Northumbria, CPI partner to improve government efficency

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A collaboration between academics from Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School and senior researchers at CPI aims to support efforts to help governments become more effective and trusted.

By U2B Staff 

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Northumbria University is teaming up with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) in a range of high-impact research partnerships aimed at supporting efforts to help governments become more effective and trusted.

These research projects will see a collaboration between academics from Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School and senior researchers at the centre.

The collaboration will cover areas of research led by the centre that will explore shared power between governments, professionals, and citizens. Northumbria will also lead the research on public management and governance in this collaboration.

The collaboration will also explore Northumbria’s “Human Learning Systems” approach to public management. This approach explores the power of human empathy to learn and uses it to create systems that enable effective collaboration and coordination.


This partnership comes to light as the centre believes that governments across the world are too focused on performance management, neglecting human-centered policy making and delivery.

The centre has developed a number of tools to help public policymakers to align citizens and professional practitioners in policy development processes.

Executive Director of the centre, Adrian Brown expressed delight that this partnership with Northumbria, “CPI is delighted to work with one of the leading thinkers on complexity in government and how governments can deliver better policies and services. Combining our research will bring new insights into how we can help governments deliver better outcomes for citizens.”

Senior Lecturer in Public Management and Leadership at Newcastle Business School, Toby Lowe will lead the research at Northumbria.

Lowe said that as the CPI is a global think tank with significant influence, it has the power to change the way governments across the world work.

This effort in reshaping governments will create a radical power shift, away from the central government to the hands of the people.


Lowe’s work at the university focuses on how public service can better serve the needs of people. It picks up on the role the “Human, Learning, Systems” approach plays in effectively solving complex societal problems.

The research identifies that this approach devolves decision-making, and encourages managers to focus on creating trust and learning environments as a way to achieve improvements.

Lowe added, “This means that policymakers recognise and respond to human variety with bespoke support, that they build empathy between people, recognise the strengths of others and seek to trust and be trusted. Learning through both quantitative and qualitative data should also be used to improve performance and create learning cultures. Policymakers should fund and commission for learning, not for the delivery of specified services or just to hit targets.”

Lowe expressed delight at this partnership, as it gives the university an opportunity to make an impact in the world through its Human Learning Systems and Shared Power research. In addition, it will allow the university to expand its work in this field.