- Code POGO8234
- Unit Value 3 units
- 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
Can governments address ‘wicked’ or complex challenges such as climate change or control healthcare costs? Can governments in developing countries price and distribute clean drinking water? Can governments enforce contracts? These questions canvass a key issue in contemporary public policy and administration: the capacity of governments to carry out routine policy tasks. This course provides students with a rigorous understanding of theoretical and policy debates around different dimensions of capacity.
The course is structured along three questions. First, what are the different components of policy capacity? Second, what types of capacities or capabilities are needed to address contemporary policy tasks such as contracting, commissioning, regulating insurance markets, etc? Third, can any deficits in capacity or capabilities to achieve these tasks be identified before a policy or program is rolled out? How can these deficits be remedied? Students are introduced to frameworks to respond to, and interrogate these questions, using real-world policy examples.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- understand key theoretical concepts in policy capacity literature
- understand different dimensions of capacity, and how they manifest in governments
- connect policy capacity of governments with specific policy goals and tasks
- apply frameworks to measure capacity to specific programs or policies
- identify deficits in capacities and how they can be addressed.
- Policy Capacity Artefact (30) [LO 1,2]
- Capacity Mapping Exercise (30) [LO 3,4]
- Policy Capacity Essay (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
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3-day intensive format + all three assessment tasks for students enrolled in the MPA program or seeking 3-unit credit
18 contact hours plus 40-50 hours of class preparation and assessment.
Wu, X., Ramesh, M., & Howlett, M. (2015). Policy capacity: A conceptual framework for understanding policy competences and capabilities. Policy and Society, 34(3-4), 165-171.
Painter, M., & Pierre, J. (2005). Unpacking policy capacity: Issues and themes. In Challenges to state policy capacity (pp. 1-18). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Parsons, W. (2004). Not just steering but weaving: Relevant knowledge and the craft of building policy capacity and coherence. Australian journal of public administration, 63(1), 43-57.
Peters, B. G. (2005). Policy instruments and policy capacity. In Challenges to state policy capacity (pp. 73-91). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Howlett, M., & Ramesh, M. (2016). A chilles' heels of governance: critical capacity deficits and their role in governance failures. Regulation & Governance, 10(4), 301-313.
Rayner, J., McNutt, K., & Wellstead, A. (2013). Dispersed Capacity and Weak Coordination: The Challenge of Climate Change Adaptation in C anada's Forest Policy Sector. Review of Policy Research, 30(1), 66-90.
Bali, A. S., & Ramesh, M. (2019). Assessing health reform: studying tool appropriateness & critical capacities. Policy and Society, 38(1), 148-166.
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- 3 units
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