About the Public Service Research Group

Welcome to the Public Service Research Group

The Public Service Research Group (PSRG) was established in 2016 to perform timely, high-quality and reliable research into public policy implementation. We bring a breadth of knowledge and a depth of experience to our work, taking an interdisciplinary approach that recognises the complexity of contexts and plurality of interests involved in any policy implementation.  

We understand that implementing policy is tricky, and that tricky problems cannot be solved with a ‘cookie cutter’ approach. When we partner with a public sector organisation, we will work with them to understand the problem, develop a tailored solution, and build up the organisational and individual capacity to solve similar problems in the future. 

Key Research Strengths

Research within the PSRG broadly focuses on issues of policy implementation in a public service context. Our research crosses several different disciplinary, methodological and subject boundaries.  

To organise our research, we use four major themes to focus our activity: 

PSRG research projects build local practice while advancing global knowledge. We enable independent practice and collaborative thinking and provide educational activities that embed new policy and program implementation insights into practice settings. Depending on the issues of the day and the research interests of our associates, the focus of the Group’s activities may change. We currently have a critical mass of capabilities in: 

  • reform of disability services 
  • public service implementation 
  • gender and flexible working 
  • project and program management 
  • public service institutions, governance and management 
  • public sector strategic human resources.

  

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Our Approach

The PSRG policy is guided by the Policy Implementation and Evaluation Cycle framework and five guiding principles. 

The Policy Implementation and Evaluation Cycle has been developed as a companion heuristic to the policy cycle in recognition of the different constituents of the process. This framework guides our approach to practice. Download the PDF for detailed information.

Five Guiding Principles

  1. We recognise the messy realities of implementation to inform our choices of different knowledge and tools to create novel insights.  
  2. We will foster a holistic, system-focused approach in all that we do, enabling a better understanding of the causes, rather than the symptoms, of issues.  
  3. We will engage in mutually beneficial relationships with partners, adopting an asset-based approach that enables the partner to achieve better outcomes and develop new capabilities.  
  4. We will provide thought leadership and contribute to both local practice and global knowledge of public service delivery, implementation and evaluation.  
  5. We are professionals who deliver quality projects in a timely and reliable manner.  

Highlights

In addition to undertaking research, PSRG also uses research findings to inform policy making and implementation. Our Things worth sharing in 2018 and Things worth sharing in 2019 booklets are a compilation of publications in non-academic forums.  

Other Resources

The Public Service Research Group also runs regular executive and professional education courses and hosts webinars and podcasts. From short courses to fully customised learning programs, we combine our research findings with academic teaching skills to deliver exceptional executive education, and we can customise a course or program specifically for your organisation’s needs. Contact us at PSRGinfo@unsw.edu.au for further information. 

Our Publications

From submissions to government and journal articles to our own research briefs and issues papers, the Public Service Research Group has released a wide range of publications. 

Learn more

  

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