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Crawford School of Public Policy

Policy Models at 20 Paces: How Does Policy 'really' Work?

Oct 16, 2019
Canberra, Australia
AUD 1195 ≈USD 809
AUD 1195 per day

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Understanding how policy-making really works has spawned rich debates amongst academics and practitioners over the years with considerable controversy and argument about:

  • what ‘doing policy’ work consists of
  • what processes and systems are at work and how they interact
  • what skills and knowledge are needed to do it effectively.

Using participants' real-world experiences and interactive methods, this course will develop a more sophisticated understanding of how policy processes work and has the potential to support more thoughtful and relevant design and implementation. It can also reduce work stress and improve productivity by helping policy professionals’ better target their efforts towards influential activities and stakeholders. This course will enable you to assess risk better and help you to provide robust advice to decision-makers.

Course overview

This course will introduce a range of models / approaches to explaining policy processes such as:

-Policy Cycle -Advocacy Coalition Framework -Multiple Streams Framework -Punctuated equilibrium theory -Complex Adaptive/co-evolutionary Systems theory

It will explore, drawing on participant’s own experience of policy work, the pros and cons and/or relevance of various explanatory models for their work. The course will be deliberately structured to avoid ‘lecture’ style presentations (although tit may include some didactic elements). Instead, material will be presented to allow small, rotating discussion and learning groups to read and engage with the core ideas, as well as identify and analyse ways to better understand their real-world policy challenges in light of these models.

In this way, there will be high levels of student-to-student interaction as well as targeted student-to-instructor engagement.

Students will gain:

  • some frameworks and concepts to support their ability to make sense of their current and future policy challenges
  • an appreciation that policy work is a complex process that cannot easily be reduced to simple elements
  • tools and strategies to make improved judgements about and/or adjust the development, implementation and/or evaluation of policy issues to take account of the dynamics at play
  • a curiosity and interest to read and understand more in the area.


Pamela brings a wealth of experience at senior levels in government (line Depts, statistical agencies, PM&C), non-government, academic/think tank and consulting sectors including: • Leading major projects of national significance (e.g., reforming Australia’s child support system; disaster re...

Next dates

Oct 16, 2019
Canberra, Australia
AUD 1195 ≈USD 809
AUD 1195 per day

How it works

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