Effective Government

The role of government in the 21st century is the central question of CPD’s Effective Government Program. What are public expectations, and how can these best be met in a fiscally and carbon constrained environment? How should decision-makers tell the story of long-term reform? How do we understand these questions across generations, and can we build institutional capacity to respond?

In recent years, governments have had to do more with less. The role of government in service delivery is changing and contested. Public expectations continue to grow in a fiscally constrained environment. Australia’s governments, Federal and State, must respond to 21st century challenges with solutions which unleash innovation, encourage collaboration and actively engage with citizens. Our Effective Government Program aims to drive new thinking on these issues and advance policy for the long term.

In 2013 and 2014, CPD’s landmark False Economies series explored the impact of a blunt approach to ‘efficiency’ on the long-term capability of the Australian Public Service.

Subsequent work has outlined priorities for tax reform to safeguard Australia’s safety-net and promote long term wellbeing, identified options for democratic renewal to reinvigorate government for the 21st century, and explored the government’s evolving role in delivery of key human services. Our fellows and staff also explore challenges and priorities in health, education and other crucial policy areas.

In December 2015, CPD released the major report ‘Grand Alibis: how declining public sector capability affects services for the disadvantaged’, which focused on the lessons learned from outsourcing of Australia’s employment services.

In June 2016, CPD released ‘Uneven playing field: the state of Australia’s schools’, which examined the growing gap in equity and achievement between Australia’s disadvantaged and advantaged schools.

And in February 2017, we published ‘Settling Better: Reforming refugee employment and settlement services’ , which focuses on reforms to make sure humanitarian migrants have the best chance of finding jobs and settling into Australian society.