Senior Policy Officers Intensive

Build policy leadership & professional skills to analyse & respond to complex public policy challenges & opportunities

  • September 9th - 11th, 2019
  • Cliftons Brisbane


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- Apply higher-level strategic thinking & influencing skills
- Navigate complexity, manage change, risk & opportunity
- Assess the quality & relevance of evidence & the context for policy change
- Improve stakeholder engagement & consultation processes to improve the relevance, reception & impact of policy


Carolyn Page

Carolyn Page established the Canberra-based consultancy, the Clear English Company to support government agencies, businesses, lobby groups and not-for-profit organisations to improve strategic thinking and communication. 

Since 2007 Carolyn has provided policy analysis, training and strategic advice for over 20 Australian, state and territory government agencies and for a range of voluntary and non-government organisations. With Clive Haggar, she has also delivered close to 100 workshops on the management of workplace bullying, tailored to the needs of specific agencies.

The Clear English Company

  • Susan Garner
    Garner Willisson
  • Rob Richards


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24 Days

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Leading policy change and laying the groundwork for successful implementation
Risk & Analysis - Manage risk in the dynamic policy landscape
Build evaluation capability for effective policy delivery
Day One

09 Sep


Creating the preconditions for success

- Strategic and contextual analysis - Establish the need for new policy or policy change

- Anticipate and identify the preconditions for success and the stages of policy ‘maturation’

- Complex or just complicated - Understanding the interdependency of policy activity

- Identify critical knowledge gaps that need to be filled

Leading policy development - Community and communication

- Build a ‘policy community’ in your team and/or agency

- Identify key players and potential policy champions internally and externally

- Successfully facilitate robust policy conversations

- Frame (and re-frame) policy ideas to improve policy reception


It’s all related - Interdependent policy success

- ‘Interrupting’ and challenging existing policy paradigms

- Responding to policy opportunity

- Unintended and perverse outcomes of policy

- Managing unexpected policy requests and tight timeframes

  • Carolyn Page Director The Clear English Company

Day Two

10 Sep


Understand and plan for uncertainty and risk

- Understand the difference between uncertainty and risk

- Explore the sources of risk

- Know how uncertainty and risk can be embedded in good project management

- Understand and apply critical thinking

Manage risk using evidence based policy

- Know the importance of asking “the right effective” questions at different stages of the policy cycle

- Understand why evidence is important in public policy

- Know how to recognise untrustworthy information

- Develop your teams capacity to effectively use evidence


Cognitive biases in managing risk analysis

- What are cognitive biases?

- How can you deal with cognitive biases?

- Conducting a policy pre-mortem


Manage risk with advanced policy logic applications

- Surfacing assumptions, risk and evidence on your logic models

  • Rob Richards Director Evidentiary

Day Three

11 Sep


Communicate complex public policy issues

- Strategies to engage with stakeholders during policy development and implementation

- Thinking evaluatively and focusing on the outcomes not just the problems

- Build a shared understanding about policy problems and their solutions

- Communicate evidence effectively at different stages of policy implementation

Monitor and evaluate policy implementation and outcomes 

- Understand the political nature of the policy cycle from development to implementation

- Identify intended and unintended consequences

- Application of program theory – theory of change to M&E

- Explore 5 common program archetypes

Address the key challenges of evaluating policy outcomes

- Core attributes of teams with strong evaluation capability

- Communication and negotiation skills           

- Research, data and analysis capability

- Resilience, team building and management capability

  • Susan Garner Director Garner Willisson


Cliftons Brisbane

Level 3, 288 Edward Street, Brisbane, QLD, 4000, Australia

07 3231 0999

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