Saturday, November 14, 2009

The case for reform in Australian public policy – introducing measurement

Think of this post as clearing a little ground.

So far in this series I have focused on unforeseen consequences flowing from policy changes. I now want to broaden the focus a little to bring in the current obsession with measurement.

Back in March 2007 in Changes in Public Administration and their Impact on the Development of Public Policy 2 - Notes on Major Trends I briefly discussed the rise of standards, the quality movement and the Importance of measurement. Then in another post, Changes in Public Administration and their Impact on Public Policy 3 - Publish or Perish Case Study, I looked at the rise of the citation index as an example of the rise of measurement.

Don't get me wrong. I am a great believer in the importance of measurement. Without it, you cannot assess progress. It's just that the whole thing has got out of kilter.

Over the next few posts I want to use a mixture of case studies and analysis to sketch out in a preliminary way the problems that we have created for ourselves though our obsession with measurement.
Note to readers:
This is one of a month long series on the need for reform in Australia's approach to public policy and administration.
Consider yourself the judge or jury as I present the evidence. Most posts will be short, introductions to other writing. My argument is that we now have a systemic pattern of failure. You have to decide whether or not I am right and, if so, what you think that we should do about it.
If you want to follow the whole series through, you can click reforming Australian public policy on the side bar. This will bring the whole series up.
Alternatively, if you want to follow the whole series through from the first post, click here and then click next at the end of each post.

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