Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

Previous Events 2014

 
January February March April
May June July August
September October November December

The most recent events are at the top:

Wednesday 3 December

Public Managers and Political Astuteness:

Lessons for the New Zealand State sector

As public managers, we work in an inherently political environment: one with numerous, diverse and often competing interests and stakeholders. What kind of small-p political skills do we need to achieve publicly valuable outcomes in a world of complex, often wicked, problems?


The Leading with Political Astuteness research project led by Professor Jean Hartley  investigated the importance placed on political skills by public managers in NZ, the UK and Australia.

 

Please join Professor Hartley as she shares her findings and provides the answers to some fascinating and critical questions: how different are Kiwis really? How well do we score ourselves  and others on the various dimensions of political astuteness?  And if political astuteness is so important in contemporary government, can it be selected for, taught and learned?

 

Speaker

Professor Jean Hartley

Department of Public Leadership and Social Enterprise, The Open University

Tuesday 2 December

Adding Public Value at the Interface Between Government and the Community:

Achieving a strong customer and client focus

To solve complex problems the public service needs to understand and engage more and differently with our customers? What enables this, including the nature of leadership?

 

What lessons can we learn when the public service and the community work together as they have done in Great Britain?

 

What value can the public service add to ensure actual results are achieved?

 

In the words of the Deputy Prime Minister in his speech to IPANZ in February 2014 "There are a few lessons we should take from the Better Public Services progress report. One is that some of the things we always thought were too difficult, actually are soluble. It's absolutely critical for a public service that its ways of thinking and forms of analysis don't lead it to the conclusion, as has happened in the past, that there are people beyond hope and that there are problems beyond solutions".

 

This address, followed by an interactive question and answer session with Professor Benington, will look at the British experience of dealing with complex and longstanding social and health issues and how the public sector adds value and new ways of thinking in working at the interface with communities.

Speaker
John Benington

Emeritus Professor, Warwick Business School

Wednesday 26 November

SSC, ANZSOG and The Treasury Present:

Flexible Budgeting

The SSC, ANZSOG and The Treasury are pleased to present Flexible budgeting with Dr Michael Di Francesco, in Wellington on Wednesday 26 November. Dr Michael Di Francesco is Senior Lecturer in Public Sector Management at ANZSOG and Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, who has taught previously at Victoria University of Wellington.

 

Public sector budgeting and financial management is often seen as 'rule' driven, caught between contending imperatives for consistency and responsiveness.

 

But does the potential for budget flexibility in the public sector lie in rule variability rather than simply fewer rules?

 

Please join us as Michael reports on recent research analysing the strengths and weaknesses of conventional and modernised budget practices, and how they can inhibit collaboration and agility, both of which are crucially important in the context of the aspirations of Better Public Services. As well as mapping the problems, he will also scope a range of possible 'rule-based' options for better balancing control and flexibility.

Speaker
Dr Michael Di Francesco

Senior Lecturer in Public Sector Management, ANZSOG and Honorary Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne

Monday 17 November

The OGP Action Plan

What next for New Zealand?

New Zealand's Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership was published at the end of October. It contains four key broad initiatives and has been well received by the OGP Secretariat. Without doubt the Action Plan provides the groundwork for the leadership role that New Zealand should be taking in the OGP.

 

Public engagement and participation is at the heart of the OGP so join us on OGP Civil Society Day, November 17th, for a discussion of what the Action Plan entails and what the opportunities and challenges are for the future.

Speaker
Manjula Shivanandan

Open Government Partnership Team, State Services Commission (SSC)

 

Facilitator
Michael Macaulay

Director, IGPS, Associate Professor (Public Management) Executive Editor International Journal of Public Administration

Links:

Friday 14 November

Transport, Climate and Health:

Wellington at the cross-roads

Aims: To explore the health & climate implications of the major roading infrastructure planned by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to last for the next 100years in Wellington. The impacts on cycling, walking and physical exercise will be emphasized.

Method: Analysis of relevant statistics from the World Health Organisation, NZTA, the NZ Ministries of Transport and the Environment, Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory and its Land Transport Strategy.

 

Results: Motorised traffic induction will have negative health impacts because of increased air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Active and public transport will be discouraged relative to private transport. These results combined with the small resource allocated for walking and cycling infrastructure will discourage physical activity which has major implications for public health.

 

Conclusions: At a time when vehicle kilometres travelled per person are diminishing and uptake of driving licences by the young plummeting in Wellington, major doubt must be cast on the wisdom of Roads of National Significance for Wellington

Speaker
Russell Tregonning

Orthopaedic Surgeon and Senior Lecturer, Wellington School of Medicine, Otago University

Links:

Thursday 13 November

Catrin Parish

Connectedness and Canterbury

The Canterbury earthquake sequence of 2010 and 2011 presented the Government with unprecedented challenges, not least of which was to ensure consistency and connectedness across each of its agencies who had a role in the response.

 

This presentation will discuss particular instances where government agencies connected in responding to the earthquake's impact on the built environment, and identifies elements of the experience that should be incorporated in planning for future natural disasters.

 

The key observations are:

 

• Examples of connectedness often came about due to existing relationships and networks that were not born out of disaster planning but were fortuitous in enabling aspects of the Government's response.

 

• Individual agencies gathered large amounts of information in their response roles, but this could often only be utilised between agencies in an ad hoc way in the absence of existing frameworks for information sharing.

 

• There are opportunities for broader government policies to be implemented as part of the rebuild, but these may be overlooked or under utilised due to competing priorities or lack of advance planning and role awareness.

 

• A whole-of-government review of the experience in Canterbury is required and a strategic approach is necessary to implement change. As part of this, the importance of connectedness should be acknowledged and built into frameworks.

Speaker
Catrin Parish

State Services Commission / IGPS Research Fellow

Links:

Thursday 13 November

After the Event:

Preserving Partisan Memory

All organisations remember. All organisations forget. Prime Ministers' Offices (PMOs) face particular challenges in doing both. They arrive with little prior experience of government supported by an office that has no staff. In contrast to other organisations, forgetting is a deliberate act. On each change of administration, the memory is wiped. They are partisan offices. If they leave files about their work – that is, if they remember – they provide political ammunition for their successors. So, the office begins anew, free to rehearse the mistakes of their predecessors. And with depressing frequency, they do repeat them.

 

This paper identifies and explores the dilemmas that confront the staff and offices that support prime ministers. However, we show that these dilemmas are not unique by examining also the work of the equivalent staff and offices in the USA. Since institutional memory and learning are problems for presidents and prime ministers, we consider what the two systems can learn from each other and about how such problems might be addressed.

Speaker
Rod Rhodes

Professor of Government (Research) at the University of Southampton (UK); Professor of Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia); and Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Newcastle (UK)

 

Anne-Maree Tiernan

Associate Professor, School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University

Links:

Tuesday 4 November

What is Policy Failure and Why Do Governments get it so Wrong (sometimes)?

