Carnegie Trust publishes ‘The Enabling State: From Rhetoric to Reality’ case studies

The Carnegie UK Trust has recently published a paper 'The Enabling State: From Rhetoric to Reality', a selection of case studies of current practice of delivering services with an 'enabling approach' as part of its 'Enabling State' project led by Carnegie Fellow, Sir John Elvidge.

The 'Enabling State' project is examining the changing relationship between government and citizens in the UK and Ireland and is looking for commonality across these jurisdictions.

In 2012 they published the first paper in this project, 'The Enabling State: A discussion paper' and began to engage with stakeholders through a series of roundtable discussions. What they discovered was that despite a variation in language to describe the change government services that is currently underway there is a common aspiration to change from traditional 'top down' delivery of services to a 'community led, community empowered bottom up' approach.

To help understand these changes in more detail, a review of policy and evidence was undertaken with their final report, 'The Rise of the Enabling State' published earlier this year.

They have now published a collection of case studies from across the UK and Ireland to showcase examples of public service approaches that give citizens and communities more opportunity to shape the services that they receive and to contribute to societal wellbeing.

These case studies highlighted the discernable shift in thinking that is going on about how public services are delivered as well as examining new ways of working to help clarify what is meant by the 'Enabling State'.

They also identify some early learning which can be utilized as a 'learning resource' for other councils to provide best practice or ideas to support their own development of more community-focused services.

To read more about the 'Enabling State' project visit:

To read the full case study report visit:


Leave Comment

Last Updated : 04 December 2013. Page Author: marijke.hirst.