The initiative will bring together Local Service Boards from 15 authorities in the Convergence area of Wales to pioneer projects that maximise the impact of the services they deliver.
Backed with Welsh Assembly Government funding, including £7.7m from the European Social Fund, the initiative will build skills and expertise to increase efficiencies and encourage greater collaboration between organisations.
Minister Jane Hutt AM said:
"This is a great boost for public services during difficult economic times. We are determined to continue to improve the services we provide our citizens and we expect to support a range of high quality projects which will achieve greater collaboration, efficiency and citizen engagement. The first wave of projects will be up and running this month."
The first two projects up and running this month are in Bridgend and Swansea. Both are aiming to redesign services so they wrap around families and their need and work with them to develop services that will have wider benefit.
The project will support the work of the Wales Efficiency and Innovation programme to make cost savings and develop new ways of providing better services. A programme board that includes public sector employers and social partners was set up last year (2010) in response to the recession.
The project will be delivered in partnership with Welsh Local Government Association Regional Partnership Boards (RPBs), and Communities First Partnerships (CFPs) to ensure collaboration at regional, local and community level .
The Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, Carl Sargeant AM, said:
"This funding offers an excellent opportunity for Communities First Partnerships and Local Service Boards to strengthen their links and work together to benefit our most deprived communities. This is an excellent opportunity for local authorities and their partners to show genuine leadership. It also supports my commitment to take the Communities First Programme forward using its infrastructure to help to deliver key Welsh Assembly priorities.
Councillor John Davies, Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association said:
"Local government welcomes the opportunity that will be provided through this project for excellent secondment opportunities for project managers to deliver a range of WLGA Regional Board projects over the next four years. We are also grateful to the Minister for Social Justice and Local Government for committing match funding for the project.
"Evidence shows that collaborative projects are more likely to succeed if they are supported by dedicated project management capacity - this project will enable us to progress projects more quickly. Twelve individuals will be recruited on secondment from within the public sector to help us protect jobs at this difficult time as well as developing the skills and expertise of our workforce."