Equality in Managing Service Delivery

Equality in Managing Service Delivery

Equality in Managing Service Delivery

Equality in Managing Service Delivery

Synopsis

This text gives practical advice on how organizations delivering a service to the public can meet the needs of different groups of people. Using examples from the private, public and voluntary sectors, Rohan Collier explains how to develop and implement equalities policies which effect real change. She argues that to be successful, an organization must know and address the different needs and interests of its customers or clients; and the only way to fully understand the needs of a diverse public is to take account of equalities issues.

Excerpt

Equal opportunity is now an integral part of the work of many organizations. However, adoption of equalities into everyday management remains patchy, and in my experience is much more likely to be developed in areas of employment than service delivery. But limiting equality principles to employment is irrational; there are equally compelling arguments for equalities to apply to those an organization serves. It is this area of equalities, that is equalities as they relate to service delivery, that Equality in Managing Service Delivery aims to address.

The book is largely based on my own experience. I first faced issues relating to service delivery as an elected councillor and chair of a ‘Women’s Committee’ in an inner London borough in the 1980s, trying - not always successfully - to move the council from concentrating on women’s employment issues towards looking at service delivery issues as they affected women in the borough. Since then it has become a recurring issue as I have worked for the voluntary sector and in local government. On each occasion it has been important to make the organization aware of its responsibilities to those it serves, to see the advantages of recognizing the rights of its customers, and to search for ways of listening to their needs. Often special strategies have been needed to develop these relationships. Sometimes it has meant developing new ways of reviewing services from an equalities point of view, using new devices for monitoring and consultation. It has also meant overseeing a programme of change designed to increase the organization’s responsiveness to citizens’ needs. Here the problems surrounding ways of assessing the needs of the citizen (customer) have to be tackled. My own experience in these developments has come from over ten years working mainly in local councils (first as an elected member, then as an equalities officer) but also in the voluntary sector. My knowledge of the private sector comes from the many occasions when I have dealt with companies either as a trainer, as a negotiator or as a customer. Many of the examples used in the book arise from my work in local government. Often they reflect shared experiences and so material discovered during meetings or discussions. Wherever possible I have given . . .

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