ANZSOG strengthens public sector leadership during COVID-19

Ken at desk
  • Published Date: 11 September 2020

In these uncertain and challenging times, the Australia and New Zealand School of Government’s (ANZSOG’s) mission - to support outstanding public sector leadership - is critical. Now more than ever communities are turning to government for advice and leadership, and ongoing investment in public sector leadership is vital.

The global impact of COVID-19 has been felt across all sectors and ANZSOG has not been spared. The rapidly evolving situation has made implementing our education, thought leadership, research and advisory programs a complex ever-changing challenge.

In March, we made the difficult decision to defer several programs based on: advice from our government owners; the availability of faculty; and our responsibility to protect our people.

Since then, we have adapted to focus on online or virtual engagement, building on ANZSOG’s strengths and bringing public servants across Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand together. We have launched several new initiatives and successfully tailored several of our existing programs to suit the current environment.

The Executive Master of Public Administration

Our foundation accredited program - the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA), led by director Chris Walker, has moved completely to online delivery for the rest of 2020, ensuring participants can progress their studies despite uncertainty around international and domestic travel and the cessation of larger gatherings.

The EMPA is in many ways the ‘intellectual spine’ of ANZSOG’s education offerings. It is a contemporary public administration post-graduate degree designed specifically for public sector leaders to help strengthen their understanding of the core principles of public sector management, including the importance of public value and systems thinking.

Multiple EMPA subjects will be delivered online in 2020 and 2021 with public sector leaders across Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand learning and thriving in an engaging online environment. As soon as it is safe to do so, we are clearly keen to return to face-to-face offerings, but envision an opportunity for blended learning to underpin delivery of many of our subject offerings.

Applications for the 2021 EMPA are now open. Find out more here.

Towards Strategic Leadership: In a time of prolonged crisis

This year, we are delivering a new program: Towards Strategic Leadership: In a time of prolonged crisis led by Paul ‘t Hart and Robbie Macpherson. This online program, which starts on October 21, is designed specifically to help public sector leaders develop the qualities needed to thrive in these volatile and uncertain times: a strategic outlook, political astuteness, personal resilience and the capacity to reflect, collaborate, lead and learn continuously. Find out more here.

Bespoke courses and executive education workshops

ANZSOG’s bespoke education workshops and masterclasses, developed in conjunction with our government owners, and ANZSOG’s executive education workshops are designed to build specific capabilities in public sector leaders. Courses and workshops have been tailored for the online environment with several successful deliveries completed since March. You can find out more about our bespoke offerings here and view current executive education workshops on the ANZSOG events page.

New ANZSOG initiatives responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Since March, ANZSOG has launched several new initiatives designed to provide public sector leaders with accurate and timely research, evidence and support to help inform decision making at a time of immense pressure.

These include:

  • ANZSOG’s new research translation series The Bridge. The series is designed to bridge the gap between the research work of academics and the policy work of public servants by supplying access to high-quality research tailored to practitioners. The Bridge is compiled by Maria Katsonis a former senior public servant and current Public Policy Fellow at the University of Melbourne. It is emailed fortnightly to thousands of engaged readers, including public servants and academics, in Australia, New Zealand and globally. It centres around a research brief, which distils academic research into an easy-to-read format and is complemented by other insights into public policy and management.
  • ANZSOG’s Leading in a crisis series featured the best global research and thinking on crisis leadership in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of the series, ANZSOG has developed concise summaries of lessons from successful approaches to crisis management compiled by internationally renowned academics.
  • ANZSOG’s partnership with the National Regulators Community of Practice (NRCoP) continues to go from strength-to-strength, with free webinars to support participants and agencies to become more professional and capable regulators. The webinars can be found on the ANZSOG events page and you can watch earlier webinars here.
  • ANZSOG partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) to launch Reimagining Government - for a series of webinars bringing together senior practitioners, academics and leading thinkers from across the globe to explore the complexities of society, relationships and learning in the government context. Watch the Reimagining Government webinars here.
  • ANZSOG continues its research and advisory work on critical public administration issues of interest to our member governments individually or collectively. Jointly-led from ANU (Australian National University) by a senior academic leader, Ariadne Vromen and practitioner, Subho Banerjee, this pillar of ANZSOG’s work is important to providing access to contemporary thinking across areas such as the operation of the Federation, workforce capability development and management, and strategic public policy advice.

ANZSOG will continue to place the health, safety and wellbeing of our participants, faculty and staff at the heart of all our decision-making.

We continue to educate, inspire, enrich and connect public sector leaders across agencies, sectors, jurisdictions and nations. This is aimed at ensuring governments can deliver better outcomes for the citizens of Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand.

And we believe in uncertain times like this, our mission is more important than ever.

- Professor Ken Smith, ANZSOG Dean and CEO (Chief Executive Officer)