Delivering Great Policy

The approach to Delivering Great Policy was developed through co-design with over 160 people from across the Australian Public Service (APS) and beyond.  It defines the four core elements that make up great policy advice. These are underpinned by the foundations for readiness: Culture, Mindset, Skills, Tools & Resources. We have to get better at these things, so we are ready to respond with great policy advice when opportunities arise. 

  • Identify Issues
  • Advice
  • Decision
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation
Green cube

Clear on intent

We are clear on the policy intent and what our role is, so our advice is relevant and focussed on the outcome we're trying to achieve.

Graphic for clear on intent
What it is
  • Clearly defined policy problem
  • Agreed scope
  • Understanding of desired policy outcomes and how to measure them
  • Clearly defined and coherent strategy
  • Considers the bigger picture
  • Considers perverse incentives/unintended outcomes
  • Clarity on timeframes
  • Respects the role of the APS and the role of the Minister
What it isn't
  • The ‘why’ behind the request is not understood or questioned
  • Focus is on the question asked, rather than the heart of the policy problem
  • Desired outcomes of the policy aren’t clear
  • Solution looking for a problem
  • Reactive

Foundation for readiness

  • Access to the decision maker
  • Culture (and systems) of learning from the past
  • Mature approach to risk
  • Licence to try things out
  • Permission to engage stakeholders, including externals
  • Permission to engage implementers
  • Accountable
  • Curious
  • Collaborative
  • Willing to look for multiple and different sources
  • Courageous
  • Humble
    • Open and honest
    • Not making assumptions
    • Early engagement
    • Transparent relationships
  • Adaptive
    • To audience
    • To context
    • Iterative
    • Flexible
  • Optimistic
    • Problem/opportunity framing
  • Realistic
  • Impartial
  • Mature approach to risk
  • Engagement and comms
  • Collaboration
  • Networking
  • Understanding systems and processes
  • Negotiate and influence (time, resources)
  • Contextually aware
    • Strategic thinking
    • Big picture
    • Political context and priorities
    • Tailor approach to suit context
  •  Analysis and synthesis
  • Prototyping and testing
  • Research
    • Engaging end users
    • Data
  • Domain knowledge and expertise
  • Setting up for measurement and evaluation
  • Writing skills
Tools and processes

Policy development templates - Idea on a page (DIIS)
Open Policy Making Toolkit (UK)
PM&C Project Office Methodology and Toolkits