Building policy capability (21/2/17)
The Policy Project hosted a workshop with policy capability leads (people nominated by their agency to lead work to improve policy quality and capability). We discussed how agencies are using the Policy Project policy improvement frameworks, identified lingering ‘pain points’ and highlighted promising practices in agencies that others could ‘steal with pride’.
See the conversation tracker here: Building policy capability - Agency policy capability leads workshop (PDF 2.9 MB).
People-centred policy (6/12/16)
"Policy advisors need to challenge their traditional practice. We need to reinvent the art of policy making by adding new tools and methods that give us richer information about people, their lives, and how they experience and are influenced by government interventions”. Speaking at the Government Economics Network conference alongside Government Statistician Liz Macpherson, Andrew Kibblewhite, Head of the Policy Profession, said that policy practitioners needed to understand the value and application of data and methods like behavioural insights and design thinking so that New Zealand could be “world-leading in the evidence and advice that supports government decision making”.
Read Andrew's speech here: People-centred policy (PDF 164 KB).
The Policy Project collaborated with GEN to facilitate workshops on Day 2 of the conference where participants engaged with methods and experts in behavioural insights, design thinking and data analytics using a real example taken from the Ministry of Justice’s investment approach.
Read about the workshops here: People-centred policy: through behavioural insights, design thinking and better use of data (PDF 1.07 MB).
Leaders roundtable with Professor Jeanne Liedtka (23/09/16)
Andrew Kibblewhite, Head of the Policy Profession, hosted a round table for senior government leaders and academics from Victoria University with Professor Jeanne Liedtka from the Darden Business School, USA. The session was to learn about the potential benefits of design thinking for government and what leaders can do to enable and support design thinking and innovation capability, in their organisations and across government. Jeanne described design thinking as “a systematic approach to problem solving”.
Read more about the session here: Design thinking in government - Leaders roundtable with Professor Jeanne Liedtka (PDF 525 KB).
Prime Minister launches Policy Project frameworks (23/08/16)
The Prime Minister and the Head of the Policy Profession officially launched the Policy
Project’s three policy improvement frameworks. The Prime Minister said: “I’m impressed with the Policy Project frameworks being launched today. They provide a great infrastructure for government departments to improve the business of providing advice”. Andrew Kibblewhite, Head of the Policy Profession said the three frameworks - on policy capability, policy skills, and policy advice - would help New Zealand’s policy function to be “world leading”. He called on policy leaders to adopt and use the frameworks in their departments.
Read the Prime Minister’s speech here:
Read Andrew’s speech here: Policy project launch speech (PDF 357 KB).
Mastering the art of free and frank advice, August 2016
In two speeches this week Andrew Kibblewhite, Head of the Policy Profession continued his theme of the ‘F-words’ that characterise good policy advice – free, frank, fearless, full and future-focused. He stressed the need to invest in policy stewardship, as enshrined in 2013 amendments to the State Sector Act, to ensure that the public service is able to provide free and frank advice to successive governments: “My expectation as Head of the Policy Profession is that chief executives will engage constructively with their ministers on the amount of investment they are putting into thinking about future risks and opportunities.”
Read the speech to IPANZ, 17 August 2016 (PDF 400 KB).
Read the speech to the Government Legal Network, 19 August 2016 (PDF 374 KB).
Andrew Kibblewhite speaks policy ecosystem to IPANZ and VUW School of Government (23/02/16)
In this speech, hosted by IPANZ at Victoria University of Wellington’s new Auckland facility, Andrew Kibblewhite shared his views on what makes for quality policy advice (PDF 454 KB): “good policy advice hits the sweet spot between what is desirable (what is going to meet citizens’ needs), what is feasible (what we are able to do using the tools government has at its disposal, including of course legislative change) and what is viable (financially sensible and sustainable).” Andrew outlined the work of the Policy Project to improve the quality of policy advice across government, including three frameworks to assist agencies in their policy improvement strategies. He emphasised the need for broad input into policy design saying “we should expect, embrace and invite involvement in policy development from citizens, community organisations, businesses, and the academic community”. He concluded by saying that if we “work together as part of a connected and coherent policy ecosystem, we will be closer to a powerful policy culture, characterised by innovation, continuous improvement and sharing good practice [and] we will be better placed to articulate, tackle and solve the big problems facing our country”.