Governments throughout the world seem cursed to suffer periodic policy failures, yet understanding such failures is something of an enigma. Defining failure seems bedivilled by a host of methodological problems including differing interpretations, grey areas and 'failure for whom?'. Ascertaining the causes of failure seems equally challenging, given multiple potential causal factors, the 'bias' of hindsight, blame games and more.

 

This presentation explores these issues and provides a way forward in advancing our understanding what is and what causes policy failure. A theme throughout is that only by tackling head on, issues such as 'degrees of failure', mixtures of success/failure and widely differing views on 'what went wrong', can we hope to advance our understanding, and the real politick of this enigmatic phenomenon.

Speaker
Allan McConnell

Professor in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney

 

Allan is originally from Scotland and moved to Australia in 2004. His broad area of specialism is public policy and has published and seven books and scores of articles and book chapters on topics such as the politics of crisis leadership, post-crisis inquiries, politics of risk and policy success. He is currently attempting to grapple with a number of less-written about issues in public policy, including policy failure. In 2013, he and his colleague Andrew Hindmoor from the University of Sheffield won the Harrison Prize for the best article published in Political Studies in 2013, for the article 'Why Didn't they See it Coming? Warning Signs, Acceptable Risks and the Global Financial Crisis'.

Links:

Friday 31 October 2014

An Enduring Presence:

Moving beyond single interventions with vulnerable youth

This seminar will present the findings from the Pathways to Resilience and Youth Transitions research programmes based at Massey University. It will include an outline of the International Resilience Research Programme – a five-country study of resilience and risk that involves 7,000 young people and which is based at The Resilience Research Center in Halifax, Canada.

 

The presentation will focus on a key finding from the New Zealand part of the study: the importance of an enduring presence in the lives of vulnerable young people. The impact that episodic interventions have upon outcomes for vulnerable youth will be discussed alongside the benefits youth gain from sustained and engaged interventions that draw on youth development theory. Effective interventions respond to the unique needs of young people and when practitioners work together to provide consistent and sustained interventions, better outcomes are achieved.

 

Four key themes are at the core of effective interventions: strong relationships, persistence, adaptability, and time.

Speakers
Dr Robyn Munford

Professor, School of Health and Social Services, Massey University

 

Dr Munford co-leads two large national studies of vulnerable young people with Associate Professor Jackie Sanders. These studies: Pathways to Resilience and Successful Youth Transitions examine patterns of risk and resilience in the lives of vulnerable youth and the ways in which formal and informal systems of support assist them in the processes of growing up. She maintains a national network of professional relationships with statutory and NGO organisations that work with youth through which findings from the research are translated into practice.

 

Dr Jackie Sanders

Associate Professor, School of Health and Social Services, Massey University.

 

Dr Sanders co-leads two large national studies of vulnerable young people with Professor Robyn Munford. These studies: Pathways to Resilience and Successful Youth Transitions examine patterns of risk and resilience in the lives of vulnerable youth and the ways in which formal and informal systems of support assist them in the processes of growing up. She maintains a national network of professional relationships with statutory and NGO organisations that work with youth through which findings from the research are translated into practice.

 

Dr Linda Liebenberg

Co-director, Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax Canada.

 

Dr Liebennerg is a methodologist with an interest understanding the lives of children and youth who live in challenging contexts. She has more than 15 years of experience undertaking research and evaluation projects with marginalised women and youth. Dr. Liebenberg works internationally as a research and evaluation consultant with organizations such as the World Bank, SOS Children's Villages, Right to Play, the Child Soldiers Initiative and Child-to Child. She has published and presented internationally on research- and resilience-related themes relevant to understanding youth across cultures and contexts.

Friday 31 October 2014

Divided Welfare?

Tax funded welfare in Australia's targeted model

Having shared similar social policy settings during much of the twentieth century, Australia and New Zealand experienced quite different processes of economic restructuring during the 1980s and 1990s. Australia's more consensual politics led to both a more progressive tax structure – maintaining a higher top marginal tax rate and successfully introducing a capital gains tax – while also extending a model of targeted social assistance.

 

Australia's family and aged pension payments stand out internationally as a highly progressive, cost effective model for assisting low and middle income earners without stigmatising access or linking payments to work obligations. Yet alongside this highly redistributive system of payments, Australia has also developed a rapidly expanding set of tax expenditures, often covering similar areas of social provision.

 

Our paper outlines these two components of Australian social provision and proposes a model for understanding the political dynamics that sustain it. This suggests useful points of comparison with the New Zealand experience we hope to explore in discussion.

Speakers
Ben Spies-Butcher

Senior Lecturer and Director, Masters of Policy and Applied Social Research, Sociology Department, Macquarie University

 

Ben has a PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney and his work focuses on the political economy of social policy. Ben is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development and a Research Associate at the Retirement Policy and Research Centre at the University of Auckland. His most recent co-authored book is Market Society published by Cambridge University Press..

 

Adam Stebbing

Lecturer and Director, Bachelor of Social Science, Sociology Department, Macquarie University.

 

Adam has a PhD in Sociology from Macquarie University and his research focuses on the interactions between social policy, tax policy and inequality. Adam is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development and is currently undertaking research on emerging housing and retirement income inequalities in the context of an ageing population.

Links:

 

Friday 24 October 2014

Decolonisation and Economic Performance in Small Island Economies

Economic and social convergence versus divergence in small island economies: a historical review of how differences in political status arose and how they affect modern outcomes.

 

Small islands (under a million population) are among the most numerous economic entities in the global system, but the least studied.  A stylised fact from the past couple of decades is that islands which became sovereign independent nation states after decolonisation have significantly lower income per capita than islands which remained affiliated to metropolitan patrons as sub-national jurisdictions.  Explaining this apparent divergence associated with political status since 1945 presents an interesting challenge, given the scarcity of reliable long-run data.  The paper presents and discusses competing hypotheses and empirical results from recent work in this area.

Speaker
Dr. Geoff Bertram

Senior Associate with the IGPS

Links:

Tuesday 21 October 2014

How Was Life?

How was life in 1820, and how has it improved since then? What are the long-term trends in global well-being?

 

Views on social progress since the Industrial Revolution are largely based on historical national accounting in the tradition of Kuznets and Maddison. But trends in real GDP per capita may not fully reflect changes in other dimensions of well-being such as life expectancy, education, personal security or gender inequality. Looking at these indicators usually reveals a more equal world than the picture given by incomes alone, but has this always been the case? The new report How Was Life? aims to fill this gap. It presents the first systematic evidence on long-term trends in global well-being since 1820 for 25 major countries and 8 regions in the world covering more than 80% of the world’s population. It not only shows the data but also discusses the underlying sources and their limitations, pays attention to country averages and inequality, and pinpoints avenues for further research.

