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Crawford School of Public Policy

Foundations for Strategic Policy Development

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About the course

A contemporary public service requires policy makers to be well informed, responsive, collaborative, innovative and cohesive in their approach to policy development – in other words, to take a ‘strategic thinking’ approach to policy development.

This course will step through a framework for strategic policy development, using social policy case studies to explore the capabilities, tools and processes essential for strategic policy design, development and implementation. Participants will learn by engaging in practical exercises that apply a range of skills to build capability for strategic policy development and to transition to considered, well-developed policy design and implementation.

Course overview

Designing and implementing strategic policy is challenging. Government approaches often change direction, policy development is highly contestable, policy problems are complex and multi-faceted, policy approaches and outcomes require linkages across numerous portfolios or layers of governance, and there is a growing emphasis on involving stakeholders and citizens in policy design. Foundations for Strategic Policy Development will provide participants with a framework to develop their strategic policy skills. The framework is based on five principles; recognising that in order to be effective, policy makers need to:

  • Understand the big picture – to design best practice policy in a whole-of-system context
  • Be agile and innovative – to be responsive, proactive and open to new ideas
  • Work collaboratively – to foster an open, integrated approach to policy development
  • Use evidence effectively – to build the foundations for policy design
  • Focus on outcomes – to design person-centred, efficient and effective policy

This course will work through the strategic policy development framework, and each of these principles in detail, engaging in techniques that will help participants to build a practical approach to strategic policy development and design. It will consider why the identified principles are essential for strategic policy design and implementation and consider some of the challenges policy practitioners face when developing strategic policy.

Trust the experts

Erin Bowen

Erin Bowen is an experienced senior policy specialist in health and public administration, with almost twenty years working at executive levels across both Commonwealth and state governments and now works as a public policy consultant. She has provided leadership on whole of system strategic poli...


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