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ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

Policy processes for practitioners: an introduction

Two and a half-day short course


22nd September 2015
- 24th September 2015


ANU Crawford School of Public Policy


Robyn Hardy
Trish Mercer
Wendy Jarvie
Kristen Connell



This introductory workshop at The Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy will give you a comprehensive overview of the core elements required in policy development, including policy frameworks, the importance of evidence-informed analysis, finance and budgeting and effective policy communication.

Course overview


This workshop starts at the beginning of the policy process. It covers key policy development frameworks and the complexities of ‘real world’ policy development; the importance of policy instruments and the expertise required of policy workers; and finally, how we understand and engage with our stakeholders.

You will then look at what evidence-based policy is, where it has been successfully used and why it can seem so hard to do, drawing on social policy case studies in schools reform, early childhood education, Indigenous policy, income support, and gun reform. You will be involved in exercises critiquing and using research for policy development and implementation, including a longer exercise to gain practical insights into the challenges of making evidence-informed policy.

Budgetary processes will be examined by discussing the links between the resourcing of policies and policy implementation or delivery challenges. You will explore how budgets can be better used to design and manage programs and how incentives and policy can align. You will also examine how different ways of delivering and marshalling resources can affect the policy outcomes.

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 criticise or punish poor policies and learn how to optimise the communication of good policy in the media and public arena.

The course will be offered by an ensemble of accomplished presenters with extensive academic and practitioner experience and will include case studies and intensive Q&A and discussion sessions.

Course convenor


Dr Robyn Hardy

Dr Robyn Hardy is currently lecturing in procurement at the University of Canberra. She is also a Director of ACTTAB. Robyn recently retired from her role heading up ACT Government Shared Services Procurement, a division of the ACT Treasury Directorate. Robyn has a degree in economics from JCU and a Masters Degree and PhD in public policy from ANU. Her PhD research was on ‘Interjurisdictional Cost-shifting’. Robyn has had a long and varied career in the public service, serving in both the Commonwealth and ACT Governments.

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.

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: 
12.30pm–4.30pm 22 September 2015
9.30am–4.30pm 23 September 2015
9.30am–4.30pm 24 September 2015
Venue: #132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU
Cost: A$2,750 GST incl; Group discounts applicable

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