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

There is little doubt that we live in fast-moving and turbulent times: rapid economic change, unexpected political events, and social and technological transformations all make any stable parametric assumption for policymaking hazardous. What does this imply for government? Must we simply respond to events as they unfold around us?  Or can we chart a more deliberate course in the midst of constant change?  In this course, participants will practice the art of thinking and acting strategically to develop best practice public policy. At its best, strategy can help advance an organisation's agenda, manage complexity, and stimulate innovation. In other cases, strategy may have little impact or lead an organisation astray.  Through class sessions that combine theoretical tools with practical case studies, participants will grapple with the challenges of looking forward, choosing courses of action, and implementing strategy, while remaining open to change.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between “business as usual” and strategic policymaking;
  2. Conduct strategic assessments of a particular organisation and the environment it faces;
  3. Develop and analyse alternative courses of strategic action, based strategic assessments and the identification of critical strategic issues;
  4. Recommend how particular courses of strategic action may be implemented to maximize impact.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Strategic assessment memo. Participants are asked to prepare memo conveying a strategic assessment for an organisation with which they are familiar. The memo should: outline the organisation’s mission; provide an assessment of the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses; and analyse the most relevant aspects of the changing environment faced by organisation. (30) [LO 1,2]
  2. Group presentation. Drawing on the principles of ‘project-based learning’, participants will be placed in groups to address an actual strategic policy problem confronting society. This assessment item requires students to apply relevant concepts and practices covered in the separate teaching blocks in the course. As participants work through a strategic policy process from problem development to conclusions, the group project requires you to evaluate the best fit, and then to apply, from the repertoire of strategic policy analysis skills covered in the course. (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Strategy Memo. Participants are asked to provide a comprehensive strategy memo for an organization with which they are familiar, building on and drawing on feedback from the strategic assessment memo. This comprehensive memo should cover all of the points covered in the strategic assessment while also making recommendations regarding the strategic approach to be adopted and how that approach should be implemented. (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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A standard workload for a 6 unit course is 130 hours including in-class time and independent study.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in the course you must be currently enrolled in the Executive Master of Public Policy.

Prescribed Texts

See Wattle.

Preliminary Reading

Braybrooke, D. and C. Lindblom (1963).  A strategy of decision: Policy evaluation as a social process.
Bryson, J. (1988).  Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement.
Kearns, K.P. (2000).  Private Sector Strategies for Social Sector Success: The Guide to Strategy and Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations. 
Mintzberg, H. (2000) The rise and fall of strategic planning.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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