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National and international perspectives on enhancing strategic policy capability

20 July 2012




This report observes that:

  • There are common drivers both nationally and internationally prompting governments to get more evidence into policy-making and overcome common institutional obstacles to its achievement.
  • In keeping with international practices in Westminster style democracies, Commonwealth, State and some local governments are all responding to these drivers through the adoption of new, better policy-making frameworks with a particular emphasis on creating and delivering direct benefits to citizens, encompassed in terms such as ‘public value’, ‘public benefit’, ‘social benefit’, ‘social capital’ and ‘political capital’.
  • The more enlightened of these governments have underpinned these processes with new learning and development frameworks to both enhance the policy-making capabilities of public servants and to improve the evidence base informing decision-making. These have included the development of better policy-making frameworks and new capability development processes to underpin them. Initiatives to enhance the evidence-base underpinning decision-making through the creation of communities of practice including knowledge institutions and other partners in governance have also been established. In addition, expert centres in areas such as service design or citizen-centric governance have been created to develop new ways of working and sharing better practice. These often deploy a design philosophy.

An output from the ANZSOG-funded project A Cross-Jurisdictional Study of Policy Capability in the Australian and NZ Public Sectors.

Suggested citation

Evans, M. & Scott, C. (2012). National and international perspectives on enhancing strategic policy capability, Scoping Report, ANZSOG, Melbourne.


Authors: Mark Evans and Claudia Scott
Published Date: 20 July 2012

Case study

Download the case study: evans_and-scott-policy-capability-scoping-report (PDF 610 KB)