Public Policy PG (6268.6)
|Available teaching periods||Delivery mode||Location|
|View teaching periods|| On-Campus
|| Bruce, Canberra
|0.125||3||Faculty Of Business, Government & Law|
|Discipline||Study level||HECS Bands|
|Institute For Governance And Policy Analysis||Post Graduate Level|| Band 4 2021 (Commenced After 1 Jan 2021)
Band 4 2021 (Commenced After 1 Jan Social Work_Exclude 0905)
Band 5 2021 (Commenced Before 1 Jan 2021)
Learning outcomesUpon successful completion of this unit, students will have:
1. An enhanced capacity to understand policy processes and undertake policy analysis;
2. Knowledge and understanding of the challenges of policy development and a capacity to apply these insights to real world policy challenges; and
3. Relevant knowledge and research skills for practical application in the public, private and non-profit sectors, and for further academic study.
Designing public policies and programs has long been recognised more as art and craft than science. Advisers try to bring evidence-based analytical perspectives to public issues of the day in a context which considers the authorising environment, ideological and political preferences, existing policy commitments and international evidence and experiences. Professor Aaron Wildavsky, a well-known teacher of policy studies, described the job of policy advisers as ‘speaking truth to power’, though what is truth and the public interest will often be contested. Our democratic Westminster traditions require government advisers to balance out the dual roles of implementing the decisions of politicians while also providing analytically sound and professional policy advice which is frank and fearless.
This unit also provides an introduction to the specialist sub-field of public policy and policy analysis. It covers contemporary issues and problems (with a particular emphasis on Covid-19) and aims to deepen participants’ knowledge of the theory and practice of public policy-making. In this unit we will introduce students to rudimentary concepts, techniques and methods employed in policy analysis; evaluate the credibility of policy analysis as an understanding of policy-making in the real world; and, apply this knowledge to specific policy problems.
It should be noted at the outset that the next unit you will tackle – Economic Policy Analysis – will involve the use of more advanced tools of policy analysis including various forms of cost benefit analysis.
Policy analysis has been described as “knowledge of” and “knowledge in” the policy process. It includes knowledge of the broad macro-level forces which constrain policy processes such as the political or economic contexts or processes of globalisation; understanding the institutional processes which shape policy agendas and the solutions we apply to them (e.g. Fiscal strategy, Federalism); the application of knowledge at the decision-making (e.g. problem definition, agenda-setting; policy formulation) and the field levels (implementation, evaluation); and technical tools of analysis (e.g. intervention logic). This unit will cover all of these components with the exception of implementation and evaluation which we will investigate in more detail in subsequent units.
Participants in this subject will explore and compare some existing policy models, tools and methods – including Eugene Bardach’s 8-step path to successful problem solving, and the Althaus, Bridgman and Davis policy cycle model, together with those used by core partners. A strategic learning approach to policy development is advocated which presents policy design as a process of crafting, with a focus on outcomes and attention to learning, innovation and more effective stakeholder and citizen engagement. This approach is well-suited to more complex policy issues which governments cannot address working on their own.
Attention is also given to strategies to enhance the capability and performance of the policy advisory system and the complementary roles of advisers and analysts, managers, citizens and others.
The unit provides participants with an opportunity to enhance their personal growth by stimulating new ideas and developing new skills in policy design. It is organised into two modules:
Module 1: Policy advising and crafting in uncertain times
Module 2: Policy design – from idea to action
Policy advising and crafting in uncertain times – provides an introduction to the world of policy advice from the perspective of the Australian policy process, together with an understanding of the present economic (macro-economy and fiscal strategy) political (federalism) and social (citizen expectations) contexts which shape and constrain policy development. This module also provides an exploration of the Australian advisory system. It observes that a relevant learning and development program on better policy-making needs to acknowledge the realities of “policy-based” as well as “evidence-based” policy-making and ensure that policy officers have the capability to do “good enough” policy-making under political pressure. By implication, an awareness of social science research methods that can help them in this regard is provided. It is also argued that strategic communication is a key tool of policy-making in a contested policy environment. The module provides: an understanding of how strategic communication can be a crucial method for affecting policy change; insight into the key principles informing effective strategic communication; an understanding of the “perceived” barriers to effective strategic communication; and, an introduction to the various strategic tools for enhancing communication including techniques of engagement, messaging, learning, and political awareness.
Policy design – from idea to action is organized around the development of a new policy proposal. It presents a ‘critical’ guide to the rudiments of traditional policy design encompassing problem definition and framing, Eugene Bardach’s 8-step path to successful problem solving, and certain policy instruments that can be used to guide successful implementation. Key tools deployed in Commonwealth government will be applied to specific problems brought to the program by participants including deliberation and co-design with citizens and stakeholders. The module will draw on case studies of innovative practice.
|Year||Location||Teaching period||Teaching start date||Delivery mode||Unit convener|
|2023||Bruce, Canberra||Period 2||03 April 2023||On-Campus||Dr Lain Dare|
|2023||Bruce, Canberra||Period 2||03 April 2023||On-Campus||Dr Brendan McCaffrie|
|2023||Bruce, Canberra||Period 3||30 May 2023||On-Campus||Dr Lain Dare|
|2023||Bruce, Canberra||Period 3||30 May 2023||On-Campus||Dr Darren Sinclair|
|2024||Bruce, Canberra||Period 2||01 April 2024||On-Campus||Dr Brendan McCaffrie|
|2024||Bruce, Canberra||Period 3||03 June 2024||On-Campus||Dr Brendan McCaffrie|
|2024||Bruce, Canberra||Period 3||03 June 2024||On-Campus||Dr Lain Dare|
As provided on canvas
Required IT skills
Work placement, internships or practicums