One of the strengths of The John L. Alford Case Library is the wide range of public sector case studies from all levels of government across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

We are always looking for interesting new cases to stimulate discussion about recent or current events in the public sector. Topic areas include leadership, policy development, regulation, budgeting, intergovernmental relations, service delivery management, strategic communication and ethics.

What makes a good case?

Our case library was designed as a resource for instructors using the interactive approach known as ‘case teaching’, which focuses on people as decision-makers and enables students to ‘stand in the shoes’ of the manager whose circumstances or dilemma are described in the case, giving practical shape and illustration to concepts.

The best cases:

  • Are useful for discussing concepts. Although the case itself is in narrative form, it should illustrate, apply or elaborate theories being discussed in the classroom.
  • Are different from a research case study. A teaching case is an elaborate form of a question rather than a settled version of an answer. While it describes circumstances or events as accurately as possible, it usually leaves aspects of the situation untold or unexplored.
  • Pose a question to which there is no obvious right answer. A good case should be open to a variety of interpretations and solutions, some better than others. The discussion can test the strengths and limitations of different approaches.
  • Focus on people as decision-makers. A case should have preferably one (but perhaps more than one) central figure, who is faced with the dilemma that is central to the case. It should be possible for the instructor to ask questions about what this policy-maker or manager should do.

Can I submit a case?

If you have identified a subject of interest, please get in touch with us to discuss how we can develop it.

Our cases may be written by our program writers, an academic in one of our partner institutions or a contract writer, supervised by an academic in a partner institution.

We are committed to developing expertise in case teaching and case writing and our case library team can advise those without previous experience.

Can ANZSOG fund the development of a case?

ANZSOG may agree to support the development and writing of new cases with the amount available varying between A$3000 and A$5000, depending on the length and complexity of, and identified need for, the proposed case. Preference is given to cases that fill teaching needs in ANZSOG programs or gaps in our case library collection.

Can my agency commission a case?

Government agencies may commission ANZSOG to produce a case, however commissions are only accepted where ANZSOG’s teaching objectives and the organisation’s needs are compatible. Agencies wishing to fund a case should complete the document Case Proposal Form (46 KB) or contact the The John L. Alford Case Library to discuss their needs.

How to apply

Fill in the document Case Proposal Form (46 KB) , providing an outline the project, including a brief description of the case, the teaching outcomes expected, the research and development methodologies, the proposed completion date, itemisation of any proposed budget, and brief resumes of the academic supervisor and case writer.

Applicants should email their completed forms to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., marked ‘New case application’.

Editorial representatives of The John L. Alford Case Library team will consider your application. They will either: accept your application; propose variations; reject your application; or refer it a full editorial committee of The John L. Alford Case Library for further review.

The production process 

Depending on the nature of the case, our cases usually pass through the following stages:

  • Ideas: The development of the case idea or story.
  • Teaching objectives: A good case idea needs to be translated into clear teaching objectives and intended lessons.
  • Data gathering: The writer should research available materials on the episode in question, drawing on annual reports, news articles etc., to work out how much information is available, who the principle players are and whether they are available for interview.
  • Approach: Potential interviewees are contacted and organisational permission sought, if necessary. Where possible, the writer (or supervisor) should interview a key person involved.
  • Research: This is where the bulk of the information is collected and assessed, documents gathered and participants interviewed (usually two to six people).
  • Write-up: The case research is distilled into a first draft. pdf A Guide for Case Writers (197 KB) is available to assist
  • Review: The writer sends the case to a relevant ANZSOG reviewer for comment and incorporates feedback before sending the case to interview subjects for comment. Any necessary revisions are made.
  • Clearance: If required, the final draft of the case, complete with exhibits, is sent to the subject organisation/s for official authorisation.
  • Test: Some cases may be given a classroom trial, which may help identify any gaps or ambiguity in the text.
  • Publish: The draft is sent to our case library to be copy-edited for publication, loaded on the case library website and made available for use.
  • Revise: Cases may be periodically updated.

Access to the case library is free to our government and university partners and available to other interested parties for an annual fee. 


If you’d like to know more about our case library or would like assistance with a search, please get in touch.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Phone: +61 3 9344 1990