 

The How Was Life? report is the product of collaboration between the OECD, the OECD Development Centre and the CLIO-INFRA project. It represents the culmination of work by a group of economic historians to systematically chart long-term changes in the dimensions of global well-being and inequality, making use of the most recent research carried out within the discipline.

 

The historical evidence reviewed in the report is organised around 10 different dimensions of well-being that mirror those used by the OECD in its well-being report How’s Life? and draw on the best sources and expertise currently available for historical perspectives in this field. These dimensions are: per capita GDP, real wages, educational attainment, life expectancy, height, personal security, political institutions, environmental quality, income inequality and gender inequality.

Speaker
Conal Smith

Senior Economist, OECD Statistics Directorate

 

Conal Smith is a senior economist in the OECD Statistics Directorate where he heads the Well-being and Household Conditions section. His work at the OECD includes producing the OECD Guidelines on Measuring Subjective Well-being, editing How Was Life?, a report on global well-being since 1820, and leading OECD work on integrating the measurement of well-being into policy in both developing countries and developed countries. From 2008 to 2010 Conal managed the Social Conditions group at Statistics New Zealand where he oversaw the release of the first New Zealand General Social Survey, and from 2004 to 2008 he led the Social Outcomes team in the Ministry of Social Development where he was responsible for the publication of the New Zealand Social Report.

Links:

Monday 20 October 2014

Wild Dreams and Realistic Visions

What restorative justice could look like in the next decade

Over the past 40 years, restorative justice has grown from a small, grass roots level experiment in justice alternatives to becoming one of the most significant forces for justice reform, and for wider peacemaking, in the world today.

 

Drawing on his knowledge of developments throughout the world, in this lecture Howard Zehr, one of the founding fathers of the restorative justice movement, will attempt to plot where restorative justice’s gathering momentum could take it over the next decade.

Speaker
Dr Howard Zehr

Distinguished Professor of Restorative Justice at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia and Co-director of the Zehr Institute

Links:

Friday 17 October 2014

When Collaboration Goes Wrong

The Perverse Incentives of Community Enterprise

The Northern CE project, in North East England, is as exemplar of policy in practice and is used to contextualize social entrepreneurship. Based on desk-based research and fieldwork (semi-structured interviews and a focus group), the study focuses on Community Entrepreneurs (CEs) whose families have been beneficiaries of the project, in order to document different perspectives of the enactment of the initiative.

 

The Northern CE initiative was a scheme to alleviate child poverty through the sponsorship of 20 CEs. Not without its problems, the case nonetheless exemplifies how novel and innovative approaches to social enterprise and community entrepreneurship practice can be implemented as a way of delivering particular policies, and thus achieving policy levers and outcomes in an effective way. Given the agenda to cut public spending and to reduce expenditure of Councils in particular, the Third sector has been identified as a vehicle by which Councils can spin out certain services to reduce their expenditure. Many such services are staffed by professional paid employees.

 

The perverse incentive of community enterprise is, therefore, that it is a way by which such employees' jobs will be replaced by volunteers working for social enterprises

Speaker
Dr Jonathan Scott

Head of Centre for Strategy and Leadership, Reader in Entrepreneurship, Teesside University (UK)

 

Links:

Tuesday 7 October 2014

iMSD Evidence Workshop:

Evidence based child protection: an international perspective

This seminar will discuss the role of research evidence in the development of more effective child protection systems. Drawing on recent studies examining policy and practice improvements in child protection in a number of jurisdictions around the world, the seminar will examine the role of evidence in the development of more effective child protection systems.

 

The seminar will present examples of how robust evidence has challenged some of the previous assumptions relating to effective child protection. A specific focus of this talk will be the benefits and pitfalls of using administrative data for producing robust evidence about the effectiveness of child protection systems. Finally we will discuss how systems can learn from robust evidence in other jurisdictions and the challenges of transferring evidence from one system to another.

Speakers
Professors Aron Shlonsky and Ilan Katz

 

Aron Shlonsky is Professor of Social Work at the University of Melbourne. He is internationally known for his work in the areas of evidence informed practice and risk assessment in child protection. He is a member of the Campbell Collaboration and has a particular interest in the analysis of administrative data to provide robust evidence of child protection effectiveness.

 

Ilan Katz is a Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. He has been a practitioner, policy maker and researcher in child protection and has led a number of large scale evaluations of child protection systems and early intervention programs. He has a particular interest in researching complex human service systems.

Links:

Wednesday 1 October

iMSD Evidence Workshop:

Science and Policy

Scientific evidence is held in high regard by New Zealand's government and its public officials and frequently plays a significant role in the policy arena. But as government moves to appoint science advisors and build capacity in ministries to generate and use scientific evidence in-house, it is worth reflecting on why science should be valued so highly. One perspective, as articulated by the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman, is that "science informs policy by providing a base of relatively values-free knowledge on which to build policy options".

 

In this seminar, however, I will argue that the authority of scientific evidence does not derive from its lack of values, but from the strength of the values from which it derives. Science makes progress because of its openness and transparency, its tolerance of evidence-based criticism and debate, and its acceptance of fallibility and uncertainty. This means that the responsibility of science extends well beyond the provision of evidence; science must also accept a degree of responsibility for how the evidence is used. Science advisors must be advocates for scientific values and not simply brokers of fact, while policy-makers who wish to make use of scientific evidence must incorporate scientific values into the processes by which policy is made. I will conclude with a number of recommendations as to how science and policy can better accommodate one another, which I believe would lead to better science and better policy.

Speaker
Professor Shaun Hendy

Te Pūnaha Matatini, A Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems and Networks, University of Auckland

 

Shaun Hendy is Director of the Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems and Networks, and a Professor of Physics at the University of Auckland. Shaun has a PhD in physics from the University of Alberta in Canada and a BSc(Hons) in mathematical physics from Massey University. He has a wide range of research interests, including computational physics, nanoscience, complex systems and innovation. In 2010, Shaun was awarded the New Zealand Association of Scientists Research Medal and a Massey University Distinguished Young Alumni Award. In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand for his research on nanotechnology, and in 2013 he was awarded ANZIAM's E. O. Tuck medal for research in applied mathematics. Shaun blogs, writes for Unlimited Magazine and has a regular slot on Radio New Zealand Nights as physics correspondent. In 2012, Shaun was awarded the Callaghan Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister's Science Media Communication Prize for his achievements as a science communicator. His first book, Get Off the Grass, co-authored with the late Sir Paul Callaghan, was published in August 2013.

Links:

Friday 26 September

A New Zealand perspective on Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st century

Piketty has recently proposed that market capitalism tends, in the absence of taxes and regulation, to a highly unequal distribution of income and wealth, the sustainability of which under democratic government is potentially problematic.

