Government Direct Provision (Online Lesson)
- AS, A-Level, IB
- AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC
Last updated 6 May 2020
In this online lesson, we look at the types of goods/services provided directly by governments or by the government in partnership with the private sector, and evaluate the effectiveness of that provision.
WHAT YOU'LL STUDY IN THIS ONLINE LESSON
- the types of goods/services typically provided by a government, and some differences between governments in different countries
- the factors influencing government provision of goods/services
- the ways in which governments can finance / pay for direct provision e.g. contracting out and PFI
- in-depth application to healthcare and the NHS
- key evaluation points in relation to direct provision, contracting out and PFI, alongside relevant examples
Additional teacher guidance is provided at the end of this lesson. Thank you to Penny Brooks and Jon Clark for their contributions to this lesson.
HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE LESSON
Follow along in order of the activities shown below. Some are interactive game-based activities, designed to test your understanding and application of government direct provision. Others are based on short videos, including activities for you to think about and try at home, as well as some extra worksheet-based activities.
If you would like to download a simple PDF worksheet to accompany the video activities, you can download it here: Direct Provision. You can print it off and annotate it for your own notes, or make your own notes on a separate piece of paper to add to your school/college file.
ACTIVITY 1: THINKING TASK - EQUALITY AND EQUITY
A key factor in government provision of any good/service is the impact on equality and also on equity. Have a go at this activity which helps you to understand the difference between these two concepts.
ACTIVITY 2: GAME - INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING
If you want to discuss the cost of government provision in exam answers, it can be really useful to have some facts and figures at your fingertips!Have a go at this activity, matching infrastructure projects with the amount spent on them.
ACTIVITY 3: VIDEO - GOVERNMENT PROVIDED GOODS & SERVICES
In this video, we take a look at some of the market failures that direct government provision is intended to tackle.
ACTIVITY 4: VIDEO - METHODS OF GOVERNMENT PROVISION
In this video, we introduce the main ways in which governments can provide goods and services, in particular, directly themselves and by "contracting out". We also make a few synoptic linksby linking briefly with some aspects of fiscal policy.
ACTIVITY 5: GAME - WHAT DOES THE STATE PROVIDE?
In this interactive game, find out more about the nature of goods and services provided by the government.
ACTIVITY 6: WIDER READING
Should the government provide all infrastructure? What types of infrastructure make the biggest difference to economic performance?
The following articles provide a good introduction to some of these synoptic issues.
- In this commentary, the Institute for Government looks at how infrastructure spending is funded, and they consider the scale of projects here
- Find out more about government spending on large sporting events in this commentary from World Finance, this piece from The Guardian and this academic paper assessing the impact of the Olympics on host cities
- Try taking a look at this document, which considers London's infrastructure needs up to 2041
ACTIVITY 7: VIDEO - FOCUS ON HEALTHCARE
Developing detailed knowledge of key markets is a great way to boost your grades in exams. In this video, we take a closer look at the economics of healthcare, considering the pros and cons of state provision vs private-sector provision. One of the documents referred to in the video regarding NHS provision can be found in greater detail here. You can also see this funding resource in video format on YouTube here.
ACTIVITY 8: GAME - INFRASTRUCTURE OVERSPEND
Before we look at the video on the key evaluation points for government direct provision, have a go at developing your applied knowledge of this topic by playing this game and thinking about government infrastructure projects that have suffered significant overspending!
ACTIVITY 9: VIDEO - EVALUATING GOVERNMENT PROVISION
In this video, we look at some of the factors influencing the success (or otherwise!) of government provision, including an evaluation of contracting and PFI approaches. The video also provides a brief overview of Carillion, giving you the chance to have a go at an applied essay question - ask your teacher if they would like you to complete this task.
ACTIVITY 10: EXAM STYLE QUESTIONS - FLOOD DEFENCES
For this activity, there is a range of possible questions and worksheets that you can have a go at, depending on the types of exam-skill that you would like to practice.
- Read this example essay on government provision of flood defences, and "work backwards" to produce your own essay plan based on this answer
- Have a go at the questions on this Synoptic Assessment Mat, based on a case study of Whaley Bridge and flood defences
- Tackle a data-response activity on flood defences and market failure. You can download an AQA-style data response here or an Edexcel-style data response here.
ACTIVITY 11: MULTIPLE CHOICE REVIEW
Have a go at these MCQs, which test your knowledge of what you've (hopefully!) learned over the course of this online lesson.
ACTIVITY 12: CROSSRAIL PROJECT
Carry out your own reading and research to find out more about the Crossrail project. If you can, find the original plans for the project, looking at the costs and timelines, and then compare it to the current situation. Make sure you take notes on how Crossrail is funded, who it is intended to benefit, and the likely effectiveness of this project.
ADDITIONAL TEACHER GUIDANCE
This lesson comprises:
- around 35 minutes of guided video time, spread across 4 videos
- around 20-25 minutes of student thinking time across the 4 videos
- 3 game-based activities, focusing on applied examples of government direct provision
- 1 MCQ test
- a wider reading task on large government projects, including spending on sports events and the Olympics
- an exam-style series of questions on flood defences (you can find suggested answers to the AQA-style data response here and the Edexcel-style data response here - if you follow a different exam board specification, simply choose the activity that most closely meets your needs)
- a suggested research task on Crossrail
The "core" of the lesson is expected to take around 90 minutes, with the exam-style activities and reading tasks taking additional time.