such as a dearth of evaluation mechanisms and excessive modes of communication available to teams further hampers the new model of service delivery. Finally, the limited knowledge which exists amongst service users/consumers regarding ISD may militate against the ability of teams to ensure that problem identification and problem solving are neighbourhood-based. 7.3 Coproduction: Determinants of Success The Vancouver experience illustrates that moving to a coproduction model of service delivery will not by itself ensure that significant gains are achieved. Rather, careful attention must be paid to the structure of the proposed model.. Specifically, the Vancouver experience demonstrates: • as the literature suggests, successful coproduction efforts require a shift in focus of service delivery to those service producers (staff) who have greater contact with service consumers (public); 83 this vertical shift downwards or flattening of hierarchical structures works well when adopted in tandem with horizontal reorganization or integration of staff across departments; the shift in focus to front-line staff can only be undertaken if the degree of delegation of decision-making authority is clearly delineated and understood by not only front-line workers, but also middle management; formal mechanisms for public consultation must be established. Reliance on adhoc or organic approaches for public consultation does little to promote public awareness and militates against effective problem identification and problem solving, as well as significantly increasing the risk that well-organized interest groups will dominate the process; where the approach encompasses the use of multi-disciplinary teams, consideration must be given to establishing the appropriate environment for team-based work. In particular, formal opportunities for team building are required in order to foster a "sense of team" and to encourage the adherence of teams to structures which engender strong team-based approaches; the establishment of base line measurements of program and team effectiveness are critical to success and identifying the need for future refinements. 84 Bibliography Aleshire, Robert A. 1970. Planning and citizen participation. Urban Affairs Quarterly, 5:368-393. Appleby, Thomas. 1971. Citizen participation in the '70's: The need to turn to politics. City. 5:52-55. Arnstein, S. R. 1969. A ladder of citizen participation. American Institute of Planners Journal. 35(4):216-224. Boothroyd, P. and Eberle, M. 1990. Healthy communities: what they are, how they're made. CHS Research Bulletin, UBC Centre for Human Settlements. Berry, J.M., K.E. Portney, and K. Thomson. 1993. The Rebirth of Urban Democracy. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institute. Bregha, F. J. 1975. Public participation in planning policy and programme. Ministry of Culture and Recreation, Government of Ontario. Brudney, J. and R. England. 1983. Toward a definition of the coproduction concept. Public Administration Review. 43:59-65. Checkoway, B. 1981. The Politics of public hearings. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. 17(4):566-582. City of Richmond, Va. Neighbourhood team process information packet. City of Vancouver. 1997. How to Participate in city processes: a guide for the public. City of Vancouver. City manager. Integrated service teams. Administrative report, November 28, 1995. City of Vancouver. City manager. Integrated service delivery. Administrative report, September 20, 1994. City of Vancouver. 1994. Neighbourhood partnerships and integrated service delivery. Unpublished document. City of Vancouver. Integrated service delivery and integrated service teams. Orientation session handbook Crosby, N., J. Kelly, P. Schaefer. 1986. Citizen panels: a new approach to citizen participation. Public Administration Review. 46:170-178. Cupps, D. S. 1977. Emerging problems of citizen participation. Public Administration Review. 37:478-487. Goodsell, C. T. 1994. The case for bureaucracy: a public administration polemic. New Jersey: Chatham House Publishers. Gundry K. and T. Heberlein. 1984. Do public meetings represent the public? American Planning Association 50:175-182. Katzenbach, J.R. and D. Smith. 1993. Wisdom of teams. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Krislov S. and D. B. Rosenbloom. 1981. Representative bureaucracy and the American political system. New York: Praeger Publishers. Langton, Stuart. 1978. Citizen participation in America: current reflections on the state of the art. Ed. S. Langton Ed. Citizen participation in America. Lexington, Ma.:Lexington Books. Larson, C. and F. J. La Fasto. 1989. TeamWork. Newbury ParlcSage Publications. Mathus, Brijesh. 1990. Indicators for healthy communities .proceedings of an invitational workshop, Winnipeg, Manitoba, February 16, 1990. Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, tenth edition. 1996. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Milbraith, L.W. 1981. Citizen surveys as citizen participation mechanisms. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. 17:478-496. Morris, V.J. 1993. Models of neighbourhood participation in local government. Vancouver, B.C:City of Vancouver Social Planning Department. Murat-Khan, Maryam. 1997. Integration of municipal services.rhetoric or reality? Masters thesis. Simon Fraser University. Nachmias D. and D. Rosenbloom. 