The Policy Project team supports the Head of the Policy Profession to fulfill his role of building a high performing policy system across the public service. Our work includes:
promoting our three policy improvement frameworks amongst the policy community
providing tools and resources online to help apply the frameworks
holding tailored workshops with government agencies
developing guidance for public servants doing community engagement or putting together Long-term Insights Briefings.
Our work programme focuses on building a high performing policy system that supports and enables good government decision making. It is co-developed with policy practitioners from across government and championed by the Tier 2 Policy Leaders’ Network (deputy chief executives with policy responsibilities). This is consistent with our approach of impact through influence.
What we do
We are here to help the policy community:
- identify and share good practice
- build collective ownership of the policy system, and a programme of improvement activities
- encourage and facilitate collective approaches to improving performance or policy capability where it makes sense
- co-develop new products, tools and resources to improve the performance of the policy function and quality of policy advice across government.
Our breadth of work has included:
- supporting agencies to use our Policy Skills Framework, Policy Capability Framework, Policy Quality Framework, and the products designed to help apply them
- building capability in policy methods, including through the development of an online Policy Methods Toolbox
- building and maintaining an active policy community, and increasing their exposure to new ideas and experts through bespoke events
- contributing to substantive policy development that relates to the functioning of the policy system
- intervening at the system level to foster a higher performing policy advice system – for example, to address common policy workforce challenges and skill areas for development.
- supporting the Head of the Policy Profession, the Tier 2 Policy Leaders’ Network, and the Functional Leads Collective.
We have hosted and participated in many events since the Policy Project’s creation in 2014. Conversation trackers and information resources relating to these events are available in the Policy community events page. You can search the page for topics that interest you, or browse chronologically through the events.
For information on what we can do for you, see How the Policy Project can help you.
How the Policy Project got started
In 2014, the Head of the Policy Profession began an initiative intended to improve the policy system. This initiative grew into ‘The Policy Project’.
The Policy Project was co-funded initially by larger and medium-sized government agencies with a policy advice function on a year-by-year basis. The Head of the Policy Profession has succeeded in gaining the agreement of all Public Service agencies to fund the Policy Project for the 2020/21 to 2022/23 period.
See the conversation trackers and articles below for more information on the development of the Policy Project.
- Policy Leaders Forum (31 July 2014)
- Policy Analyst Forum (23 October 2014)
- Policy Managers Forum (15 April 2015)
- Policy Skills Framework: Co-design workshop (24 June 2015)
- Prime Minister launches Policy Project Frameworks (23 August 2016)
- Strengthening policy capability: New Zealand's Policy Project (10 Aug 2017)
- The New Zealand Policy Project: Reflections on the first three years (2017 UK Civil Service Quarterly article)
Interim evaluation of the Policy Project
Allen + Clarke Policy and Regulatory Specialists conducted an interim evaluation of the Policy Project between March and November 2021. The interim evaluation was commissioned in late 2020 by the Head of the Policy Profession, when it was decided that the Policy Project was at an appropriate point in its life to undergo such a review.
Allen + Clarke found that the Policy Project’s resources were seen by the policy community as being high quality and relevant, but more needed to done to raise awareness of the Policy Project, and to reflect the evolving nature of policy making in Aotearoa. Allen + Clarke also found that the Policy Project’s governance and operational model is appropriate. The interim evaluation made eight recommendations for change. See the documents below for more details.
Response to interim evaluation
The Policy Profession Board’s has prepared a response to Allen + Clarke’s interim evaluation of the Policy Project, as of April 2023. Good progress has been made on implementing all eight recommendations of the interim evaluation. Competing demands on the Policy Project and partner agencies has meant slower progress on some recommendations compared to others. You can find out more by reading the response below.