Brottsoffer i indikatorland – Öppna jämförelser inom socialtjänstens brottsofferstödjande arbete
AbstractCrime victims in Indicatorland – Open comparisons in the social services’ work with victim support
Since the 90s there have been extensive changes in the public sector, such as rationalization and increasing demands for documentation and review. The changes have also affected the social services’ victim support work that has increasingly been subject to various forms of regulation, such as requirements for monitoring, evaluation and quality assurance. This article aims to examine one of the monitoring systems applied in the victim support work: the instrument of open comparisons. This article is based on an exploratory study of the local organization of crime prevention in two municipalities and analyses how the processes of open comparisons are organized at local, regional and central levels. The empirical data consists of documents such as legal sources and handbooks from e.g. the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as well as documents obtained locally in the two municipalities. Furthermore, interviews were conducted with professionals working on different organizational levels.
Analytically the study has been inspired by programme theory, which made it possible to concentrate on clarifying the operational idea in which open comparisons are based and capturing the consequences in the two cases.
The study shows that open comparisons have been implemented without support from existing research. However, strong normative support for open comparisons exists within governmental agencies and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions. They are included as one of many elements of New Public Management and result in changes in the victim support work. In contrast to present visions, the performance is not affected to any significant extent. In contrast, a comprehensive administration is created, where employees of municipalities are supposed to collect data, register information and analyse the results generated by the open comparisons.