'Seldom has a senior public servant been so candid. As a key policymaker, Meredith Edwards takes us inside the process to reveal how we get the policies the affect so much of our lives.' - Paul Kelly, International Editor, The Australian
'This innovative and important volume, unique in the policy literature, provides ideas and case studies of interest to everyone who cares about the quality of Australian public policy. It will be an indispensable guide to past choices, and its lessons should help shape future Australian social policy decisions.' - Dr Glyn Davis, co-author of The Australian Policy Handbook
How are social policies conceived, developed and put into practice?
Based on four case studies of social policy reforms in which the author was a major player (the Child Support Scheme, AUSTUDY, the Higher Education Contribution scheme (HECS) and long-term employment policies presented as 'Working Nation') Social Policy, Public Policy provides insights into what is often otherwise seen as a 'black box' on how policy advice occurs. Meredith Edwards' personal experience, revealed in extracts from her journal, provides a picture of what social policy participants actually do, something on which too little has been written.
Questions addressed in the book include: How was the policy problem identified and articulated and by whom? What were the key ingredients in policy analysis? When did consultation occur and in what form? How was the policy decision arrived at? What were the events between decision and implementation? And what evaluation processes occurred?
Social Policy, Public Policy is essential reading for all students of public policy and policy advisers.
Table of Contents
1 Introducing Policy Processes
2 Income Support for Young People: A search for a single allowance
3 From Child Maintenance to Child Support: An unlikely policy reform
4 Paying for a University Education: HECS and not Fees
5 Long-term Unemployment Policy: From Green paper to Working Nation
6 Concluding Observations
Professor Meredith Edwards has spent her career as a lecturer, researcher and policy analyst. Before becoming Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Canberra in 1997, she worked in several departments in the Commonwealth Public Service, including Social Security, Education and Employment, Community Services, and Health. The last four years of her public service career were spent as Deputy Secretary, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.