Professor Jenny Lewis, Melbourne University. Seminar Series Guest: 26 May 2017
Professor Jenny Lewis is Professor of Public Policy and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow for 2013-16. She has published widely on policy influence, governance and the policy process and is currently working on the debate surrounding performance measurement. Jenny is currently the Vice President (Australia and New Zealand) of the International Research Society for Public Management, and a member of the Executive of the Australian Political Studies Association.
She has received multiple research prizes, including the Marshall E Dimock award for best article in Public Administration Review in 1999, a VicHealth health promotion research award in 2004, and the Kooiman prize for the best article in Public Management Review in 2012.
Presentation title and abstract
The purposes of performance measurement: Comparing perspectives from Australia, Canada and the UK
Assessing performance has become a central part of national policy in many nations. This paper is directed at understanding why it is undertaken. In short, it attempts to understand the purposes and work of performance measurement, and the level of convergence in these across policy sectors and nations. Three nations with varying levels of centralisation in governmental regimes, and distinct performance measurement trajectories, are compared: The UK (a leader in introducing national performance measurement systems), Australia (with both national and sub-national measurement systems), and Canada (with few national but many sub-national frameworks for assessing performance). Interviews were conducted with senior administrators in government departments and authorities, in these three nations for two policy sectors (health and higher education). The interviews disclose the wide variety of purposes that ‘performance measurement’ is used for. Then, the common and unique themes in each nation and each policy sector are discussed. While commonalities are apparent, particularly around questions of what is measured, the purpose of measurement seems to differ more substantially from place to place, and sector to sector. This approach to ‘performance measurement’ reveals convergence on what is measured, a strong link between national institutional arrangements and who is involved, and how measurement occurs, but very different stated purposes (why) for this measurement.
Professor Helen Sullivan, Australian National University. Seminar Series Guest: 4 August 2017
Presentation title and abstract
Thinking again about Collaboration in public policy – Underexplored concepts and neglected elements
Collaboration is now ‘the new normal’ in public policy and practice. In this seminar I will consider the implications for researchers and practitioners of understanding collaboration in this way, including the need to think more expansively about the places, spaces and scales of collaboration to build new knowledge. This approach draws attention to a number of underexplored concepts and neglected elements of collaboration, further research into which promises to enhance our understanding of collaboration in and as practice.