14 December 2020
4 people standing

Following the co-design and launch of the award-winning Model for great policy advice, and a swift pivot to re-align the project to remain relevant through COVID-19, the DGP team turned to the next BIG question: how can we help agencies apply it?

We reached out to APS agencies interested in building a common understanding of great policy advice. Together – in partnership – we offered to explore opportunities for the Model to add value relevant to their policy context. 

One of the partnerships that emerged has provided a demonstration of successful innovation and collaboration through a COVID-19 lens, for the benefit of APS staff around the world.

Applying the Model to understanding foreign policy – a DFAT partnership

The Diplomatic Academy (DAC), within the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is a learning and development hub for staff to hone their skills to support the advancement of Australia’s interests internationally. In DAC’s Understanding Foreign Policy course – with over 200 pilot participants in over 40 locations worldwide – the Model provided a helpful framework to shape course content in DFAT’s policy context.

Previously delivered in a face-to-face format, the DAC redesigned and expanded the course and its delivery so that staff around the world could access the content at their own pace via the FutureLearn platform.

DFAT used our Model to teach staff about the policy cycle, and the various skills, processes and instruments available for staff to consider when formulating policy advice. The course also highlighted the Policy Hub as a useful and growing resource to support policy capability across the APS.

“[Policy Hub] is a great resource, thank you for bringing to our attention. It is especially useful at present as my team undergoes a strategic planning process as to how we can better support and service our policy branches at Post. Having an understanding (and access to easy to comprehend resources) of the policy planning process within the APS means the public diplomacy strategy we are crafting will be better suited to amplify their work. We support 12 government agencies at our Post, so a whole of government/APS resource is great - thank you!” R.A.

As a result, 93% of participants reported feeling more confident and capable to work in a policy area.

“This was a very informative and enjoyable course. The combination of videos, text and links to contemporary articles and resources, as well as the contributions of participants kept me engaged. The fact that I could complete it on my phone made it so accessible.” N.T.

The four-week course included a highly engaged cohort (more than 3,200 comments were shared on the platform), and very positive participant evaluation survey results. 98% of participants reported that they would recommend the course to others. We look forward to working with other agencies to support their policy capability efforts in the learning and development space.

Interested in participating in the course in 2021?

The DAC will be running this course in February and are taking expressions of interest now – visit https://diplomaticacademy.dfat.gov.au/ for more information about the Academy and the courses it offers.