 

Piketty's dataset includes several English-speaking settler economies – New Zealand, Australia, and Canada – and seems to argue that distribution in this periphery will tend to converge to that in the European-US core. Piketty argues also that past inequality in the settler economies (including the USA) was tempered by the cheapness and abundance of land but that land has now dropped out as a leading repository of wealth.

 

The paper will review Piketty's main theses and reflect on their application to New Zealand.

Speaker
Dr Geoff Bertram

Senior Associate with the IGPS

Links:

Thursday 25 September

LGNZ Community Governance Workshop:

Making community governance work for you and your communities

Local government's communities are an enormous source of knowledge, capability and resource for getting stuff done. In New Zealand as well as internationally councils are waking up to this and finding new and exciting ways of working with their communities. But so are higher tiers of government, often bypassing local government. Private sector and civil society organisations are also increasingly involved. Will local government retain its central role in local governance, or will it simply be one of a number of different players?

 

This workshop is your chance to learn what's happening in community governance internationally from leading researchers and practitioners.

Speakers
Peter McKinlay, Dr Paul Leistner and representatives from the Thames Coromandel District Council and Bendigo Bank

Our panel includes Peter McKinlay who has written and presented extensively in New Zealand and elsewhere on community governance, Dr Paul Leistner from Portland Oregon recognised across the US as a leader in the 'how to' of community governance, and representatives of Thames Coromandel District Council, and of the Bendigo & Adelaide Bank Ltd almost certainly Australasia's leading practitioners of community governance.

Friday 19 September

Rural Ageing:

Who cares?

The IGPS in association with NZAG is excited to present this public lecture on Rural Ageing from gerontologist Norah Keating who is visiting New Zealand from the University of Alabama as the keynote speaker at the annual New Zealand Association of Gerontology (NZAG) conference.

Dr. Keating is a family gerontologist who is interested in issues faced by older adults and their families. As Director of IAGG's Global Social Initiative on Ageing, her research and capacity-building focuses on families and aging, liveability of older adults, and care.

She is engaged in international research on liveability of communities for older adults in Australia, Canada and South Africa. As well, she is involved in a program of research on economic, health and social costs of care in Canada and China. She teaches in the areas of families and aging, older people and their environments, and family theory.

Speaker
Dr Norah Keating

Professor of Human Ecology at the University of Alabama

Links:

Tuesday 9 September

From Washington to Paris:

U.S. Climate Policy and Prospects for a New Global Deal

Mr. Diringer has been deeply engaged in environmental issues and policy for nearly 30 years. From 1983 to 1997, he was a reporter and editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he authored several award-winning environmental series and covered the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Director of Communications and Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he helped develop major policy initiatives, led White House press and communications strategy on the environment, and was a member of U.S. delegations to international climate change negotiations. He was later Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Press Secretary, serving as a principal spokesman for President Clinton.

Speaker
Elliot Diringer

Executive Vice President - Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions, Former Deputy White House Press Secretary

Links:

Tuesday 2 September

iMSD Evidence Workshop:

Privacy and Big Data

Government is increasingly using large administrative data sets for both research and service delivery. The increasingly sophisticated use of this 'big data' has many potential benefits for citizens as both consumers and funders of government services. However running alongside these benefits are potential risks to individual privacy from the aggregation and re-use of information.

 

The Privacy Act can have implications for the way aggregated data and personally identifiable data is used for research and service delivery. Particular challenges arise in certain contexts, such as predictive risk modelling. Getting privacy right is not something to be balanced against these benefits. It is instead a condition that will enable these new analytical and service delivery capabilities to be sustainable. The public needs to be able to trust that Government agencies will use their increasingly large collections of personal information responsibly.

Speaker
John Edwards

Privacy Commissioner

Links:

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Why Public Sector Projects Go Wrong:

The (even greater) challenge of inherently governmental factors

Far too often, big projects (such as for infrastructure, systems, services or policy development) go over time, over budget and/or don’t work. Bent Flyvbjerg (2009a; 2009b, 2014) has led the way in putting forward concepts or models explaining these failures.  He attributes them to key factors (besides luck) One is what he calls delusion: the propensity of project sponsors or planners to overstate the possibilities and understate the potential problems – a tendency prompted both by cognitive biases and high-level expectations. The other is deception: the propensity of some project sponsors or champions to strategically misrepresent the benefits and costs of projects in order to secure funding.


This very preliminary presentation argues that public sector projects are even more prone to failure than private sector ones, because the factors identified by Flyvbjerg apply with even greater force in the public sector, as well as being inherent in the structures and processes of government.

Speaker
Professor John Alford

Professor of Public Sector Management, ANZSOG (Australia New Zealand School of Government

Links:

 

19 & 26 August 2014

OXFAM 2014 Electoral Debate Series

Oxfam has invited spokespeople from National, Labour, Greens, Māori, NZ First and Internet MANA parties to present their policies, debate their differences and answer your questions on these two critical election issues.  During the debate, audience members will be encouraged to interact and vote on issues through the app 'Go Soapbox'. Two election debates are planned for Wellington in August. Check out the OXFAM facebook page or their website for more details:

Round 1: Foreign Affairs

Round 2: Climate Change

Links:

21 August 2014

Improving Public Input in Government:

The ministers perspective and recommendations for future practice

Public participation is seen as essential to modern democracy to give people a voice in politics, but governments are often criticized for not listening to public input, even though no one has considered what it looks like from their perspective. Associate Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment has completed research on how to integrate public input with leadership in government, having interviewed 51 ministers in the UK, NZ, Australia, Canada and the US which shows how they value public input and currently integrate it into their decision-making.

 

Drawing on the interviews as well as academic and practitioner sources she will recommend that to improve public input in government for the benefit of the public and politicians, government needs to create and all-of-government unit for Public Input, appoint a Minister of Public Input and fully train Ministry of Public Input staff, creating a career path for civil servants in public input.

 

The seminar will explain these recommendations and invite discussion as to what practitioners involved in public input can do in light of the research recommendations.

Speaker
Dr Jennifer Lees-Marshment

Associate Professor Political Studies, The University of Auckland

Links

9 July 2014

The Challenge of Social Democracy:

A Public Conversation

In the past, Australia and New Zealand shared a robust and vital political tradition of what we might call a liberal republican version of social democracy - a vision of each of these states as a sovereign political association that is the embodiment of a public capacity to respond effectively to collective challenges, and that provides the conditions for equal and effective citizenship.

This talk will focus on why it is that this tradition has faltered and how it might be recovered. The argument will be that it is not so much the principles of social democracy that we need to invoke; rather we need to rediscover the argument for these principles in a way that responds to the terms of the present.

