• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

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Governments are always under pressure “to deliver” and stories of implementation failures make good headlines.  Consequently those involved in policy implementation confront “the central paradox of control and autonomy...How to balance the requirement for public accountability with consumer responsiveness...How to avoid performance becoming conformance with targets at the expense of broader goals” (Barrett,2004:260).   Implementing Social Policy explores the issues facing those who are responsible for delivering human services, both within and outside government by exploring issues involved in working across government departments or levels of government; the mechanisms by which governments purchase service delivery from non-government organisations and the impact of contractual arrangements on non-government service providers and service users, as well as the impact of values and ideas on what is delivered and how it is delivered.  The course also considers the changing nature of welfare conditionality in Australia and overseas, which raise questions of what the state owes its citizens and what citizens owe the state.  At the conclusion of  the course students will have the opportunity to design their own delivery mechanism for a social program.  


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1.  demonstrate an understanding of the different ways academics have conceptualised the implementation process;

2.  demonstrate an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each conceptualisation;

3.  demonstrate an understanding of the nature of key players and their role in the service delivery process;

4.  demonstrate an understanding of the factors that facilitate and constrain effective implementation.

Other Information

Delivery Mode:

The Course is delivered in an intensive format.  The course comprises three blocks, each of two days.

Full details are available from the POGO timetable on the Crawford School website.

Indicative Assessment

1. A case  based exercise (20%) which relates to Learning Outcomes 1 and 2. 

2. A quiz (20%) which relates to Learning Outcomes 3 and 4. 

3. A 4,000 word essay (60%) which relates to Learning Outcomes 3 and 4.

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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30 hours of lectures and seminars

Preliminary Reading

The range of subject matter covered in the course does not accord with the content of any particular textbook.    Two useful recent references that cover part of the course are:

  • Wanna J, Butcher J. and Freyens B. 2010, Policy in Action. The Challenge of Service Delivery, UNSW Press, Sydney.
  • Hill M. and Hupe P. 2009, Implementing Public Policy: An Introduction to the Study of Operational Governance,, Second Edition,Sage Publications, London. 

A Reading Brick will be made available to students in advance of the Course.  Students will also be provided with a Guide to Source Materials (including the Internet) and a comprehensive Bibliography.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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