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About the John L. Alford Case Library

What happens now?

Within weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic takes telehealth from niche service to major priority. How will Australia’s Department of Health provide rapid, mainstream access whilst addressing patient safety, privacy and costs?

The Ministry for Social Development in Aotearoa New Zealand wants to test its new tool for predicting which children will need protective intervention. But will officials be able to overcome the practical and ethical concerns? Including their Minister’s?

During a meeting with Victoria’s First Peoples, the state government commits to work towards a treaty. But with no Australian precedent, and a long history of distrust, where do they start?


These scenarios are just a few of the very real dilemmas, crises, challenges and opportunities contained within ANZSOG’s John L. Alford Case Library.

Each case puts you in the position of public-sector decision-makers and organisations as they wrestle with complex and often high-pressure situations.

For ANZSOG students, case studies provide immersive problem-solving exercises that draw deeply on their knowledge, experience and skills.

A unique collection

ANZSOG’s Case Library was set up in 2004 by Foundation Professor John L. Alford to address a lack of locally relevant public sector cases. It has since grown to become the world’s 3rd largest collection of public policy and management cases, and the largest focused on the Australia/Aotearoa New Zealand region.

Now featuring more than 200 case studies, the internationally recognised library covers a wide range of topics concerning all levels of government.

With new and updated cases added regularly, it’s an invaluable resource for both instructors and researchers/practitioners seeking engaging, authoritative accounts of important public policy and management issues. Our peer-reviewed cases are carefully crafted by in-house and external writers, and often feature commentary from the key figures involved.

Unique among case libraries of its calibre, the John L. Alford Case Library is an open access collection permitting case downloads at no charge. All of our case studies are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Many case studies are also accompanied by dedicated teaching notes and aids, although these supplementary materials require permission to access. For more information, please see ‘Search tips and contacts’ or email caselibrary@anzsog.edu.au.

ANZSOG’s John L. Alford Case Library is free with no sign-up required, so start browsing the catalogue now.

Case Library Team

Dr Patrick Brownlee – Case Program Director

As part of his role as ANZSOG’s Deputy Director Research and Advisory, Patrick oversees Case Program operations, including the commissioning of new cases. More about Patrick here.

Marinella Padula – Research Fellow, Case Program

Marinella is ANZSOG’s resident case writer and has extensive experience in the planning and production of case studies. She also provides editorial support to external case writers and assists in the curation of ANZSOG’s Case Library. More about Marinella here.

Dr Lisa Carson – Coordinator, Case Program 

In addition to her many duties as an ANZSOG Senior Research Fellow, Lisa keeps track of Case Program projects, liaises with writers and updates the organisation on program activity. More about Lisa here.

Roz Smith – Executive Officer

Based at ANU, Roz provides administrative support across ANZSOG, including the Case Program.

About Professor John L. Alford

John Alford is a Foundation Professor of Public Sector Management in the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and also at the Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne.

From the time of ANZSOG’s genesis in 2002, Professor Alford was instrumental in developing and leading the School’s flagship teaching programs, including the Executive Fellows Program (2003-2010) and Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA).

Professor Alford was a driving force behind ANZSOG’s international reputation for the highest quality executive-level instruction, and the application of case-based interactive teaching approaches. In 2004, he established the ANZSOG Case Library, the only source of high-quality public-sector teaching cases of direct relevance to Australia and New Zealand. Modelling the library on the best international case collections; Professor Alford assembled and nurtured a small team of world-class case writers; sourcing topics and contributors from across the nascent ANZSOG network; and kept a laser focus on the hallmark ANZSOG ‘case style’ that is recognized internationally for its acuity and readability. In addition, he has himself written or supervised over 100 ANZSOG cases.

Professor Alford is also an internationally recognised researcher in the areas of strategic management in the public sector, contracting and partnering, political astuteness, and client-organisation relationships. He has authored or co-authored five books – two of which have won prestigious international awards (Engaging Public Sector Clients: From Service-Delivery to Co-Production and Rethinking Public Service Delivery: Managing with External Providers) – and published over 55 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.

In 2007, Professor Alford was made a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. After stepping down at ANZSOG in 2017, he became a Professorial Fellow at Melbourne University’s School of Government.

It is in recognition of his contribution to the creation and subsequent success of ANZSOG as a network school, and to public management teaching and scholarship, that the School has named the ‘John L. Alford Case Library’ in his honour.