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Since the 1990s, ‘joined-up government’, ‘whole-of-government’ and ‘horizontal governance’ approaches have emerged in many industrialised countries, resulting in the devolution of government functions to diverse and extensive policy networks. From these shifts, complex systems of networked actors have emerged, involved in designing, implementation and influencing policy. This includes different parts of government, the community sector, philanthropy, corporates and academics.
Arguable, networked approaches to policy may solve some problems. They minimise the risks and costs to government by spreading out responsibility, they mean that programs and decisions are made closer to community groups – which hopefully means they are better. But, as with all paradigm shifts, new problems have emerged. Specifically, skill and knowledge gaps have opened up – operating in this very complex environment requires ‘soft’ skills, such as: problem-solving skills, coordination skills, brokering skills, understanding of the system as a ‘whole’ and a willingness to undertake the emotional labour associated with relational working.
The ‘Power to Persuade’ (PTP) initiative is an annual symposium and online forum, aimed at deepening knowledge and awareness of current problems faced by policy networks, and providing the skills and knowledge to over come them.
In this presentation, we discuss how PTP works within the spaces in between as a vehicle for relationship building and better policy.
About the Speakers
Dr Gemma Carey is a Research Fellow at RegNet. She holds a PhD in social policy and population health from the University of Melbourne. Her research sit at the critical interface between public health, public administration and social policy. In particular, Gemma has investigated processes of ‘joining up’ within government and between government and non-government organisations. For more information visit her RegNet profile.
Dr Kathy Landvogt is Social Policy and Research Manager at the Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service since 2005. Kathy is a social worker with experience in service delivery, management, and service evaluation in both government and community-based organisations. She has been an educator in welfare and social work, and in community and adult education. Kathy completed her PhD in social work in the area of community-based women’s learning and support groups.