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But Will It Work? Implementation analysis to improve government performance

17 January 2012




Implementation is critical to policy success in policy sectors ranging from health care to welfare reform to climate change policy. The literature on policy implementation identifies a number of potential problems that may arise in the implementation process. Not anticipating implementation problems when a policy reform is being enacted may lead to failure to achieve program objectives, excessive costs, and perhaps even a backlash against the implementing organisations and policies. Despite the high stakes, potential implementation problems rarely receive sustained, systematicdetailed and visible attention before a decision is made on policy initiatives. As a contribution to solving
this problem, this Occasional Paper lays out a set of common policy implementation problems that can be observed in a wide range of policy sectors, as well as a framework for organising a systematic Implementation Analysis and a set of responses to potential implementation problems identified by that analysis.

These Occasional Papers are jointly published by ANZSOG and the (former) Victorian State Services Authority.

Suggested citation

Weaver, K. (2012). But Will It Work? Implementation analysis to improve government performance. SSA/ANZSOG Occasional Paper, 19. Melbourne: ANZSOG.


Authors: Kent Weaver
Published Date: 17 January 2012

Case study

Download the case study: weaver_2012-ssa-occ-paper-19 (PDF 166 KB)