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Current research projects

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ANZSOG Research Model Program

ANZSOG was established in 2002 by governments, for governments, with the collaboration of our partner universities. ANZSOG creates public value by informing debate on key issues affecting government and public administration and supporting the development of new knowledge and capability throughout the public sector.  

This foundation is reflected in the objective of ANZSOG’s Research Model:

 To address key contemporary issues in public administration and policy development through research of practical assistance to government and the communities they serve. 

Our Research Model has three distinctive features: 

  • It targets the priorities of government, aiming at systemic impact and delivering public value.  
  • It favours collaborative and comparative research at the interface of academia and practice. 
  • It draws on the strengths of our network of scholars and practitioners and the ANZSOG Board and staff. 

Demand-driven research  

ANZSOG’s Research Model projects are collaboratively developed and co-sponsored by ANZSOG and government. These are highly impactful, demand-driven projects that directly respond to the identified needs of government. ANZSOG’s unique ability to engage with and connect academics and practitioners is central to the success of our Research Model. 

The Research Model follows an annual cycle which progresses through a three-stage process of research development: from themes to topics to projects.  

A list of high-level research themes is developed periodically by our advisory Research Committee. Research themes reflect broad current issues and debates in public administration and policy theory and practice. 

Research topics are developed through a collaborative process by the Research Network, representatives from all state and national governments in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Topics operationalise annual research themes by crafting them into research questions or hypotheses that can respond to applied areas of interest to public administration and policy practice. 

The ANZSOG Research team works with sponsor governments to refine the topics as the basis for a competitive EOI process. University-based, applied policy research institutes are invited to respond to the EOI and, following an assessment process, ANZSOG and sponsoring governments work with the successful research institutes to develop the projects. Professor Ariadne Vromen, Deputy Dean (Research) ANZSOG and Bunting Chair of Public Administration at ANU, leads the engagement with partner universities. 

Commissioned research projects run for up to two years, with an emphasis on collaboration at all stages with sponsoring governments and the successful applied policy research institute. The process of developing projects, from selected themes and topics, is brokered by the ANZSOG Research team. 

Our approach to research  

We adopt a flexible approach to research, which allows for us to respond to governments’ varied research needs and priorities. 

The Research Model funds either small or large projects: 

  • Small projects have a timeline of 9 to 12 months and are funded up to $100,000 (excluding GST) 
  • Large projects have a timeline of 12 to 24 months and are funded up to $300,000 (excluding GST). 

Projects lend themselves to a range of methodologies and outputs, including state of evidence reports, deliberative policy-practice panels, organisational and public database analyses, quantitative, qualitative and participatory research methods. Large projects are particularly well suited to research involving, for example, large and multiple database analyses or place-based and community collaborative approaches, where trust built over time is important to research drawing on lived experience.  

A project outline issued with an EOI call will provide general guidance on any preferred approaches or outputs. All projects will be steered to determine how the research is to be translated and/or implemented. Here, ANZSOG will work closely with the research team and government partner to translate and transform research findings into relevant, actionable insights and recommendations. 

Research impact and excellence 

Research Model projects present practical, highly impactful research with cross-jurisdictional relevance and application for improving practice.  

ANZSOG plays the role of knowledge broker, bridging the gap between academic research and public administration and policymaking practice. This includes chairing a Steering Committee to oversee the implementation of the project and providing opportunities for researchers and practitioners to collaborate and share knowledge; including the translation of research findings into high-impact online publications and facilitating implementation workshops. 

Final reports are published on the ANZSOG website, following an independent and impartial peer review process. This process upholds the excellent and integrity of research projects. Research partners have intellectual ownership over their research to subsequently publish as they like; and projects can be counted as Category 3 grants under Higher Education Research Data Collection Specifications for the allocation of the research block grant. 

For a full list of our Research Institute Partners, click here.

ANZSOG's Research Updates

To keep up-to-date with what’s happening in ANZSOG’s Research and Advisory program, including our John L. Alford Case Library, please subscribe to our Research Updates e-newsletter.

Current Projects 

Three projects have been completed as part of the model; four more are currently underway, for completion by the end of 2024. 

  • Flexible working in the Australian Capital Territory Public Service (ACTPS) was undertaken by the UNSW’s Public Service Research Group, and funded by ANZSOG in partnership with the ACTPS. The report contains detailed insights relevant for any agency trying to develop optimal ways of managing a flexible workforce.  
  • How do place-based services evolve in a world of virtual, physical and hybrid service delivery? was undertaken by UNSW’s Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) and funded by ANZSOG in partnership with the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, to identify the emerging considerations for governments in designing and delivering hybrid (i.e. virtual and face-to-face) services and hybrid place-based initiatives, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • Governance and operation of smaller statutory agencies in partnership with the Public Sector Commissions of Queensland and Western Australia, was undertaken by the Public Policy Institute at the University of Western Australia, and the ANZSOG Research team. 
  • Would adopting more co-governance arrangements with communities build trust? is being co-funded by ANZSOG and the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. The 2-year major project, to be completed in 2024, is being undertaken by SPRC, with the long-term goal of building an evidence base that can be used to scale up successful co-governance projects that can build trust. 
  • Leadership development, career transitions and generational transformation: Leadership capability planning for the QLD public service is co-funded by ANZSOG and the Queensland Public Service (QPS) is being undertaken by the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). This project, to be completed in late 2024, is looking at leadership development, career transitions and generational transformation in the context of capability planning for the QPS. 
  • Trust, Transparency and the Use of Data in Informing Policy Responses co-funded by ANZSOG and the Australian Public Sector Commission (APSC) is being undertaken by Monash University’s Sustainable Development Institute This project, to be completed in late 2024, will develop best practice guidance for public sector collection, evaluation, and use of public opinion data, for the purpose of developing public policy that integrates, and gives proper weight to, the opinions of those affected by it. 
  • Merit 2.0, or Factors in Merit-Based Recruitment, Promotion, and Retention in the Public Sector is co-funded by ANZSOG and the ACTPS and is being undertaken by UNSW’s Public Service Research Group, to be completed in late 2024. 

Research Insights

The Research Insights series supports ANZSOG’s mission to lift the quality of public sector leadership across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Drawing on ANZSOG’s network of expert practitioners and academics, the Research Insights publications offer conceptual and practical reflections on the work of public administration and policymaking. Research Insights often relate to research directly commissioned by government and may have broad application across jurisdictions.

ANZSOG papers commissioned for the APS Review

In 2019, ANZSOG was commissioned to produce six major papers for the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service (APS). Lead authors were drawn from a mix of academic and practitioner backgrounds. The work was completed and released into the public domain for broader public discussion in April 2019, and influenced both the interim report of the Review and the final version published in September 2019.

The Bridge

ANZSOG’s research translation series, The Bridge, is designed to bridge the gap between the research work of academics and the policy work of public managers by providing access to visible and accessible high-quality research.

The Bridge is emailed fortnightly to thousands of engaged readers, including public servants and academics, in Australia, New Zealand and globally. It centres around a Research Brief which distils academic research into an easy-to-read format and will be complemented by other insights into public policy and management.

The Bridge is compiled and curated by Maria Katsonis – a former senior Victorian public servant with more than 20 years’ experience who is now a Public Policy Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Maria’s insights are vital to The Bridge, bringing a practitioner’s perspective to academic research.

Sign up to receive The Bridge in your inbox

Ongoing research-based activities

ANZSOG supports a range of other research-based activities including the Case Library; policy roundtables; commissioned reports and frameworks for the government.

Further information

Please send enquiries about ANZSOG’s research to research@anzsog.edu.au.