94 research outputs found

    Policy advice and the pursuit of public value

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    High-quality policy advice is an essential component of effective modern government. At its best, policy advice draws on the appropriate analysis of sound evidence to indicate directions for government action. At a more mundane level, policy advice in the form of situational analysis is required by Cabinet ministers to keep them abreast of developments within the purview of their respective portfolios. When informed by programme evaluation, policy advice can tell us whether current policies are delivering the valued outcomes that were anticipated when those policies were first adopted. &nbsp

    How state governments talk about the covid-19 pandemic helps them tackle it.

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    Much of the responsibility for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in the US has fallen on states and their governments. Michael Mintrom and Ruby O’Connor write that the stories governors have told their citizens about their state’s COVID-19 policies have been incredibly important. They argue that in order to best aid the acceptance of often controversial policies, policymakers should strive to create consistent messages, crafted to local conditions and that align talk with action

    Strengthening policy capability: New Zealand's Policy Project

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    Policy practitioners apply tools and frameworks to policy chal- lenges in order to improve social, economic, and environmental outcomes. Could such tools and frameworks be applied to improve the quality of policy design itself? In 2014, prompted by evidence of widespread inconsistency in the quality of policy advice being produced across agencies, the New Zealand Government launched the Policy Project. It deployed policy ana- lytic tools and frameworks to investigate current practice in policy design to improve the quality of policy advice across the whole of government. Through collaborative methods, the Policy Project identified and codified what quality policy advice looks like and the skills and processes needed to produce it. We review the con- text and creation of the Policy Project, its contributions, evidence of its impacts, and prospects for its replication across other public sectors

    Design Thinking in Policymaking Processes: Opportunities and Challenges

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    Design thinking has the potential to improve problem definition and mechanism design in policymaking processes. By promoting greater understanding of how citizens experience government services, design thinking can support public managers who desire to enhance public value. 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. They are (1) environmental scanning, (2) participant observation, (3) open-to-learning conversations, (4) mapping, and (5) sensemaking. Recent examples from Australia and New Zealand are used to illustrate how these strategies have been incorporated into policymaking efforts. The article concludes by considering how design thinking might be more broadly applied in policymaking, and the training and resourcing requirements that would entail

    Comparing the policy narratives of Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson during the Covid-19 pandemic

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    The Covid-19 pandemic has required citizens to adhere to strict restrictions to help tackle infection rates. Drawing on a new study, Michael Mintrom, Maria Rost Rublee, Matteo Bonotti and Steven T. Zech compare the effectiveness of the policy narratives used by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to encourage citizens to follow their advice

    The motivations for the adoption of management innovation by local governments and its performance effects

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    This article analyses the economic, political and institutional antecedents and performance effects of the adoption of shared Senior Management Teams (SMTs) – a management innovation (MI) that occurs when a team of senior managers oversees two or more public organizations. Findings from statistical analysis of 201 English local governments and interviews with organizational leaders reveal that shared SMTs are adopted to develop organisational capacity in resource‐challenged, politically risk‐averse governments, and in response to coercive and mimetic institutional pressures. Importantly, sharing SMTs may reduce rather than enhance efficiency and effectiveness due to redundancy costs and the political transaction costs associated with diverting resources away from a high‐performing partner to support their lower‐performing counterpart

    Doing ethical policy analysis

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