Anna is political philosopher and author of many publications, the most recent of which is Feminism in the Technological Age (Australian Feminist Studies, 2014) and co-authored The Aporia of Rights: Explorations in citizenship in the era of human rights (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2014).

Eric has been the Institute's Director since 2007. He has been actively engaged in public policy development and advocacy throughout his working life. This has included appointments as the Executive Director of the Human Rights Council of Australia, various roles for Amnesty International in Australia and as National Secretary of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.

Speakers
Anna Yeatman and Eric Sidoti

The Whitlam Institute

Links

*Please note that due to a technical issue, the opening of Anna Yeatmans presentation was unavailable for upload.

1 July 2014

Coalition Government:

Reflections on the UK Experience

The UK General Election of May 2010 resulted in a hung parliament and,following negotiations between the Conservative Party (which secured the most seats but no overall majority) and the Liberal Democrats, the country's first coalition government since Churchill's War Ministry emerged. The 'first-past-the-post' electoral system which still operates in the UK means that, unlike in New Zealand, coalition government is a rarity rather than the norm.

 

Few would suggest that the Conservatives and Lib Dems are natural bed-fellows, and their alliance took many observers by surprise. Yet, despite many tensions, and much vilification by its opponents, their administration remains intact four years later. Indeed, the Coalition now ooks likely to hold together until the next General Election in May 2015, albeit that each party seems to be making strenuous efforts to separate out from government proposals the particular benefits due to them. It is clear that both are anxious to impress upon the public well-focused and separate profiles ahead of moving into campaigning mode - and that the next year is going to be a long one!

 

As a member of the UK's second chamber, the House of Lords, Lord Griffiths has been privileged to observe the coalition from close-up. In this lecture he gives his candid impression - as a member of the opposition Labour Party - of its working, achievements and weaknesses. He also ssesses whether coalition government has been 'good' for the UK and the likelihood of it becoming more common in the future.

Speakers
Lord Griffiths of Burry Port

Life peer of the House of Lords for Labour

Links

27 June 2014

Ageing, Sexuality, Abuse and Discrimination:

Results from two waves of the Longitudinal Study of Ageing (NZLSA)

Public perceptions of older people seldom include an understanding of their interest or expressions of sexuality. The discrimination and abuse of older people is usually covert in most societies.  Two waves of NZLSA data with a random sample of over 3,000 participants demonstrate the prevalence of these variables and their relationship with health and wellbeing.

 

Charles Waldegrave leads the Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit. He is a Principal Investigator of NZLSA and the NZ Poverty Measurement Project which provided the evidence base for a number of housing and income policies in New Zealand.

Speakers
Charles Waldegrave

Lead Researcher, Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit

Links

20 June 2014

Book Launch for Child Poverty in New Zealand

Between 130,000 and 285,000 New Zealand children live in poverty, depending on the measure used. These disturbing figures are widely discussed, yet often poorly understood.

Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple look hard at these questions, drawing on available national and international evidence and speaking to an audience across the political spectrum. Their analysis highlights the strong and urgent case for addressing child poverty in New Zealand.

Crucially, the book goes beyond illustrating the scale of this challenge, and why it must be addressed, to identifying real options for reducing child poverty. A range of practical and achievable policies is presented, alongside candid discussion of their strengths and limitations. These proposals for improving the lives of disadvantaged children deserve wide public debate and make this a vitally important book for all New Zealanders.

'Boston and Chapple have provided a remarkably thorough and fair-minded portrait of child poverty in New Zealand, as well as an evaluation of policy options for its alleviation. This is social policy analysis at its best.'
Greg Duncan, Distinguished Professor, Department of Education, University of California, Irvine

Speakers
Dr Justine Cornwall

Deputy Children's Commissioner

 

Professor Jonathan Boston

School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington

 

Dr Cathy Wylie

New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)

Links

20 June 2014

State Sector Reform

The role of the State Services Commissioner is to provide leadership and over-sight of the State services including:

a) Promoting the spirit of service to the community; 
b) Promoting the spirit of collaboration among agencies; 
c) Identifying and developing high-calibre leaders; 
d)Working with State services leaders to ensure that the State services maintains high standards of integrity and conduct and are led well and are trusted;
e) Overseeing workforce and personnel matters in the State Sector; 
f) Advising on the design and capability of the State Services; 
g) Evaluating the performance of Public Service Leaders;
h) Supporting the efficient, effective and economical achievement of good outcomes by the State services; and
i) Promoting a culture of stewardship in the State services. 

Mr Rennie will talk about the direction of change in the State sector, and the changes in the wider context which are driving change. He will discuss the progress made to date and the challenges now being faced as we move "from good to great". 

New Zealand has a strong tradition of ground breaking reform in public management and these reforms continue the push to be at the leading edge of innovation and excellence in State services. 

Speakers
Mr Iain Rennie

State Services Commissioner, State Services Commission

Links

19 June 2014

IGPS Symposium on Inequality:

Causes and Consequence

This one day conference is being offered by the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at no charge to encourage debate and information sharing on policy issues relating to inequality. The conference programme is full of interesting lectures on offer at various times throughout the day and you are welcome to attend them all or just the one.

Lecture titles include:

  • What Would We Do For Families If We Really Cared About Inequality And Child Poverty?
  • The Contribution of Wages to Inequality in New Zealand.
Speakers
Associate Professor Susan St John

Child Poverty Action Group/Auckland University

 

Dr Brian Easton

Economic and Social Trust

 

Dr Simon Chapple

Dunedin School of Medicine, Multi-disciplinary Health and Development Research Unit

 

Professor Philip Morrison

Geography, Victoria University of Wellington

 

Professor Tim Hazledine

Economics, Auckland University

 

Bill Rosenberg

NZCTU

 

Ian McChesney

Community Energy Action Trust

 

Dr Cathy Wylie

New Zealand Council for Educational Research, NZCER

 

Dr Geoff Bertram

Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

Links

Click on each presenter to view their presentation slides

 

10 June 2014

The New Electoral Politics Book Launch

New book explores significance of the last election

Published by Victoria University of Wellington's Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, The New Electoral Politics in New Zealand: The significance of the 2011 election asks why New Zealanders voted to retain the MMP system and explores other questions such as voter turnout decline, attitudes to welfare reform, women's representation, changes in Māori politics and the growing importance of immigration in New Zealand politics and society.

 

The book is edited by Jack Vowles, Professor of Comparative Politics at Victoria University of Wellington. Other contributors to the book are Peter Aimer (formerly at the University of Auckland), Gerald Cotterell, Jennifer Curtin, Louise Humpage, Aimee Matiu, Raymond Miller, Ann Sullivan and Martin Von Randow (all currently at the University of Auckland), Charles Crothers (AUT University), Jeffrey A. Karp (Australian National University) and Thomas Lundberg (University of Glasgow).

