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Mapping the Creation of Public Value: The case of child nutrition in remote Indigenous communities

22 November 2012



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A number of different frameworks such as value chain analysis or supply chain management, now widely used in the private sector, are designed to help make sense of the processes by which organisations produce goods and services or create valuable results. They can also throw light on the contributions of both internal and external actors. However, in their raw form these mainly business focused frameworks sit awkwardly with the specific realities of the public sector, which is different at a strategic and contextual level.

This paper draws on the public administration literature on backward mapping, co-production, program logic, systems thinking and causal mapping. It uses a case study to outline a distinctively public sector model, which we will call the public value process map, or public value map for short. In this framework, we focus on the outcomes sought from a given activity and then use a version of ‘causal mapping’ to identify the processes and actors actually or potentially involved in achieving that outcome. We argue that this technique is useful to public managers in several ways, but it is not without its potential drawbacks, which are weighed up against the benefits.

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

Suggested citation

Alford, J. and Yates, S. (2012). Mapping the Creation of Public Value: The case of child nutrition in remote Indigenous communities. SSA/ANZSOG Occasional Paper, 23. Melbourne: ANZSOG.

Authors: John Alford and Sophie Yates
Published Date: 22 November 2012
Product Type: pa

Case study

Download the case study: alford-and-yates-2012-ssa-occ-paper-23 (PDF 305 KB)