Pastures new

Last week I said goodbye to my wonderful colleagues at the Melbourne School of Government.  This week I started a new role at the University of New South Wales in Canberra, where I will be part of a group who will establish the Centre for Public Service Research.  I greatly enjoyed my team with a group of great people at Melbourne, but am very excited about my new role and the great group we are developing. Here’s a little about what we will be developing over the next few months.

The Centre for Public Service Research (CPSR) will perform timely, high-quality and reliable research into public policy implementation. We bring a breadth of knowledge and a depth of experience to our work, taking an inter-disciplinary and inter-methodological approach that recognises the complexity of contexts and plurality of interests involved in any policy implementation.

Our research projects build local practice while advancing global knowledge. We enable independent practice and collaborative thinking, and provide educational activities that embed new policy and program implementation insights into practice settings.

Our approach will be guided by 5 commitments:

  • We will use a recognition of the messy reality of implementation to inform our choices of different knowledge and tools to create novel insights
  • We will foster a holistic, system focused approach in all that we do, enabling a better understanding of the causes, rather than symptoms, of issues
  • We will engage in mutually beneficial relationships with partners, adopting an asset-based approach that enables the partner to achieve better outcomes and develop new capabilities
  • We will provide thought leadership and contribute to both local practice and global knowledge of public service delivery, implementation and evaluation
  • We are professionals who deliver projects in a timely, quality and reliable manner.

Evidence and experience indicate that a policy is only as good as its implementation. Despite the context of policy implementation having become highly contested and complex, policy implementation has received very little research attention in the last 10-20 years.

CPSR will provide research, research consultancy, professional development, research translation and thought leadership to develop knowledge and capability in the areas of: social policy and health policy; human resource management and capacity building in the public services; project management; gender equality strategies in the public service; occupational health and safety; auditing and governance in the public services.

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