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Evaluating ANZSOG’s impact

6 June 2017

News and media


ANZSOG works towards the development of better ideas, evidence and networks for the public sector, bringing public sector leaders into contact with cutting-edge scholars, scholarship and practitioners. The impact of such training and learning for high level public sector officials is often taken for granted. But how can we evaluate the impact of ANZSOG learning for government and the public more broadly?

Today’s public sector faces ever increasing demands for effective and accountable administration of government and public policy. The intersection of scholarship and public sector knowledge through schools of government such as ANZSOG is often identified as critical in meeting these demands. Subsequently, evidence of the concrete outcomes ANZSOG programs have on leaders and leadership in the public sector is critical in shaping more effective learning, and in demonstrating value for the public.

From the Harvard Kennedy School to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, educators in public administration and management are exploring new methods of evaluation to demonstrate the impact of their programs, and ANZSOG aims to contribute to this space.

In collaboration with the ANZSOG Evidence and Evaluation Hub, we are developing a new and comprehensive approach to evaluating our impact in executive education, including incorporating Robert Brinkerhoff’s’ Success Case Method.

The Success Case Method is based around identifying outlier – or extreme – cases of success, and instances where there are significant facilitators or obstacles to successfully transforming learning into concrete positive results. Based on an initial survey followed by in-depth interviews with a sample of extreme cases, the method explores how learning is transformed into positive action and the factors that either support or limit success.

This approach is being tested through a pilot evaluation of the Executive Fellows Program (EFP), being undertaken in 2017.

We are exploring two questions critical to the endeavor of building a better public sector through education, knowledge sharing and research:

How successful is education in public administration and leadership in improving the contribution of participants to the public sector, and what impact does this improvement have?
Under what conditions do participants in public administration and leadership education either succeed or fail to apply gained knowledge to create positive change in their agencies or jurisdictions?

Throughout 2017, we will be engaging with our partner governments and alumni to ask questions about the impact of their learning experience at ANZSOG in effecting positive change for their agencies, jurisdictions and the public.

We look forward to sharing our research into the benefits of education for high level public sector officials with you, and thank our alumni for their cooperation and commitment to the development of better educated, informed and motivated public sector leaders.