Policy Officers' Intensive

A Comprehensive Workshop to Advance Your Skills as a Policy Officer

  • November 20th - 22nd, 2018
  • Cliftons Sydney


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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


Carolyn Page

Carolyn Page

Carolyn Page established the Canberra-based consultancy, the Clear English Company to support government agencies, businesses, lobby groups and not-for-profit organisations to improve strategic thinking and communication. 

Since 2007 Carolyn has provided policy analysis, training and strategic advice for over 20 Australian, state and territory government agencies and for a range of voluntary and non-government organisations. With Clive Haggar, she has also delivered close to 100 workshops on the management of workplace bullying, tailored to the needs of specific agencies.

The Clear English Company

  • Susan Garner
    Susan Garner
    Garner Willisson
  • Rob Richards
    Rob Richards


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Dilemmas, tools and frameworks for policy analysis and development
Writing effective policy documents
Introduction to policy project management and implementation
Module One - 20 Nov - 08:30- 16:30


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

  • Carolyn Page

    Carolyn Page Director The Clear English Company

Module Two - 21 Nov - 08:30- 16:30


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

  • Susan Garner

    Susan Garner Director Garner Willisson

Module Three - 22 Nov - 08:30- 16:30


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

  • Rob Richards

    Rob Richards Director Evidentiary


Cliftons Sydney

Level 13, 60 Margaret St, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia

+61 2 9250 0999

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