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About the Policy Project

The Policy Project

The Policy Project team supports the Head of the Policy Profession to fulfill his role of building a high performing policy system across the public service. Our work includes:

  • promoting our three policy improvement frameworks amongst the policy community

  • providing tools and resources online to help apply the frameworks

  • holding tailored workshops with government agencies

  • developing guidance for public servants doing community engagement or putting together Long-term Insights Briefings.

Our approach

Our work programme focuses on building a high performing policy system that supports and enables good government decision making. It is co-developed with policy practitioners from across government and championed by the Tier 2 Policy Leaders’ Network (deputy chief executives with policy responsibilities). This is consistent with our approach of impact through influence.

The approach of the policy project team

What we do

We are here to help the policy community:

  • identify and share good practice
  • build collective ownership of the policy system, and a programme of improvement activities
  • encourage and facilitate collective approaches to improving performance or policy capability where it makes sense
  • co-develop new products, tools and resources to improve the performance of the policy function and quality of policy advice across government.

Our breadth of work has included:

  • supporting agencies to use our Policy Skills Framework, Policy Capability Framework, Policy Quality Framework, and the products designed to help apply them
  • building capability in policy methods, including through the development of an online Policy Methods Toolbox
  • building and maintaining an active policy community, and increasing their exposure to new ideas and experts through bespoke events
  • contributing to substantive policy development that relates to the functioning of the policy system
  • intervening at the system level to foster a higher performing policy advice system – for example, to address common policy workforce challenges and skill areas for development.
  • supporting the Head of the Policy Profession, the Tier 2 Policy Leaders’ Network, and the Functional Leads Collective.

We have hosted and participated in many events since the Policy Project’s creation in 2014. Conversation trackers and information resources relating to these events are available in the Policy community events page. You can search the page for topics that interest you, or browse chronologically through the events.

For information on what we can do for you, see How the Policy Project can help you.

How the Policy Project got started

In 2014, the Head of the Policy Profession began an initiative intended to improve the policy system. This initiative grew into ‘The Policy Project’.

The Policy Project was co-funded initially by larger and medium-sized government agencies with a policy advice function on a year-by-year basis. The Head of the Policy Profession has succeeded in gaining the agreement of all Public Service agencies to fund the Policy Project for the 2020/21 to 2022/23 period.

See the conversation trackers and articles below for more information on the development of the Policy Project.

Interim evaluation of the Policy Project

Allen + Clarke Policy and Regulatory Specialists performed an interim evaluation of the Policy Project from March to September 2021.

The interim evaluation was commissioned in late 2020 by the Head of the Policy Profession, when decided that the Policy Project was at an appropriate point in its life to undergo such a review. This reflected an expectation at the Policy Project’s establishment in 2014 that the culture change needed to improve the system would take around a decade.


Allen + Clarke found that the Policy Project’s resources were seen by the policy community as being high quality and relevant, but that more needed to done to raise awareness of the Policy Project, and to reflect the evolving nature of policy making in Aotearoa. Allen + Clarke made eight recommendations for change, ranging from better marketing of the Policy Project to developing system-wide metrics to measure policy quality and maturity.

Next steps

The Policy Profession Board accepted all the interim evaluation recommendations in principle. The Policy Project has been commissioned to develop a series of papers for the Policy Profession Board to enable decisions on how best to implement the recommendations. We're consulting with the Tier 2 Policy Leaders’ Network and the Policy Capability Leads’ Group during the development process. When decisions have been made on how to make progress on implementing all the recommendations, we’ll publish the full interim evaluation report and a summary of our response.



Last updated: 
Tuesday, 5 July 2022

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