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Impact into Public Sector Practice


ANZSOG is working to connect academics, educators and governments to improve how we measure and demonstrate research and education impact into public sector practice. ANZSOG continues to work in this space and encourage debate around how we can better measure the impact of education and research on public sector practice and bridge the divide between theory and practice.

Click through the sliders below to see a sample of our work to date.

In 2019, ANZSOG led the development of a workshop held at the Australian National University (ANU) with partners at ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy, the Public Service Research Group at the University of New South Wales Canberra, and the Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO).

The workshop brought together different sectors with invited participants from across government, universities, and the community sector to explore different understandings, expectations, and methods for collectively demonstrating and achieving impact into practice across sectors. The workshop included 16 speakers across 4 sessions with over 80 participants, including national and international experts from the US (such as Harvard and NASPAA), the UK (such as the Civil Service) and Aotearoa-NZ (such as the State Services) among others.

A clear outcome from the workshop was consensus for a community of practice to be set up, for further research, and to develop ways to share learnings across sectors moving forward.

2019 Impact Workshop Summary

Reflections on impact from the 2019 Impact Workshop

1. Professor Catherine Althaus about the purpose of the workshop

2. Professor Rod Glover about why impact matters

3. Geraldine Wild about how measuring impact informs the work of BASTOW

4. Brandi Hudson about why impact is important to progress

5. Tash Ryan about the need to come together to progress impact

6. Debra Iles about measuring education impact

Additional information

In 2020, ANZSOG conducted an independent evaluation for the UK Civil Service of the London School of Economics (LSE) Executive Master of Public Policy (EMPP). Led by Professor Catherine Althaus, Dr Lisa Carson and Professor Janine O’Flynn, impact methodologies were developed including co-designed surveys, data collection, interviews, and focus groups enabling both quantitative and qualitative analysis. This culminated in a major report with recommendations since acted upon by the UK Civil Service & LSE.

Also in 2020, a call for papers was issued on the theme of the 2019 Workshop in the journal Policy, Design & Practice and the Australian Journal of Public Administration to document practical and tangible ways to progress education and research impact into public sector practice.

In 2021 two streams of research on impact were released. The first was a special issue in the journal Policy, Design and Practice titled ‘Impact into practice: Demonstrating applied public administration and policy improvement’ with a focus on impact as a system.

The second was a symposium in the Australian Journal of Public Administration titled ‘Generating and demonstrating implementation impact’ with a focus on implementation for impact.

1. ‘Impact into practice: Demonstrating applied public administration and policy improvement’ in Policy, Design & Practice

Guest editors: Catherine Althaus, Lisa Carson, Helen Sullivan & Brigid van Wanrooy


‘Research and education in public sector practice: a systems approach to understanding policy impact’

Catherine Althaus, Lisa Carson, Helen Sullivan & Brigid van Wanrooy


‘The societal impact puzzle: a snapshot of a changing landscape across education and research’

Lisa Carson & Lisa Given


Are research-policy engagement activities informed by policy theory and evidence? 7 challenges to the UK impact agenda’

Dr Julien Barbara, Dr Nicole Haley, Hannah McMahon, Dr Timothea Turnbull


Building inherently impactful research programs: the role of organizational context’

Julien Barbara, Nicole Haley, Hannah McMahon & Timothea


Enhancing impact: a model for policy development research’

Michael Fotheringham, Tamlin Gorter & Anne Badenhorst


Research for impact: three keys for research implementation’

Kirsty Jones & Sara Bice


The path is made by walking: knowledge, policy design and impact in Indigenous policymaking’

Craig Ritchie


Victory for all, administration for some: an examination of differences in the impact of Indigenous jurisdictional expansion in Oklahoma’

Raymond Orr & Yancey Orr

2. ‘Generating and demonstrating implementation impact’ in the Australian Journal of Public Administration

Guest editors: Lisa Carson, Catherine Althaus, Helen Sullivan & Brigid van Wanrooy


‘Implementation for impact- Measurement, partnership approaches, and storytelling’

Lisa Carson, Catherine Althaus, Helen Sullivan, Brigid van Wanrooy


‘Where evidence-based policy meets research impact’

Andrew Gunn & Michael Mintrom


‘Understanding, Measuring and Encouraging Public Policy Research Impact’

Kate Williams & Jenny M Lewis


‘Making commissioning work: The relational gap between intent and implementation in the transition to ‘commissioning’ community services in NSW’

Mark Riboldi, Lisa Fennis, Elaine Fishwick, Susan Goodwin, Marc Stears


‘Charting the policy development process of social housing bonds in Australia through an impact narrative approach’

Michael Fotheringham, Tamlin Gorter & Ann Badenhorst


‘Co-generated knowledge as a path for establishing research impact’

Karen Gardner, Deborah Blackman, & Fiona Buick

Additional information

Further Information

Please send any enquiries about ANZSOG’s Impact into Public Sector Practice to research@anzsog.edu.au.