Posts Categorised: Public Administration

Recipe for disaster: building policy on shaky ground

Native Daphne

“This report tallies the successes and failures of the post-earthquake recovery effort, so we can learn from both to do better next time. The most important way in which government can do better in the next disaster is by providing greater regulatory and policy certainty. Some of that requires better contingency planning before the event. We concur with the auditor-general that a recovery agency should have access to necessary “off the shelf” internal control and operational functions from Day 1. It should not have to develop them from scratch when the urgent and pressing needs are its external activities. Similarly, councils can incorporate disaster contingencies in their longterm plans.”

Source: Wilkinson, B., & Crampton, E.(2018). The New Zealand Initiative and available from this link (open access).

Making the leap: A practical guide to inter-agency collaboration

Kangaroo Paw/PaperMonkey

“Government and community-sector agencies have an equal stake in producing better social services. Many novel policy ideas have come to government from the not-for-profit sector, and there is a long record of governments fostering community-sector innovation. Now, there is an increasing understanding that no single agency can address complex social problems on their own. This has brought about a new interest in how agencies can pool their complementary expertise to design and deliver more effective programs and services.”

Source: Thornton, D., Bryant, D. and Mallett, S. (2018). Melbourne: Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZSOG. Available from this link (open access).

How public inquiries can lead to change

Seagulls/Griffin

“To ensure public inquiries can lead to real change, the report calls for: government to systematically explain how it is responding to inquiry recommendations ; select committees to examine annual progress updates from government on the state of implementation ; public inquiries to publish interim reports in the months, rather than years, after events ; expert witnesses to be involved in developing the recommendations of inquiries.”

Source: Norris, E. & Shepheard, M. (2017). UK Institute for Government and available from this link (open access).

Working the Spaces in between: A Case Study of a Boundary-Spanning Model to Help Facilitate Cross-Sectoral Policy Work

Narrabeen duck/Griffin

“Since the 1990s, ‘joined-up government,’ ‘whole-of-government,’ and ‘horizontal governance’ approaches have emerged in many industrialized countries, resulting in the devolution of government functions to diverse policy networks. From these shifts, complex systems of networked actors have emerged, involved in designing, implementation, and influencing policy.”

Source: Carey, G., Landvogt, K., & Corrie, T. (2017).  Australian Journal of Public Administration and available from this link (subscription journal).

 

Defining policy failure in the Australian public service

Lapwings/Griffin

“There is a history of perceived and actual high-profile policy failures in Australia over the past decade. It’s an easy list to rattle off: the Home Insulation Program (HIP), the National Broadband Network (NBN), the 2016 eCensus, the ongoing CentreLink robo-debt scandal and it goes on. These fiascos not only create massive problems for the people they directly affect, they also dramatically reduce public trust in the capacity of the Australian Public Service (APS) to do its job.”

Source: Althaus, C. and Threlfall, D. (2017). Pursuit (University of Melbourne) and available from this link (open access).

Co-Production of Public Services in Australia: The Roles of Government Organisations and Co-Producers

Ducks/Griffin

“This article adds to the emerging empirical literature on citizen co-production. Based on a telephone survey of 1000 Australian adults, it replicates a five-country European study focusing on three policy domains: neighbourhood safety, environment, and health. It shows that individually performed and closely reciprocal activities with high levels of private value are performed the most often, whereas group activities producing mainly public value are the least performed.”

Source: Alford, J., & Yates, S. (2016).  Australian Journal of Public Administration, and available from this link (subscription journal)

State of the Service Report 2016-17

Manly early morning surf boat/M. Hardy

“The recently published 2016-17 State of the Service Report reveals that the APS is well positioned to embrace the changes and challenges of the future of work. Some significant changes are on the horizon, while others are already here. To respond to these changes and challenges, the APS is ensuring that people with the right skills are employed in the right way, in the right job at the right time. We are a diverse workforce and working towards levels of representation that mirror broader Australian society. We engage in innovative and collaborative activities and are seeking to better manage the performance of our people. Many of us have taken up flexible working arrangements.”

Source: Australian Public Service Commission and available from this link (open access).

Strategy in the Public and Private Sectors: Similarities, Differences and Changes

Lapwings/Griffin

“Strategic concepts and practices first evolved in the private sector, so they evoked much controversy when they migrated to the public sector from the late 1970s onwards. Partly this was about their (in)applicability to the distinctive features of government organizations, in particular their focus on public as well as private value, their situation in a political rather than a market environment, their almost exclusive capacity to use legal authority to achieve purposes, and the extent to which they often need to share power over personnel and resources with other public sector agencies.”

Alford, J.; Greve, C. (2017). Administrative Sciences, and available from this link (open access).

Collaborative public management and systems thinking

IMG_5563

Lapwings/G.Griffin

“Public management and administration researchers need to integrate the scholarship on collaboration through systems thinking. How do we define collaboration? How do we distinguish among the categories of collaborative public management (CPM), collaborative governance (CG), and networks? How do systems and institutional context shape collaboration in these categories?”

Source: Amsler, L. B., & O’Leary, R. (2017). International Journal of Public Sector Management, and available from this link (subscription journal).

It’s meaning making, stupid! Success of public leadership during flash crises

Flora

Grevillea

“Boin (2013) and others propose that public crisis leadership consists of several core tasks, among which crisis decision-making and meaning making stand out in “flash crises.” We however argue that successful leadership during a sudden crisis implies being visible and appealing to the public in need of hearing that the shattered world will be healed. When being visible and using the right rhetoric, public leaders are by and large automatically considered proficient crisis decision makers, that is “the right leader in the right place at the right time.”

Source: Helsloot, I., & Groenendaal, J. (2017). Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management and available from this link (subscription journal).