UK Institute for Government: Insights on the Policy Project
Nehal Davison, senior researcher from the United Kingdom’s Institute for Government, spent five weeks with the Policy Project team in late 2015. She produced a case study on the Policy Project to analyse its origins, progress and challenges against the Institute’s framework for reviewing state sector reform initiatives.
See Nehal's case study (PDF 1.07 MB).
Nehal also gave presentations on the work of the Institute with particular reference to its work supporting ministerial effectiveness and public service reform.
See Nehal's presentation (PDF 2.89 MB), sponsored by the British High Commission and the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies.
Jeanne Liedtka seminar: Designing for social good (24/09/15)
In this seminar, Jeanne Liedtka from the Darden Graduate School of Business discussed the application of design thinking to policy, with a particular focus on the social sector. Jeanne reached beyond the buzzwords to show how design thinking can be a systematic approach to problem solving, which starts with customers or citizens and the ability to create a better future for them.
Read Designing for Social Good seminar (PDF 2 MB). Thanks to the Treasury and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government for organising this event.
Andrew Kibblewhite talks free and frank to IPANZ (12/08/15)
At an IPANZ seminar on free and frank policy advice, Andrew Kibblewhite discussed the infrastructure for providing free and frank policy advice. He suggested that 'the difference between knowing the rules and being skilled in the art of providing free and frank policy advice is akin to the difference between learning the road code and being able to drive a car.' Andrew finished by sharing a few challenging scenarios involving free and frank advice and outlining how he would act in these situations.
Read Andrew's speech: Free, frank and other f-words (PDF 282 KB).
Policy Heat Map: looming and future issues (18/07/15)
The Tier 2 Policy Leaders Network were joined by the Head of the Policy Profession at a special session to identify longer term strategic policy questions. The challenge: what are the 5-10 top policy questions for the next 10 years? How might we collectively and proactively respond to them?
See the 18 July 2015 workshop conversation tracker.
Policy skills framework (24/06/15)
In this workshop we took the first steps towards co-creating a policy specific skills framework by describing the knowledge and skills of the modern policy professional. The workshop brought together two Policy Project cross-agency working groups; the policy quality working group (focussed on the future policy toolkit) and the people capability insights group (focussed on foundation policy skills, knowledge and training). The aim of the workshop was to crash though the 'chicken and egg' challenge – what comes first, the toolbox (the what) or the skills and training (the who and the how)?
This conversation tracker (PDF 933 KB) captures the outcomes of the workshop and outlines the prototype policy skills framework.
Andrew Kibblewhite address to IPANZ (26/05/15)
Andrew Kibblewhite presented the IPANZ speech in his capacity as Head of the Policy Profession. Andrew discussed the state of the policy profession, what future policy success will look like and what the policy community needs to do to get there.
Read Andrew's speech notes Address to IPANZ (PDF 396 KB) or go to the IPANZ website.
Policy managers forum (15/04/15)
The Policy managers forum included 39 policy managers from 20 agencies. Policy managers tested and iterated some key deliverables for the Policy Project including a common policy quality framework, and work to develop a high-performing policy workforce. Andrew Kibblewhite (Head of the Policy Profession) and the Tier 2 Policy Leaders Network joined the policy managers for an open discussion at the end of the session.
This conversation tracker (PDF 2.3 MB) is a record of the rich insights and connections that were made at the Policy Managers Forum.
People capability workshop (18/03/15)
The People capability workshop brought together a diverse range of perspectives (HR/OD/Policy) from across the public service to shape the Policy Project's people capability work stream. Participants identified opportunities and challenges with developing a high performing policy workforce and prototyped possible frameworks to identify key components for success.
The outcomes of this discussion are captured in the conversation tracker.
Andrew Kibblewhite speech to the International Year of Evaluation 2015 launch (18/03/15)
Andrew Kibblewhite attended the official launch of the International Year of Evaluation (EvalYear 2015), a global initiative to promote evaluation and evidence-based policy making. The event was opened by the Hon Bill English, followed by speeches and discussion with Minister English, Dr Robin Peace (Associate Professor Evaluation, Massey University), Chris Whelan (Executive Director, University NZ) and Andrew as Head of the Policy Profession. Key themes included the importance of evaluation in evidence-based policy and the need for evaluation to be relevant, timely and embedded in policy process – rather than a search for perfection disconnected from decision making.
