ANZSOG’s research role

The purpose of our research is to address key contemporary issues in public administration, policy development and management where information is lacking. Our distinctive approach draws on the strengths of our network of scholars, practitioners and member governments in Australia and New Zealand, favouring collaborative and comparative research that can be of practical assistance to governments and the communities they serve.

Our aims

Our research seeks to:

  • Inform debate and promote understanding on key issues in government.
  • Support the development of best practice throughout the public sector.
  • Enhance the knowledge and capability of public managers and leaders.

Our approach

Our research program benefits governments in three inter-related ways:

  • By identifying the priority issues and disseminating research findings on these directly to member governments and the community, through publications that are made widely available.
  • By providing a ‘safe space’ for frank discussion among public officials and academics, informed by objective evidence and analysis.
  • By feeding research findings into core teaching programs and short courses for public sector managers.

To implement this approach, the ANZSOG Research Committee, in consultation with stakeholders, develops priority research themes and calls for submissions for funding, which it assesses against criteria related to the above purpose and aims. The committee also monitors progress and outcomes of research conducted under the program and reports periodically to our board.

Projects that involve ‘buy-in’ from both governments and academics are encouraged, such that topics are not only relevant and timely, but also combine theory with practice in an area where each has much to offer the other.

Competitive grants and other initiatives

ANZSOG contributes funds each year for new projects that address a gap in public administration and public management knowledge, and are of direct interest to our member governments.

While this competitive grants program is a key part of our research program, ANZSOG supports a range of research-based activities, including academics’ personal research and publications; teaching cases; policy roundtables; reports and frameworks for government; Evidence Base journal; our blog; our annual conference; the Work-Based Project; research seminars; a monograph series with ANU Press; and short practitioner-focused occasional papers.

Good examples of this collaborative and cross-jurisdictional way of working include:

  • A series of occasional papers produced with the Queensland Office of the Information Commissioner on transparency in the public sector.
  • An international comparative project on Indigenous Leadership and the Role and Contribution of Indigenous Public Servants (featuring empirical work from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and South Africa).
  • A social network mapping project looking at collaborative governance under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

ANZSOG's monograph series 

ANZSOG publishes a series of monographs and occasional papers in partnership with ANU Press. The series includes studies of leadership and organisational management, policy management and implementation, organisational transformations, intergovernmental management, capacity-building and resilience, collaboration and working with stakeholders including not-for-profits, executive training and development, working with tight budgets and value for money frames.

The ANZSOG series is freely available via ANU Press’ open-access platform, allowing them to be used by people around the world in line with ANZSOG’s mission to be a global leader in education and government-focused research relevant to the public sector.

Evidence and evaluation hub 

The Evidence and Evaluation Hub is an ANZSOG centre of expertise developed to strengthen the capacity of the public and not-for-profit sectors to generate and use evaluation and other types of evidence to support decision-making and practice.

With a focus on evaluation, evidence and policy analysis, the Evidence and Evaluation Hub offers services and other activities to meet the needs of the public and not-for-profit sectors.


Singular memory or institutional memories? Toward a dynamic approach

Published Date: 14 February 2018
Abstract The ability of the civil service to act as a reservoir of institutional memory is central to the pragmatic task of governing. But there is a...


Making the leap: A practical guide to inter-agency collaboration

Published Date: 08 February 2018
Summary Government and community-sector agencies have an equal stake in producing better social services. Many novel policy ideas have come to govern...


‘You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone’: The implications of expanding the use of robots in care services

Published Date: 06 February 2018
An ANZSOG-funded research project is exploring the increasing use of robots in care services to replace or complement the roles of humans. In this art...


Budget and financial management reform in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan and Australia

Published Date: 24 January 2018
Summary The Greater China Australia Dialogue on Public Administration has held annual workshops since 2011 on public administration themes of common ...