Improving the quality and quantity of interactions between policymakers and academics continues to exercise contributors from all sides who wish to build more and better bridges between the worlds of research and practice. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s (PM&C)s intervention on this issue (Quayle & Kelly, 2019) is extremely welcome, not only because of the pivotal role the department plays in the Australian Public Service (APS), but also because of its determination to offer something innovative and replicable in the policy/academy bridge?building business.
The PM&C project begins, at least in my reading of it, from three apparently simple, but too often ignored foundational positions.
First, that current and emerging public policy challenges require input from the best minds within and beyond the APS.
The second position taken by the project designers is that securing academic input in ways that are productive for the APS requires the latter to be proactive in shaping the invitation, and indeed the ‘policy party’ academics are being invited to.
The third position taken by the project designers is that successful collaboration is based on solid relationships, and like all relationships, requires nurturing and time.
SOURCE: Sullivan, Helen. “Building a Knowledge-sharing System: Innovation, replication, co-production and trust: A response.” Australian Journal of Public Administration, Volume 78, Issue 2, June 2019 Pages 319-321
Link to website [open access]
2019). Building informal knowledge-sharing relationships between policy makers and academics: Insights from a PM&C engagement project. Australian Journal of Public Administration. 1– 8. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12341, & (
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