Speakers
Professor Jack Vowels

History, Victoria University of Wellington

Links

30 May 2014

Learning Lessons From the Open Government Partnership Summit

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a global initiative which has seen 64 nations create policies to increase transparency, accountability and integrity.  In all of these countries, government and civil society are working together to develop and implement ambitious open government reforms.

New Zealand committed to join in December 2013 and is currently drafting its first OGP Action Plan.  This lecture will ask what lessons have been learned from fellow OGP initiatives, how New Zealand should go about engaging public participation and what will be in the OGP Action Plan.

 

The OGP held an international conference in Bali, 6-7 May at which Michael was a speaker.  The conferenceserved as a platform for countries and communities within the region to connect, share and learn from each other on the benefits and opportunities to share across open and good governance practices.  

The IGPS lecture was well attended with many of the key participants involved in the OGP process, on hand to make a valuable contribution to the entertaining discussion and debate. A much enjoyed event that you had to be there to appreciate as this lecture was not recorded. His presentation slides however are in an easy to follow bullet point format with many helpful links that you may find of interest.

Speakers
Associate Professor Michael Macaulay

Director, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington

Links

22 May 2014

Jobs After Coal:

A just transition for coal mining communities

Coal mining communities in New Zealand have recently faced major disruption, uncertainty and job losses as the industry suffers from falling prices, competition from renewable energy and mounting concern at the threat of climate change.  

Globally and locally, we are on the brink of a transition from the old economy, based on fossil fuels, to a new future based on clean, renewable energy.  Yet many hold on to the old for fear of job losses that will leave communities with a shattered economy and no options.  

Jeanette Fitzsimons argued that the role of coal in New Zealand's economy is small; there are many options for jobs in the industries that will replace coal; skills of coal miners are transferable to other industries, and communities can reinvent themselves to regain a new prosperity after coal.  

However, these positive outcomes depend on recognising the need for a proper and effective transition path and setting up a planned process within the community itself, including all stakeholders, with support from central and local government.  

Speakers
Jeanette Fitzsimons

Coal Action Network Aotearoa

Links

21 May 2014

Star Trek's Mr Spock vs. The Simpsons' Homer:

Philosophical Rationalism and Psychological Realism

Professor Bowman argued that that the use of various classical decision making models can considerably enhance ethical discernment.  These same methods can however have significant limitations in philosophically prescribing how rational people should act. 

Behavioural ethics on the other hand examines the psychological tendencies to understand human conduct.  Insights into both approaches will be discussed and the implications of the findings explored.

Bowman is co-author of the prize winning Human Resource Management in Public Service: Paradoxes and Problems (4th ed, Sage, 2012) and The Professional Edge: Competencies in Public Service (2nd ed, Sharpe, 2010).

He is editor-in-chief of Public Integrity, an American Society for Public Administration journal. A past National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration Fellow, as well as a Kellogg Foundation Fellow, he has experience in the military, civil service and business.

Speakers
Professor James S. Bowman

Professor of Public Administration at the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University

Links

16 May 2014

Keeping Government Secrets in the Information Age

Has the digital revolution made it easier or harder for governments to keep secrets? The controversies over WikiLeaks and the Snowden disclosures might make us think we live in a new age of transparency. The reality is more complicated. In many ways, technological change has actually complicated the task of monitoring government. We should not underestimate the capacity of governments to react forcefully against transparency initiatives that threaten vital state interests.

Alasdair Roberts is the Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University Law School, Boston, USA. He is the author of Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age (Cambridge University Press). Professor Roberts is a Fellow of the US National Academy of Public Administration and co-editor of the journal
Governance.

Speakers
Professor Alasdair Roberts

Suffolk University and ANZSOG Visiting Scholar Program at Victoria University of Wellington

Links

14 May 2014

Technocrats or Populists:

Who gained influence during the global financial crisis?

Before the crash of 2008, the liberalized global economy was regarded as a triumph of technocratic policy making. At first it seemed that the crash itself would undermine the credibility and influence of technocrats in central banks and other key institutions however events have not followed the path of earlier crises such as the Great Depression of the 1930's.

The global financial crisis has revealed the enduring power of technocrats and the limits of popular protest against the effects of neoliberal economic reforms.

Alasdair Roberts is the Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University Law School, Boston, USA. He is the author of The Logic of Discipline: Global Capitalism and the Architecture of Government (Oxford University Press). Professor Roberts is a Fellow of the US National Academy of Public Administration and co-editor of the journal Governance.

There were no presentation slides displayed at this lecture.

Speakers
Professor Alasdair Roberts

Suffolk University and ANZSOG Visiting Scholar Program at Victoria University of Wellington

Links

10 May 2014

The Global Commons, Public Goods & Governance UNANZ Conference

As part of the United Nations Association of New Zealand's National Conference and in partnership with the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies as well as the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies, a second day was added to their conference programme. Full of interesting lectures and panel discussions at no charge to the public, it was very much appreciated by the wonderfully diverse range of attendees.

Whilst the Keynote Speaker, Dr Inge Kaul was unable to attend, there were five other talented speakers on offer, complete with good debate from the respondents around the theme of global commons such as our oceans and atmosphere. When time permitted there was also an opportunity for Q&A.

The aim of UNANZ is to help educate New Zealanders about the activities of the United Nations and its agencies. They work to bring public attention to New Zealand's involvement and to make more information available about how all New Zealanders can become involved in working with the United Nations.

Speakers
Dr Inge Kaul

Associate Professor, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin

Links

6 May 2014

People, Productivity and High Performance

This event was co-hosted with the Australia and New Zealand School of Governance and the State Services Commission.

 

As government budgets shrink and pressures on public services mount, the words 'performance' and 'productivity' are frequently heard. But do any of us find addressing problems of performance and productivity in our workplaces easy? And what do we mean by high performance at an individual, agency and whole of system level?

This lecture offered the audience the chance to engage with two outstanding speakers from both sides of the Tasman to grapple with how we change the performance conversation, work out what our priorities are, and make the connection between motivation, management and a high performing state sector.

Professor Blackman's academic background is in human management and development as well as change management and organisational behaviour. A common theme of her work is managing knowledge to improve organisational effectiveness. She recently developed a new Performance Management Framework with the Australian Public Service Commission which focuses on achieving high performance in addition to extensively publishing in a range of international journals.

