Exploring the impact of public services on quality of life indicators

Research output: Working paper


The fundamental aim of public services is to improve the quality of life of citizens. The main objective of this study was to investigate the influence of public service organisations (PSOs) on aspects of quality of life (broadly measured) of citizens at a local level.
Quality of life is a multi-dimensional concept incorporating facets such as health and social wellbeing, economic well-being, quality of education, level of security and safety, access to transport, and other aspects of life at a local level.
Quality of life and well-being is linked closely to the notion of social capital which broadly concerns networks and shared values and understanding that exist within and between groups. Social capital highlights the importance of many aspects of the social associations that people encounter in their everyday life that may contribute to their well-being and quality of life. Public policy has a current emphasis on the role of social capital and the responsibility of organisations and agencies to work together to address the needs of local communities in terms of creating the conditions that enhance social capital.
Moreover, there has been increasing policy emphasis on the responsibility of PSOs to promote the well-being of their area and this explicitly entails working with other agencies - even where boundaries are not coterminous - in order to develop sustainable community strategies that address the full range of quality of life issues.
The increasing emphasis on notions of ‘community’ and ‘neighbourhood’ as levels at which wellbeing, community cohesion and social capital are fostered, implies that it is useful to look beyond the usual regional, local authority or health area level to smaller geographical areas.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork UK
PublisherCentre for Health Economics, University of York
Number of pages148
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameCHE Research Paper
PublisherCentre for Health Economics, University of York

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