The potential for collaborative innovation between public services and volunteers in the long-term care sector
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThe Innovation Journal - Public Sector Innovation Journal. 2016, 21 (3), .
Western societies with an ageing population and low fertility rates face significant demographic challenges. Political authorities are therefore looking for new solutions and innovative ways to deal with the increasing pressure on public healthcare. They point to innovative prospects in the interstices between various actors, and recommend collaboration with volunteers. However, little is known about the capacity of volunteers in the long-term care sector. In order to provide a comprehensive overview of the capacity of unpaid efforts that potentially may alleviate the challenges faced by long-term care services in Norway, this article uses a broad definition of volunteering when looking at the prevalence of organised voluntary work, unmanaged voluntary work and informal caregiving. The aim of this article is twofold. Firstly, the article discusses an innovation approach based on the potential contribution and the possibilities for voluntary actors in the interstices between the professionals and the care receivers in public long-term care services. Secondly, the article explores these innovative possibilities in a collaborative innovation perspective. Thirdly, the paper reveals the amount of voluntary work already occurring in Norway.