Speakers
Professor Deborah Blackman

Professor of Public Sector Management Strategy, University of NSW, Canberra and Visiting Professor at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government

 

Jacki Couchman

Acting Chief Talent Officer, State Services Commission

Links

15 April 2014

A View from Paris:

The 2015 climate agreement & energy sector decarbonisation

A new international climate change agreement is being negotiated that will be applicable to all countries and have legal force. These negotiations are scheduled to conclude in December 2015 in Paris, France, which is also home to the International Energy Agency (IEA)

This presentation drew on IEA analysis to present key technical and policy elements of the transition from today's fossil-fuel intensive to decarbonised energy systems: energy efficiency, carbon pricing, technology development, avoiding 'lock-in' of high emissions infrastructure and 'unlocking' what has already been built. It considered how the emerging structure of the new 2015 climate agreement could help (or hinder) implementation of these key elements, and some of the key uestions for negotiators as they begin drafting of the new agreement.

The IEA is an autonomous organisation which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 28 member countries and beyond. The IEA's four main areas of focus are: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness, and engagement worldwide.

Speakers
Dr Christina Hood

Senior Climate Policy Analyst, International Energy Agency (IEA)

Links

11 April 2014

Systems Change in the Manufacturing Sector:

Innovation and Access to Technologies for Sustainable Development

The sustainability of the industrial economic model of production and consumption is increasingly coming into question. This presentation explored the development and dissemination of 'green technologies' in the manufacturing sector, and how existing institutional arrangements, particularly those involving transnational actors, can be strengthened to improve the impact of innovation on sustainable development.

 

Dr Matus received her PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University in 2009 and is now the co-Director of the Harvard University Sustainability Science Program's 'Innovation and Access to Technologies for Sustainable Development project' as well as Assistant Professor of Public Management at the London School of Economics.

 

Her research focuses on the application of innovative technology to address sustainable development. This includes exploring the potential of green chemistry as a so-called leapfrog technology, namely in the United States, India and China. She is also doing research on voluntary regulation, especially the role of standards and certification, in the development of green technologies.

We would like to acknowledge and thank The Treasury for their support in providing the venue.

Speakers
Dr Kira Matus

London School of Economics, Assistant Professor in Public Policy and Management

 

Links

4 April 2014

Experimenting with Experimental Governance:

What can be learned from the global financial crisis?

This event was co-hosted with the Australia and New Zealand School of Governance and the State Services Commission.

As the problems facing the contemporary public manager become more long-term, complex and 'wicked', the search continues for new and more effective forms of governance to help us solve them.

In this as so many areas, New Zealand has been a leading site for experimentation, with a range of innovations in institutional, legislative and regulatory arrangements, of which Better Public Services is but one notable example.

Questions were asked such as A) what can the New Zealand State Sector both learn and contribute to international experimentation with 'experimental governance and B) how can we keep some of the key concepts, like constant learning, innovation and parallel experimentation, alive in a risk-averse public space. It was an engaging discussion that filled the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants conference centre to capacity.

Speakers
Professor Julia Black

London School of Economics, 2014 Sir Frank Holmes Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington

Links

4 April 2014

The Sir Frank Holmes Memorial Lecture in Policy Studies

Learning from Regulatory Disasters

From leaky buildings to financial crashes, from mining disasters to deep water oil spills and from poor patient care to financial misselling, regulation can fail to prevent disasters arising from the risks it is meant to manage.

Although each disaster is unique in many respects, analysis of the regulatory failings that contributed to those disasters reveals a number of common themes.

 

When regulation fails, it fails in quite consistent ways. This lecture dissects regulatory disasters to find out what lessons can be learned. See previous event for more information on Professor Julia Black.

Speakers
Professor Julia Black

London School of Economics, 2014 Sir Frank Holmes Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington

Links

28 March 2014

Regulating Really Responsively

Professor Julia Black has written extensively on regulatory issues in a number of areas and has advised policy makers, consumer bodies and regulators on issues of institutional design and regulatory policy.

She is the Pro Director for Research at the London School of Economics and her principal research interest is to explore the nature, dynamics and legitimacy of regulatory regimes, both state and non-state. With a speciality in financial services regulation and the regulation of risk particularly in public law and biotechnology, it is an honour to have her visit New Zealand as the 2014 Sir Frank Holmes Visiting Professor in Public Policy at Victoria Univeristy of Wellington.

This event was co-hosted with the Government Economic Network and the MBIE. Acknowledgement and gratitude to The Treasury for the use of their venue for this lecture.

Speakers
Professor Julia Black

London School of Economics, 2014 Sir Frank Holmes Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington

Links

21 March 2014

Three of a kind?

The Emissions Trading Systems of the EU, New Zealand and Tokyo compared

Even though the EU emission trading system (ETS) is the biggest and most active carbon market, it has apparent problems maintaining a stable supply and demand based price mechanism which calls into question its purpose of reducing C0₂emissions. The same problem occurs in New Zealand where prices have fallen dramatically over the past couple of years.

Comparing the carbon markets of the EU, New Zealand and Tokyo,
Dr Niederhafner investigated the differences in the designs of the systems, asking if elements can be found that would make carbon trading an actual C0₂mitigating enterprise.

Speakers
Dr Stefan Niederhafner

Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Relations, Seoul National University

 

Links

14 March 2014

Environmental Policy Effectiveness in New Zealand

Inside the Black Box

New Zealand was a rapid innovator in environmental policy during the late 1980's and early 1990's but since then it has been slow to develop policies to address environmental problems; this despite having comparatively strong central government capacity and the power to move quickly in terms of policy development.

Dr Logan discussed some of his recent PhD research on the study of how environmental policy did and didn't develop within government to address the three significant issues of fragmented oceans management, native biodiversity decline and freshwater quality decline.

The findings offered up valuable lessons for aspiring policy makers, which together with Dr Logan's extensive experience within the public sector made this lecture an insightful must-see that we recorded and will make available as a free download shortly.

Speakers
Dr Hugh Logan

Chief Executive at the Ministry for the Environment (2 years), the Department of Conservation (9 years) and at the Antarctic Division of DSIR (3 years)

Links

7 March 2014

Science and Public Policy

The relationship between science and politics is a contested one. Professor Martin Lodge argued that initially attractive and simple solutions will inevitably lead to disappointment.

The notion of 'science-based' policy appeals to those favouring the idea of rational policy-making. However, 'science based' policy fails to acknowledge the different roles that 'science' plays when it comes to policy and politics.

Furthermore, it also does not acknowledge the conflicts within 'science' itself. Professor Lodge explored this debate by looking at the most extensive and expansive random control trial in the UK, namely the trial involving badgers in the context of concern about the rise of TB in cattle.

 

Martin Lodge joined the LSE Government Department in September 2002. Previously he was ESRC Senior Research Officer at the LSE's Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR) and Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Ulster at Jordanstown. His undergraduate and PhD degrees are from the LSE.

Speakers
Professor Martin Lodge

London School of Economics, ANZSOG Visiting Scholar Program at Victoria University of Wellington

Links

4 March 2014

Keeping Our Eye on the Main Game:

Delivering public value through organisational change

In the public managers' book of excuses, not being able to deliver valuable outcomes because of the distraction of constant machinery of government changes looms quite large.

