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ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

Policy processes for practitioners: an introduction

Two and a half-day short course


When:

5th April 2016
-7th April 2016

Where:

ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

Speakers:

Trish Mercer
Wendy Jarvie
Kristen Connell

Cost:

A$2,750

This course is designed to introduce public servants with limited policy experience to how public policy is developed and communicated at the national level in Australia. Participants will be introduced to relevant academic concepts and frameworks which can be of practical use to practitioners operating in today’s complex and often chaotic policy world. Case studies will be used to illustrate how policy is made and practical exercises will be employed to deepen the learnings from the course.

Course overview

 

The policy processes course is specifically designed to introduce public servants with limited policy experience, and also those outside government, to how public policy is developed and communicated at the national level in Australia.

This two and a half-day workshop starts at the beginning of the policy process. It covers how policy is made and the importance of understanding your minister and the government you work for. Participants will be introduced to relevant academic concepts and frameworks that can be of practical use to practitioners operating in today’s complex and often chaotic policy world.

On day two, the workshop will explore how policy issues are identified and how policy analysis is conducted, highlighting the importance of the Budget cycle in policy development. You will look at what evidence-based policy is, where it has been successfully used and why it can seem so hard to do, drawing on a range of social policy case studies in health and education reform, Indigenous policy, income support and gun reform. You will be involved in a longer exercise to gain practical insights into the challenges of making evidence-informed policy. The course will also extend your capacity to critique and communicate evidence as a key tool in policy development and program implementation.

Day three will begin with discussion of the major policy instruments that are available to governments when they seek to intervene and the role of behavourial economics techniques for improving policy outcomes. You will explore the conditions that enable some policy actions to succeed while others fail, illustrated through specific case studies of government interventions.

The final section of the workshop will be concerned with best practices in policy communication. By the end of the course, you will better understand how to foster inter-agency support through effective communication during policy development. You will see how detractors and opponents will use the media to criticize or punish poor policies and learn how to optimize the communication of good policy in the media and public arena.

The course will be conducted by an ensemble of accomplished presenters with extensive academic, communications and practitioner experience, and will include case studies, media clips and practical exercises.

Course convenor

Dr Trish Mercer

With over 20 years’ experience as an SES officer (1989-2010) in Commonwealth central and line public service departments, Trish Mercer is highly experienced in policy and program formulation. From 2003 to 2010, Trish worked in the Department of Education, Science and Training and its successor the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, undertaking senior roles in early childhood, schools and student income support and also running for three years the department’s research, analysis and evaluation area.

Trish also had hands-on service delivery experience from 1996 to 2003 as a member of the SES team responsible for establishing the Commonwealth’s joined up service delivery agency Centrelink. As Area Manager, she had direct responsibility for some 1,000 staff in offices across Central and North Queensland and gained extensive experience in delivering innovative services in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous communities.

Trish is now a Visiting Fellow in the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) at ANU. Her research projects include early childhood, schools reforms and public policy innovation, and she is involved in running public policy workshops in Commonwealth departments.

Course presenter(s)

Dr Wendy Jarvie

Dr Wendy Jarvie has enjoyed a diverse career, including as a government policy practitioner, university researcher and a development specialist. She spent 22 years working in the APS, including seven years (2001-2008) as a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Education, Science and Training and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

She also managed evaluations and strategy development at the World Bank in Washington between 1998 and 2001. Wendy has consulted widely for international agencies including the World Bank and the OECD on early childhood education, and for the IMF on employment services.

A Visiting Professor at the UNSW School of Business in Canberra, she is currently undertaking research in in early childhood and Indigenous policy, and the use of evidence in policy and program management. Since 2012 she has been a member of the Australian government’s Independent Evaluation Committee for Australian Aid.

Ms Kristen Connell

Kristen Connell is a communications skills specialist and trainer. Her training focuses on topics including written communication skills, media management and negotiation skills. Kristen holds a BA in Journalism and tertiary qualifications in business management. She worked as a journalist for nearly seven years, including five years in the Press Gallery at Parliament House in Canberra.

Kristen has provided media advice to Federal and State politicians during two election campaigns. In addition, Kristen has spent nearly a decade undertaking public relations, media management, strategic planning, workshop facilitation, lobbying, policy development and project management for high profile national organisations and government departments.

Course dates: 
12.30–4.30pm 5 April 2016
9.30am–4.30pm 6 April 2016
9.30am–4.30pm 7 April 2016
Venue: #132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU
Cost: A$2,750 GST incl; Group discounts applicable

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