Read Andrew’s speech notes here (PDF 353 KB).
As part of EvalYear 2015, MBIE is coordinating a series of seminars and events with a practical focus on how to make better use of evaluation in policy. Click here for more information.
Seminar series: Dave Snowden - Cynefin framework, sense making, complexity theory and exaptation (06/03/15)
Dave Snowden's seminar with the Tier 2 Policy Leaders Network (and a few other avid followers of his work) explored decision making and management practice in policy, among other things. He discussed using the Cynefin framework for making sense of what’s going on, making decisions and taking action. Check out this link for an overview of the Cynefin framework. Dave also discussed:
- exaptation: punctuated changes in evolution
- micronarratives and people being their own ethnographers
- "small noticings" being amplified for maximal benefit and dampened if causing negative consequences
- paying attention to statistical outliers as this is where danger and opportunity exist
- fast, real-time feedback loops and the creation and use of human sensor networks
- taking a non-hypothesis approach to research
- peer-to-peer (ie horizontal) knowledge sharing without being filtered through a centre.
For more information watch Dave Snowden explain these concepts in this lecture or check out his blog on the Cognitive Edge website
Seminar series: Dr Zina O’Leary - Authentic story-telling: adding persuasion to the policy tool kit (18/02/15)
Dr Zina O’Leary joined us for a roundtable discussion with the Tier 2 Policy Leaders Network on Authentic story-telling: adding persuasion to the policy tool kit. Zina talked about the importance of story-telling in supporting policy change and the role of story-telling in evidence-based policy. The group then had a wider discussion about the use, risks and benefits of storytelling in the policy process. Here is a link to a recording of Zina O’Leary’s ANZSOG presentation. Andrew Kibblewhite, as Head of the Policy Profession, introduces Zina O’Leary and briefly talks about the Policy Project.
Analyst forum (23/10/14)
The Policy analyst forum was designed by analysts, for analysts. It provided an opportunity for 64 early career analysts from across the public service to share their ideas for improving policy capability, quality and performance. At the end of the session, the analysts were joined by members of the Tier 2 Policy Leaders Network.
The outcomes of this discussion are captured in the following conversation tracker (PDF 4.8 MB), where uture policy leaders shared their perspectives and ideas for lifting the policy game.
Seminar series: Dr David Albury - Innovation in policy (18/11/14)
Dr David Albury is a Director of the Innovation Unit Board. For almost two decades, David has consulted and advised on forming and implementing strategies and policies for transformation and innovation in education, healthcare and other public services. David led a discussion with the Tier 2 Policy Leaders Network about how to encourage greater user-centricity and innovation in the New Zealand policy system.
See David’s presentation on Building innovative practice into policy development (PDF 1.3 MB).
Policy Leaders Forum (31/07/14)
The Policy Forum provided an opportunity for 83 policy professionals (from 23 agencies) and thought leaders from across the public service to co-design the roadmap and programme of work for the Policy Project.
The outcomes of this discussion are captured in the conversation tracker. (PDF 7.2 MB).
Seminars series: Dr David Halpern - What works? – developing an infrastructure for quality policy (06/06/14)
Dr David Halpern led a roundtable discussion on What works? – developing an infrastructure for quality policy. The roundtable discussion covered how the United Kingdom is developing infrastructure for delivering evidence-based quality policy. David drew upon his experience as the chief executive of the United Kingdom's Behavioural Insight Team, widely known as the "Nudge Unit". See this link for what is 'Behavioural Insights' (video from Australia).
Andrew Kibblewhite, Head of the Policy Profession, hosted a round table for senior government leaders and academics from Victoria University with Professor Jeanne Liedtka from the Darden Business School, USA. The session was to learn about the potential benefits of design thinking for government and what leaders can do to enable and support design thinking and innovation capability, in their organisations and across government. Jeanne described design thinking as “as systematic approach to problem solving”. Read more about the session here [link].