1980. Bureaucratic government USA. New York:St. Martin's Press. Neighbour to Neighbour. 1993. Proceedings of conference, October 30, 1993. Osborne D., Gaebler, T. 1992. Reinventing government. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. 86 Ostrom, V. 1977. Structure and performance. Ed. V. Ostrom and F. Bish. Comparing urban service delivery systems. Urban Affairs Annual Reviews 12:19-44. Parker, G. M . 1990. Team players and team work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Percy, S. 1984. Citizen participation in the coproduction of urban services. Urban Affairs lt Quarterly. 19:431-446. Poister, T., J. McDavid, and A. Magoun. 1979. Applied program evaluation in local government. Lexington, Ma:Lexington Books. Putnam, R. 1993. Making democracy work: civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton: University Press. Reidel J. A. 1972. Citizen participatiommyths and realities. Public Administration Review. 32:211-220. Rosenbaum, W. A. 1978. Public involvement as reform and ritual: the development of federal participation programs. Ed. Langton, S. Citizen participation in America. Lexington, Ma.:Lexington Books. Ruchelman, L. 1989. A workbook in redesigning public services. Albany, NY:State University of New York Press. Skelly, M . J. 1996. Alternative service delivery in Canadian municipalities. Toronto: ICURR Publications. Smith, G. 1984. Public participation in policy making: the state of the art in Canada. Geoforum. 15(2):253-259. Stillman II, R. 1996. The American bureaucracy. Chicago:Nelson-Hall Publishers. Talbot M . 1994. Workshop proceedings neighbourhood partnerships and integrated service delivery, February 17 & 18, 1994. The Vancouver Courier Newspaper. 1994. City report card shows failing grades. Nov. 20 1994. pg 10 Thomas, J. C. 1986. Between citizen and city university. Lawrence, Kansas:Press of Kansas. Vancouver Sun. 1992. Portland, Seattle foster citizens' effort with neighborhood departments, funds. April 14, 1992. B4 Vancouver Sun. 1993. Tall troll tale shows neighborhoods can fight city hall. April 1993. B l . 87 Viteritti, J. 1982. Bureaucratic environments, efficiency, and equity in urban service-delivery systems. Ed. R. Rich. The politics of urban public services. Lexington, Ma.:Lexington Books. Von Stroh, G. 1975. Local government performance evaluation: issues, concepts, and techniques. Ed. R. Gage and R.D. Sloan, Jr. Delivery of urban services: productivity, evaluation, citizen access and university-city relations. Denver:Bureau of Governmental Research and Service and Institute for Advanced Urban Studies, University of Colorado. Whitaker, Gordon P. 1980. Coproductionxitizen participation in service delivery. Public Administration Review. 40:240-246. 88 Appendix I List of Informants Mount Pleasant Integrated Service Team Members Elizabeth Ballard, Engineering Guy Gusdal, Permits and Licenses Claudia Kurzac, Environmental Health Mario Lee, Social Planning Karen Samson, Health Del Tait, Library Margaret Watts, Parks and Recreation Rob Whitlock, Planning Hastings Sunrise Integrated Service Team Members Jody Andrews, Engineering David Lee, Environmental Health Russ Mitchell, Police Services Jennifer Scarr, Health Ken Suzuki, Fire and Rescue Mark Vulliamy, Parks and Recreation Other Informants from the City of Vancouver Paul Battershill, Police Executive Nancy Cheung, NIST Project Coordinator Judy Rogers, Deputy City Manager (1994) Sam Sullivan, Councillor Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood Informants Charles Dobson Deborah Dolly-Entwistle Dianna Munro Gavin Ross Megan Stuart-Stubbs Carol White Hastings-Sunrise Neighbourhood Informants Steve Boyce Mariken Van Nimwegen Other Informants Selena Cuffee-Glenn, City of Richmond, Virginia Appendix I I Vancouver Courier Article, "City report card shows failing grades" 10 The Vancouver Courier Sunday, N o v e m b e r 2 0 , 1 9 9 4 City report card shows fai l ing grades "City hall may fail to pass into the next grade," warns a 'report card' prepared by Mount Pleasant residents. In a novel project, area resi-dents, working with UBC School of Community and Regional Plan-ning students, evaluated the city's performance in implementing its plan for the community The result is a "report card for city hall" — expanded into a 70-page report, to be delivered to planning staff and city council-lors. The report card, drawn up at a meeting of 70 people last week, includes the following remarks: • Mount Pleasant is losing its historic buildings and character. • New live/work artists studios don't qualify as much-needed af-fordable housing. • Area streets are not sufficient-ly "pedestrian-friendly," and new construction is generally unattrac-tive. On a more positive note, resi-dents are satisfied with the com-mercial core around Broadway and Main, particularly the pres-ence of smaller businesses. And they say that social ser-vices are generally good. The best mark goes to the city's neighbourhood garden program, which they say should be expand-ed. The -raduate planning students have been studying the area un-der the direction of Prof. Michael Seelig. Seelig said the project holds the city accountable while giving stu-dents the opportunity to apply their knowledge. — Alison Appelbe 


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items