Placing citizens at the centre of policymaking and service design means they have the opportunity to shape policy and services in areas that matter to them. Delivering local solutions cannot be treated as an overhead or an afterthought. Research prepared for the Independent Review of the APS finds there is scope for improvement in the delivery of local solutions to communities.
In ANZSOG research commissioned for the APS Review, Catherine Althaus (University of Melbourne) and Carmel McGregor (University of Canberra) investigate the strengths and weaknesses of the APS current approach to delivering local solutions to communities. The authors argue that a range of services need to be shaped with communities.
The paper acknowledges there is a range of terms such as place-based policy, community engagement and inclusive development. The intent of these is to put the citizen and their communities at the heart of the solution. In referring to communities, the research includes communities of place and communities of identity or interest.
There are four parts to Commonwealth local service delivery:
Despite the APS investing significant amounts of money and resources over a long period of time, Australia has not seen a similarly significant lift in key economic and social indicators for many communities. Nor has it delivered a coherent service delivery system to citizens and local communities.
The vision is:
This end-state would see:
The paper proposes the following directions for reform.
Delivering local solutions
– Catherine Althaus and Carmel McGregor, Australia and New Zealand School of Government, March 2019
This article originally appeared in The Mandarin as part of The Mandarin and ANZSOG's ongoing special Research Series. Sign up to receive The Mandarin's research newsletter today.