P09 Prevention approaches based on hybrid governance to increase public value

Corresponding Chair

Elke Loeffler (Senior Lecturer, The Open University, UK), elke.loeffler@open.ac.uk

Review Group Chair

Sabina De Rosis, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy


André Carlos Busanelli de Aquino, (Professor, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil) 

Tina Foster (Professor, The Darmouth Institute, USA)

Milena Vainieri, (Associate Professor, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy)

André Lino (Lecturer, University of Essex, UK)


This panel invites abstracts and papers from academics and practitioners (separately or as joint papers) on prevention approaches based on hybrid governance arrangements in order to increase public value. Effective preventive approaches are likely to involve more than one public service organisation - hybrid governance mechanisms may include collaborative approaches between different public service organisations (potentially including public, nonprofit or private sector organisations) and forms of community engagement.

While prevention is not a new topic, there is new appetite among researchers and public managers for developing and implementing preventive approaches in the context of fiscal austerity (as a method of demand management) as well as for strengthening resilience of service users, communities and public services and service systems in the light of multiple crises. The crises in question could cover such current issues as civil or military conflicts, rapid climate change, the threat of future pandemics, rapid increases in the cost of living and decreases in real wages, and revolts against social exclusion and discrimination and, lurking behind all of these, widespread and deep public sector budget cuts.

We will welcome interdisciplinary analysis and evaluation of different prevention approaches, related to issues such as fraud, corruption, crime, housing, transport, waste disposal,  and crises in the natural environment. We also welcome papers which build on the growing body of research on the prevention of harm (and rehabilitation to prevent further harm) in health and social care.

Key propositions which we will hope papers at  this panel will explore are that prevention is better than cure -– but that public policies have continually undervalued and underfunded preventive strategies (Cairney and St. Denny 2020). An important aspect of these propositions is that anticipation of future harms, and strategies for their prevention, are currently much less explored than ex-post remedies and strategy adaptation, even though the latter inherently offer less scope for manoeuvre. We are therefore seeking more rigorous theorising on drivers of and barriers to the development and implementation of prevention approaches, as well as qualitative or quantitative empirical research on the benefits of preventive solutions for multiple stakeholders - or reflections on unsuccessful cases, due to flawed design or implementation issues.

A further proposition which deserves to be analysed and discussed is that prevention approaches based on inter-organisational partnership arrangements, community engagement or other hybrid governance arrangements, are particularly likely to increase public value for specific stakeholders, namely service users, their social networks, communities and service providers. Taking these effects into account, we are also keen to explore how conclusions might be reached about the overall impacts on the whole public service system.

The implementation and scaling of effective prevention approaches may also require new insights from data sharing between public service organisations (both public and private sector), based on trust-based partnerships, in order to understand and act upon root causes of ‘wicked’ issues. In particular, deeper understanding of how to bring about behaviour change may be central to effective prevention approaches, and this may be the key benefit from harnessing user and community co-production (in particular with vulnerable groups) and wider community engagement.  

We welcome conceptual/theoretical or empirical papers from a wide range of standpoints and methodologies, including  internationally comparative papers. Papers may draw on new public governance (Osborne, 2006), public value concepts (Benington and Moore 2011, Hartley et al. 2017), collaborative governance (Emerson et al. 2012, Ansell and Gash, 2008), co-production (Loeffler 2021), behaviour change (James, van Ryzin and Jilke 2017), theories of economies of scope, scale and learning (Bovaird, 2014), as well as place-based policies (Lyons 2007; Bennett, 2018) and resilience (Boin and Lodge, 2016; Bovaird and Loeffler, 2023).

Abstracts and papers may therefore address research questions such as:

  • How can we conceptualise prevention as the remedy for an uncertain future, based on the lessons emerging from different literatures, such as as crisis management, resilience, public value and public governance?
  • What are the theoretical mechanisms by which prevention approaches promote public value for multiple stakeholders?
  • What conceptual frameworks can be used to explore rigorously the level and quality of implementation of prevention approaches, in hybrid governance arrangements, from the perspective of different stakeholders, including citizens?
  • To what extent do hybrid governance arrangements imply power imbalances and how can such power imbalances be mitigated?
  • How can we conceptualize the multiple outcomes from prevention approaches in public service organisations and the synergy between them (including economies of scope, scale and learning) – and how can the relationships between these outcomes be explored by empirical research?
  • Which strategies are available for promoting the key drivers and overcoming the key obstacles to prevention approaches?
  • How can public agencies in a context of austerity be motivated to develop or scale prevention approaches?
  • What are the positive and negative impacts of hybrid governance arrangements to develop and implement prevention approaches in different contexts?

The above list of questions is not exhaustive – other perspectives are welcome.

Panel format:

The panel will consist of paper presentations with a pre-allocated discussant and creative interactive sessions in order to develop new joint research projects and academic dialogue.  In particular, all paper givers will be invited to prepare at least one question for the audience, in order to benefit from the expertise and international perspectives in the room. All participants will be provided with the opportunity to provide brief written feedback to paper givers in order to maximise feedback and networking.

Best Paper Award

The journal Public Money and Management (PMM) will sponsor the best paper award at the panel. In order to be eligible, authors need to submit their paper in ExOrdo by 25 March 2024. Each paper will be reviewed by one member of the panel based on the PMM review criteria in order to provide a ranking list of the top three papers. The top three papers will be reviewed by a senior academic and one practitioner based on the PMM review criteria in order to select the best paper, which, if it meets the journal’s criteria, will be published in PMM.

Contact us

Informal inquiries about abstracts, papers or panel sessions can be made to all panelists:

André Carlos Busanelli de Aquino, email: aaquino@usp.br, Tina Foster, email: Tina.C.Foster@dartmouth.edu, Elke Loeffler, email: elke.loeffler@open.ac.uk, André Lino, email: andre.lino@essex.ac.uk, Sabina De Rosis, email: sabina.derosis@santannapisa.it, Milena Vainieri, email: milena.vainieri@santannapisa.it