Policy Officers' Intensive

A Comprehensive Workshop to Advance Your Skills as a Policy Officer

  • November 28th - 30th, 2018
  • Cliftons Melbourne


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• Identifying the fundamentals to policy analysis for successful implementation
• Discover different approaches to raising policy issues
• Establish available tools and techniques that will deliver key policy outcomes
• Acquire tips to communicate all stages of the policy process cross-functionally
• Develop effective policy writing communication skills for key policy stakeholders
• Determine the core structure of policy documentation
• Explore successful policy project management, from concept to implementation
• Examine contingency planning and how to effectively mitigate risk
• Recognise the nature of professionalism within the context of a professional public service


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Module One: Dilemmas, tools and frameworks for policy analysis and development
Module Two: Writing effective policy documents
Module Three: Introduction to policy project management and implementation
Module One: Dilemmas, tools and frameworks for policy analysis and development - 28 Nov - 07:00- 10:00

Policy analysis and development: The fundamentals

A review of contexts for policy analysis and the role of the Policy Officer: 

• The role of policy analysis and obstacles to effective policy 

• Revisiting the stages of policy development 

• The real world: Impediments, interruptions and timing 

• Policy-making models: Cycles, systems and other constructs 


Understanding context, policy issues and responses 

Defining problems and proposing solutions: 

• Identifying policy problems: What is driving change? 

• Identifying existing impediments to change 

• Understanding the context, politics and agendas for a proposed policy

• Reviewing the institutional settings and processes in which policy analysis / development occur

• Policy and political institutions and their role in public policy

• Framing policy issues and developing a theory of change

• Determining the appropriateness of policy approaches

• Wicked problems and policy experimentation 


Developing an evaluative mindset 

• The essential skills and tools for policy analysis 

• Identifying pitfalls and managing risk 

• Using ‘Program Logic’ and ‘Policy Logic’ to map policy trajectories and identify measurable indicators of success at each stage of the policy cycle 


Plotting for success: Collaboration and communication 

Strategies to improve impact and uptake: 

• Combining regulatory, economic and social instruments to achieve a desired outcome 

• Building key relationships and tapping expertise

• Working with service providers and program managers

• Making your case: Communicating policy issues and ideas to achieve a favourable outcome

Module Two: Writing effective policy documents - 29 Nov - 07:00- 14:30


Principles of effective policy writing and communication

A review of the key process and resources available to Policy Officers:

• The do’s and don’ts: A key overview of effective policy writing

• Identifying the power of plain language when communicating to non-policy stakeholders

• Reaching key stakeholders who are integral to the policy process

Organising information for policy writing

An examination of how to write effective, reader-focused policy documents:

• Assessing the ongoing process of issues identification and how to succinctly raise concerns

• Stakeholder engagement and consultation

Organising principles for policy documents

This session will explore format options, and provide insight into how to select the most appropriate

document structure, given the context:

• Mapping out the core structure of the policy - What should a policy document look like?

• Establishing the policy context and level of detail

• Identifying policy client demand and ensuring the needs of key stakeholders are met

• Live updating of conditions: Integrating policy decisions and non-decision into an evolving policy


Continuing to build your policy writing capabilities

A review of strategies that effective policy professionals can use to improve their potential:

• Managing and prioritising competing internal and external demands

• Inviting feedback and constructive criticism in order to build upon current tools and techniques

• Success and failure: Learning from the past to benefit policy both present and future

• Identify tools and techniques to improve your professional research and reading skills

• Acquire the ability to both deliver and receive feedback in a professional manner

Module Three: Introduction to policy project management and implementation - 30 Nov - 07:00- 14:30


Complexity and public policy

An examination of the nature of complexity, and the difficulties to working in public policy:

· What is “policy project management” and why is it important?

· What is involved with policy project management?

· Complexity within public policy – understanding the policy space

· Managing for complexity with policy project management

Policy project planning

A discussion of the merits of applying project management techniques within the policy

making process, and demonstrates why this is critical to successful policy implementation:

· Implementing good policy project management throughout the policy cycle

· Success factors

· Managing and sharing information/evidence effectively, effective communication

Risk management

Developing skills to identify and manage risk in projects including:

· Understanding sources of uncertainty and risk to policy development and management

· Working to mitigate risks including adverse or perverse outcomes

· Using evidence to mitigate risks

Beyond planning - Implementation and review

An examination of the actions Policy Officers / Project Managers must take to ensure that policy

project work is undertaken as planned:

· Implementing the plan!

· Good monitoring and evaluation of policy projects

· Controlling the project -managing quality and resources

· Managing internal and external perceptions

· Ethical and professional considerations in public policy


Cliftons Melbourne

Level 1, 440 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia

+61 3 9993 9999

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