Implementing science for strategic policy development

Crawford School of Public Policy | Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis

Event details

Executive Education

Date & time

Monday 30 November 2020 to Friday 04 December 2020


Online and distance


Erin Bowen


Isobella Fry
02 6125 5707

Improve strategic policy design through a greater understanding of implementation science.

Designing and implementing strategic policy is challenging. Government approaches often change direction, public policy development is highly contestable, policy problems are complex and multi-faceted, requiring linkages across numerous portfolios or layers of governance, and there is a growing emphasis on involving stakeholders and citizens in public policy design.

Contemporary public policy makers need to be well informed, responsive, collaborative and innovative to deliver effective, evidence-based policy. This requires a strategic approach to policy design, development and implementation.

This course will step through a framework for strategic policy development, with a specific focus on the latest research and information on implementation science, using engaging practical activities exploring real-world policy problems, to translate knowledge into understanding and action.

This one-day program is part of a Strategic Policy Fundamentals series, designed to equip current and aspiring public policy makers with a range of tools essential for strategic policy design, development and implementation.

See related course: Systems Thinking and Behavioural Insights for Strategic Policy Development (Day 1 of the Strategic Policy Fundamentals Series)

This course will run as an online and distance program in 2020. It is tentatively set to run for one week 30 November - 4 December 2020. Specific dates and times, including for multiple live sessions will be confirmed soon. Contact to find out more.

Cost: Before/by 13 November 2020: $1,195 After 13 November 2020: $1,495 OR $2,195 for enrolment in the Series (saving $195 off the price of purchasing each day separately).

Group discounts available.

Apply now

Course overview Implementation Science for Strategic Policy Development – part of the Strategic Policy Development Fundamentals series, will provide participants with a framework to develop their strategic policy skills. Participants will work through the implementation aspects of the strategic policy development framework in detail, engaging in techniques that will help to build a practical approach to strategic policy co-design and implementation.

The course will include both theoretical components, case studies and practical activities to facilitate learning, considering the latest information and evidence relevant to each topic. Participants will be required to work in small groups on a real-world policy problem. Activities undertaken are likely to include application of policy co-design techniques, development of a Theory of Change approach and a high-level implementation plan. Participants will also engage in role playing to understand behaviour change and games to explore systems thinking and mental models.

Participants will be provided with a workbook that will contain some of the theoretical elements discussed and materials to support the practical exercises.

Topics to be covered: · Introduction to the Strategic Policy Framework, including a brief overview of systems thinking and behavioural insights · Implementation science – designing evidence-based policy; communicating with influence; Theory of Change and creating evaluation frameworks; engaging end-users in policy design; flexible policy implementation; benefits and pitfalls of pilot projects and scaling up; measuring success and intervention impact

Learning outcomes: Public policy development in Australia exists in a highly complex and contested environment. In order for the public sector to be a leader in policy design and development, there needs to be greater understanding of the interdependent structures of public policy systems, of how human behaviour can influence and drive policy change and why we need a greater focus on the nuances of policy implementation.

This course will provide participants with tools to improve their strategic policy thinking, linking and analysis capabilities, to support policy development and delivery in a holistic, collaborative, innovative and focused way. Developing these skills across organisations in the public sector, or through MPA students, will facilitate and enable the delivery of a strategic public policy work agenda.

· Understanding the need to take a big picture approach to policy design in order to avoid assumptions and unintended consequences and to be disciplined in defining policy problems before jumping to solution design · Experience using co-design and consumer engagement techniques for policy development, Theory of Change and high-level evaluation frameworks and implementation approaches that can be applied in the work place

Anticipated behavioural and business impacts include:

Participants will:

· Gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental capabilities required for strategic policy development and the ability to employ practical strategies for developing these capabilities in the work place · Experience using some of the tools designed to strengthen strategic policy development, particularly the application of systems thinking, behavioural insights and implementation science · Participate in policy design, development and implementation in a more informed, deliberative, joined-up, innovative and cohesive manner

Who should attend?

This course is aimed at current and aspiring public policy officers/specialists (APS 6-EL1).

It is not a pre-requisite to attend Day 1 of the Series: Systems Thinking and Behavioural Insights for Strategic Policy Development.

Online training: How it works

This is a real-time, date-specific course, in which you will join live classes, engage and connect with experts, other course participants and the Executive Education team. Here’s how it works:

  • Pre-course live session. This is an opportunity for you to grab a cuppa and join our meet and greet before the course commences.
  • Practice + Study. Set aside up to 2 hours per day – this time commitment will vary depending on how deeply you choose to engage with the material. It is up to you.
  • Course pack. Each participant will receive a carefully curated workbook, which includes everything you need to guide you through the course.
  • Live sessions with presenter. This is a specified date and time for you to come together with the presenter and other participants to consolidate your learning.
  • Post-course. On completion of the course, you will receive your post-course resources for your reference and further learning.

Why choose online training?

  • No time off work – study and practice when you can.
  • Busy schedule? No problem, you can go at your own pace, join just the live classes, and do the course work whenever suits you best. We know that work and family obligations can be overwhelming. Mix and match the schedule to fit your life.
  • No travel. This is a course right at your fingertips. With no travel expenses, this is a very affordable option for high-level training with world-leading experts.
  • Live interaction with world-leading experts. You’ll have direct access to all the best resources and trainers.
  • Working remotely? With the online and distance format, we welcome participants from around the world to join us.


What if I can’t make a live session? No problem, we understand you are busy. Live sessions are recorded and transcribed for you to catch up in your own time.

What if I’m in a different time zone? All advertised course times are scheduled in Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) otherwise known as GMT+11. Convert for your time zone here.

What if I am not tech savvy? As long as you have access to a phone or computer, you’ll have no problems. This is a low-tech course designed for everyone. If needed our team is here to help – contact us at

What if I have questions? We would love to hear from you. Contact our team at

Updated:  7 May 2021/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team