Strengthening public policy in finance

The ‘Strengthening the Public Policy Making Process: A course for emerging leaders in the Ministry of Finance’ Short Term Award (STA) was conducted in Brisbane, Australia from May 23 to June 3, 2016.

This program was preceded by a three-day pre-course workshop from April 27-29, 2016 and followed by a Post-course Workshop from November 1-3, 2016 in Bandung, Indonesia.

The STA focused on public policy processes in theory and in practice, with the aim of the Awardees developing a thorough understanding of processes critical to achieving good policy outcomes.

In selecting Ministry of Finance officials with leadership potential, it was expected that skills, knowledge and relationships gained by Awardees on the STA would be applied over the medium and longer term, as Awardees move into positions of greater influence.

Through a customised action-based learning approach Awardees improved their skills and ability to:

  • Apply knowledge and evidence (quantitative and qualitative) to policy formulation, policy advice and policy analyses
  • Enhance their understanding of stakeholder analysis and communication strategies as part of policy making
  • Analyse complex policy issues (including challenges in the management, implementation and evaluation) from multiple perspectives and identify innovative ways that might be drawn from the Australian context to respond to these
  • Critically analyse the drivers (social, political, organisational, economic and environmental) that enable and limit public policy reform
  • Understand challenges relating to the management, implementation and evaluation of economic and development policies and respond to these in innovative ways
  • Demonstrate an enhanced understanding of evidence-based policy development processes related to economic and development policies
  • Develop policy using analytical and forecasting techniques and risk assessment
  • Understand key features of policy performance monitoring and evaluation.

Twenty-six officials from the Indonesian Ministry of Finance took part in the Award program, with participants from a range of Directorate-Generals, including the Fiscal Policy Agency (12), Budget (3), Treasury (4), Tax (3) and Asset Management (4).

Awardees at Old Parliament House with His Excellency, Ambassador Nadjib Riphat Kesoema; Mr Ian McPhee AO PSM Bintang Jasa Utama; and Ms Christine Shannon (Director, Indonesia Economic & Trade Section DFAT) and other guests

Awardees at Old Parliament House with His Excellency, Ambassador Nadjib Riphat Kesoema; Mr Ian McPhee AO PSM Bintang Jasa Utama; and Ms Christine Shannon (Director, Indonesia Economic & Trade Section DFAT) and other guests

The Award program included visits to key public policy institutions, at both Federal and State Government level. These were particularly successful as they involved in highly positive interactions, engaging discussions and high-quality presentations from senior staff of the institutions. They also provided valuable Australian contacts for Awardees.

The Awardee experience was enhanced by a visit to The University of Queensland by Professor Mardiasmo Indonesian Vice-Finance Minister. Professor Mardiasmo addressed Awardees on public policy challenges and capacity constraints within the Ministry of Finance and later posed for photos with the Awardees.

The Award program concluded with a three-day Workshop five months after the in-Australia component, the objectives of which were to review implementation of Award Projects, consolidate learning, and look to the future in terms of skills, behaviours and knowledge of policy processes. The Workshop focused on implementation of Award Projects, and in particular the obstacles and successes experienced by the Awardees, and the skills and behaviours required to achieve successful implementation.

The Projects had by this stage been well developed through feedback in peer review sessions and individual consultations with course leaders. In the few cases where further development was needed after the in-Australia component, this was discussed with the Awardees and the Projects modified. Awardees were encouraged to contact the course leaders to discuss their projects between the in-Australia and Post-course Workshop components. Awardees were tasked with a Reflective Exercise requesting Award Project updates and preparation ahead of the Workshop as per UQID standard practice.

It also endeavoured to assess the impact of the projects on the Ministry of Finance and on the Awardee’s future work. Further, it included some content sessions intended to challenge Awardees thinking on the public policy process, with a view to the future.

The Workshop included a panel discussion on public policy processes in Indonesia, with Mr William Wallace (formerly chief economist with the World Bank in Jakarta and former Director of AIPEG), Mr Matthew Quillinan (former senior executive in NSW Treasury who has worked internationally), and Ms Pauline Halchuk (Australian Treasury official currently working in Indonesia with the Indonesian MoF).

Duration: April 2016–November 2016
Funding source: Australia Awards: Short Term Award

Last updated:
20 November 2020