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Victoria University of Wellington

1. Jahan, Khandaker Aftab. Improving Policy Capability and the Quality of Policy Advice with Initiatives: Lessons from New Zealand Public Sector Agencies.

Degree: 2019, Victoria University of Wellington

There continues to be discourse about declining policy capability at high government levels in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Over the past 25 years, New Zealand public sector agencies have taken various initiatives intended to change policy practices with a view to professionalising policy analysis and advice. Policy practice refers to the activities of policy staff and agencies to contribute to policy analysis and policy advice. The initiatives indicate an ongoing resolve to improve policy capability and the quality of policy advice to the satisfaction of advice clients. This thesis examines the initiatives developed by the central government agencies and three agencies (two policy ministries and one council, a local government, which are collectively referred to as ‘agencies’) in New Zealand. The central government initiatives developed between 1990 and 2015 are examined to identify the concepts and ideas used to improve policy capability and the quality of policy advice and explain the contexts that influenced the initiators’ choice and use of initiatives. The initiatives developed between 2008 and 2015 by the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry for the Environment and the Auckland Council are examined in depth to identify and explain the initiators’ choice and use of initiatives. ‘Initiatives’ are used as a means to study organisational choices and activities, centred on the development, use and consequences of initiatives to build, improve or maintain policy capability and ensure high-quality policy advice. The research question addresses what initiatives are developed, why and with what consequences. A qualitative inquiry draws on evidence from the literature on policy analysis, policy advice and policy capability, focusing on the knowledge, skills, competencies and behaviours required to produce policy analysis and advice. Similarities and differences in the drivers, designs and approaches of the initiatives across three cases are analysed using data from documents and interviews with policy staff and experts outside the case-study agencies. The findings relating to central agency initiatives suggest that the focus of policy capability initiatives sought to standardise policy practices, ensure the quality of policy inputs with special attention to the use of evidence, tools and frameworks, bring a future focus to policy analysis, and promote collaborative policy analysis. Overall, these initiatives respond to the contextual conditions emanating from state sector reforms. The findings relating to agency initiatives suggest that policy capability initiatives are driven, approached and designed by the circumstances specific to the organisations (internal influences) and the expectation–response relation between the producers of and clients for policy advice at different levels (external influences). The similarities of the forms of the initiatives with slight modifications in their design but differences in their approaches across the organisations, imply that the initiators are influenced by… Advisors/Committee Members: Wolf, Amanda, Scott, Claudia.

Subjects/Keywords: Policy analysis; High-quality policy advice; Professionalising policy analysis and advice; Policy capability; Policy advice

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Jahan, K. A. (2019). Improving Policy Capability and the Quality of Policy Advice with Initiatives: Lessons from New Zealand Public Sector Agencies. (Doctoral Dissertation). Victoria University of Wellington. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10063/8097

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Jahan, Khandaker Aftab. “Improving Policy Capability and the Quality of Policy Advice with Initiatives: Lessons from New Zealand Public Sector Agencies.” 2019. Doctoral Dissertation, Victoria University of Wellington. Accessed April 22, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/10063/8097.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Jahan, Khandaker Aftab. “Improving Policy Capability and the Quality of Policy Advice with Initiatives: Lessons from New Zealand Public Sector Agencies.” 2019. Web. 22 Apr 2019.

Vancouver:

Jahan KA. Improving Policy Capability and the Quality of Policy Advice with Initiatives: Lessons from New Zealand Public Sector Agencies. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Victoria University of Wellington; 2019. [cited 2019 Apr 22]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10063/8097.

Council of Science Editors:

Jahan KA. Improving Policy Capability and the Quality of Policy Advice with Initiatives: Lessons from New Zealand Public Sector Agencies. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Victoria University of Wellington; 2019. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10063/8097

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