Posts Categorised: Policy

Wicked and less wicked problems: a typology and a contingency framework


Sunbaking/T. Fuller

“This paper addresses shortcomings in the scholarship about ‘wicked problems’, and suggests ways of tackling them. Firstly, accounts of these problems tend to ‘totalise’, regarding them as intractable masses of complexity, so conflict-prone and/or intractable that they defy definition and solution. By contrast, we put forward a more nuanced analysis, arguing that complex problems vary in the extent of their wickedness, via such dimensions as their cognitive complexity or the diversity and irreconcilability of the actors or institutions involved. We propose a typology of different forms of wicked problems.”

Source: Alford, J., & Head, B. W. (2017). Policy and Society, and available from this link (open access).

To what extent do Canadian police professionals believe that their agencies are ‘Targeting, Testing, and Tracking’ new policing strategies and programs?

Gum tree/PaperMonkey

“Some researchers suggest that police professionals see little value in adopting evidence based approaches to tackle policing challenges. To examine this issue, 586 Canadian police professionals were surveyed. We explore responses to one particular question, which caused 353 respondents to reflect on whether they think their agencies enact evidence based policing (EBP) principles in daily operations; specifically, the principles of targeting, testing, and tracking the implementation of new policing strategies.”

Source: Huey, L., Blaskovits, B., Bennell, C., Kalyal, H. J., & Walker, T. (2017). Police Practice and Research, and available from this link (subscription journal).

Evaluation flash cards : Embedding evaluative thinking in organizational culture

Fishing in Manly/Flickr

“Evaluative thinking becomes most meaningful when it is embedded in an organization’s culture. This means that people in the organization expect to engage with each other in clarifying key concepts, differentiating means and ends, thinking in terms of outcomes, examining the quality of evidence available about effectiveness, and supporting their opinions and judgments with evidence.”

Source:  Patton, M. (2017). Otto Bremer Trust and available from this link (open access).

Preventing Dysfunction and Improving Policy Advice: The Role of Intra-Departmental Boundary Spanners



“It is well established in the public management literature that boundary spanners – people or groups that work across departments or sectors – are critical to the success of whole of government and joined-up working. In studying recent unprecedented change to central government agencies in the Australian context, our research identified that intra-departmental boundary spanners also play a critical role in the functioning of government departments, particularly during restructuring.”

Source: Carey, G., Buick, F., Pescud, M., & Malbon, E. (2017). Australian Journal of Public Administration, 76(2), and available from this link (subscription journal).

Exploring Online Engagement in Public Policy Consultation: The Crowd or the Few?


Manly beach

“Governments are increasingly adopting online platforms to engage the public and allow a broad and diverse group of citizens to participate in the planning of government policies. To understand the role of crowds in the online public policy process, we analyse participant contributions over time in two crowd-based policy processes, the Future Melbourne wiki and the Open Government Dialogue.”

Source: Liu, H. K. (2017). Australian Journal of Public Administration, 76(1), and available from this link (open access).

Value Creation and Capture Framework

Manly sunset/Flickr

“Value creation and capture has the potential to improve productivity, increase access to jobs and employment, enhance public amenity and unlock commercial activities. The framework focuses on getting better value for Victorian taxpayers’ money from all future infrastructure projects. It describes a consistent, concerted approach to assessing and increasing the economic, social and environmental benefits of investments in Victoria. The Value Creation and Capture Framework provides guidance to all government departments, business, industry and community sector partners on ways that government will generate more industry and skills development, affordable housing, open spaces, community facilities and energy efficiency from future projects.”

Source: Victoria. Dept of Premier and Cabinet (2017). Available from this link (open access).

Design Thinking in Policymaking Processes: Opportunities and Challenges

Manly Harbour/M. Hardy

“In Australia, as elsewhere, design thinking currently remains separated from mainstream policymaking efforts. This article clarifies the essence of design thinking and its applicability to policy development. Five design thinking strategies are discussed, all of which have lengthy histories as social science methodologies.”

Source: Mintrom, M., & Luetjens, J. (2016). Australian Journal of Public Administration, 75(3), and available from this link (subscription journal).

The changing landscape of disaster volunteering: opportunities, responses and gaps in Australia


Lilly Pilly

“This paper considers implications of this changing landscape for the resilience agenda in disaster management, with a focus on Australia. It first reviews major forces and trends impacting on disaster volunteering, highlighting four key developments: the growth of more diverse and episodic volunteering styles, the impact of new communications technology, greater private sector involvement, and growing government expectations of and intervention in the voluntary sector.”

Source: McLennan, B. J., Whittaker, J. & Handmer, J. (2016). Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards and available from this link (open access).

Ending family violence: Victoria’s plan for change


Kangaroo paw/G.Griffin

“Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change outlines how we will build a future where all Victorians live free from family violence, and where women and men are treated equally and respectfully. It aligns with our other reforms including the Roadmap for Reform: strong families, safe children, the Gender Equality Strategy, and housing and homelessness reforms. This plan commits us to a decade-long agenda of action and investment to protect victims, punish the guilty, and change community attitudes.”

Source: Government of Victoria and available from this link (open access).

Implementation of the NSW Government’s program evaluation initiative

Manly sunset/Flickr

“Program evaluation is defined as a rigorous, systematic and objective process to assess a program’s effectiveness, efficiency, appropriateness and sustainability. A key intent of program evaluation is to provide evidence-based information for informing investment decisions on government programs. Such decisions could result in programs being continued, redesigned, or ceased. From August 2013, agencies were required to conduct evaluations in line with good practice principles in the NSW Government Evaluation Framework (Evaluation Framework). In January 2016, the NSW Government replaced the Evaluation Framework with the NSW Government Program Evaluation Guidelines (Evaluation Guidelines).”

Source: Audit Office of NSW and available from this link (open access).