Hanzo van Beusekom, a highly experienced administrator and a skilled presenter, wants to challenge our complaceny on this score. How can we break out of familiar diagnoses of problems and patterns of action to focus on delivering public value? What are the do's and don'ts from experience around the world in measuring our performance and using this information to become more effective in what we do?

Speakers
Hanzo Van Beusekom

ANZSOG Research Fellow

Links

3 March 2014

Risky Business:

Can we improve the way government agencies manage risks?

Most public managers join government to make a difference to the lives of our fellow citizens. Managing risks is a crucial factor in working towards this goal. However, risk management can become mechanistic and short sighted.

It doesn't have to be this way. Risk management is an exciting craft that requires creativity, skill and endurance. Public managers who master this craft can add great value.

What are the coping strategies which government agencies can use to manage risks rather that be overwhelmed by them? How can we become better at managing risks? Mr van Beusekom shared his experience and introduced frameworks to help make this happen.

Speakers
Hanzo Van Beusekom

ANZSOG Research Fellow

Links

28 February 2014

Age Friendly Workplaces

This public lecture is hosted with the New Zealand Association of Gerontology.

Speakers
Professor Simon Biggs

Professor of Gerontology & Social Policy, University of Melbourne

Links

21 February 2014

What is Distinctive in Government Budgeting:

A comparative multi-country political study

Professor Ahonen argued in his study that it takes time before global institutional homogenisation generates similarity, if ever.

 

According to Prof. Ahonen's results, at one end of the scale he finds three overseas inheritors of common law; Canada, Australia and New Zealand. At the other end, two representatives of civil law of the Napoleonic subtype; Italy and Spain. Where as the other eight countries situate themselves in intermediate positions.

 

Three topics of budgetary governance and three groups of countries can be discerned: 'Nordic and German Law' represented by a few countries, 'Common Law' best represented by its three overseas inheritor countries, and 'Napoleonic Law' with Italy and Spain as its keenest representatives. In the first group, budgetary legislation particularly emphasises content aspects of budgeting, in the second group institutional budgeting aspects and in the third group, accountability aspects.

Speakers
Professor Pertti Ahonen

University of Helsinki, Professor of Political Science. D.Soc.Sc. (Political Science, University of Helsinki, 1984), M.Sc. Econ. (Business Accounting, Aalto University, Helsinki, 1978)

Links

20 February 2014

Nudge, Budge or Nuzzle:

A workshop on Nudging, Behavioural Economics & Public Policy

In recent years 'nudge' has come into fashion under the inspiration of behavioural economics and in particular, Thaler and Sustein's widely cited 'Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness' (2008).

This workshop considered the value of 'nudge' as a guide to policy-making. Professor Martin Lodge examined the limits to nudging; Professor Graham Room discussed the alternative notions of 'budge' and 'nuzzle'.

There was plenty time made available at the workshop for other articipants to contribute their perspectives and their practical experience of policy making. It was a sold out event and a huge success with favourable reviews.

Speakers
Professor Graham Room

University of Bath

 
Professor Martin Lodge

London School of Economics

 

Links

18 February 2014

Elder Abuse, Social Ageism and Human Rights

In recent years 'nudge' has come into fashion under the inspiration of behavioural economics and in particular, Thaler and Sustein's widely cited 'Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness' (2008).

This workshop considered the value of 'nudge' as a guide to policy-making. Professor Martin Lodge examined the limits to nudging; Professor Graham Room discussed the alternative notions of 'budge' and 'nuzzle'.

There was plenty time made available at the workshop for other articipants to contribute their perspectives and their practical experience of policy making. It was a sold out event and a huge success with favourable reviews.

Speakers
Professor Simon Biggs

Professor of Gerontology & Social Policy, University of Melbourne

Links

14 February 2014

Evidence for Agile Policy Makers

Graham Room is Professor of European Social Policy at the University of Bath. His most recent book is titled 'Complexity, Institutions and Public Policy: Agile Decision-Making in a Turbulent World'. He is also Acting Director of the Institute for Policy Research and the Founding Editor of the 'Journal of European Social Policy' and is a member of the Academy of Social Sciences.

How can governments choose which policy interventions to use? Can the same methods be used for choosing good policies and good medicines?    

Advocates of evidence-based policy-making (EBPM) ask 'what works?' They believe that good policies should involve interventions that have a strong evidence base.  They therefore call for careful measurement of the impact of different interventions. This approach has been challenged by Pawson, who argues that a wide range of factors modify how any particular intervention develops. This critique does not however go far enough, because the impact of an intervention also typically depends on the synergies it develops with other interventions. It is from this vantage point that the lecture re-considered the theory and practice of EBPM.

Speakers
Professor Graham Room

University of Bath

Links

4 February 2014

Don't get bored' and other simple but important truths about unleashing change in government

Is it really true that there are three inevitabilities in the life of the public manager? The three being death, taxes and resistance to organizational change.

 

Drawing on his own personal experience as an administrator and extensive research among frontline civil servants, as well as literature in organization theory and psychology, Professor Steve Kelman engagingly challenged conventional and pessimistic notions about achieving lasting reform in large organizations.

Speakers
Prof. Steven Kelman

Professor of Public Management, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, ANZSOG Visiting Scholar Program at Victoria University of Wellington

Links

3 February 2014

America's Economic and Political Challenges

Professor Kelman's lecture explored the strengths and weaknesses of the US economy and why the US political system has difficulties solving the country's budget and long term fiscal problems.

Speakers
Prof. Steven Kelman

Professor of Public Management, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, ANZSOG Visiting Scholar Program at Victoria University of Wellington

Links

31 January 2014

Reducing Inequality through Univerisal Basic Income

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is an idea whose time may have come.  Although the idea of a UBI was first mooted around 1800, the financing of it appears always to have been considered separately. 

 

In this IGPS seminar, Perce Harpham will discuss the beginning of a solution by considering both a Universal Basic Income and an Asset Tax to finance it. By choice of appropriate levels of the variables Perce argued that both tax and benefit systems  can be simplified and inequality reduced.  In so doing, he drew on recent examples of innovation in this field: most notably the vote in Switzerland, and the advocacy campaign by a Conservative Canadian Senator.

Speakers
Perce Harpham

Links

29 January 2014

Jumping on the Climate Change Bandwagon?

Nina is a post-doctoral fellow in Global Governance at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin. Her research explores how international organisations are evolving and performing in the 21st century with a focus on explaining variation in inter-governmental organisation behaviour. She argued that functional and normative organisations have different bandwagoning behaviours.

 

This lecture was offered by the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute in association with the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies.

Speakers
Dr Nina Hall

Hertie School of Government, Berlin

Links