The new institute was created in January to combine ANZSIG with the venerable National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling. The integration of the two institutes combines their expertise in qualitative and quantitative methods, evaluation, micro-simulation and policy modelling. ANZSIG director Professor Mark Evans said by email:
“We are already conducting work in these areas for the United Nations Development Program in the Middle-East and the World Bank in Afghanistan, as well as high-profile work on the federal budget and on the cost of living with AMP.
“We now have concentrated research strengths in the study of: democracy, citizenship and participation; informed communities; policy modelling and evaluation; public sector design and innovation; and social well-being and equity.”
UC-IGPA’s relatively new research training program in governance and public policy analysis is “recruiting strongly”, according to Evans.
The ACT government is now directly funding UC-IGPA and it will deliver education and research programs for a new ACT public service centre of excellence. However, the new institute will retain close links to the Australia and New Zealand School of Government and UC Vice Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker will remain on the ANZSOG board.
Since 2009, ANZSIG has grown to employ 31 full-time academic staff, 50 research students and its 25-member adjunct faculty includes Department of Industry secretary Glenys Beauchamp, Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson and Employment secretary Renee Leon, as well as prominent journalists Michelle Grattan and Virginia Haussegger.
Some 141 Commonwealth and ACT public servants graduated from the institute’s postgraduate programs last year. According to Evans:
“Some highlights of the Institute’s education work in the last year include the co-design of the ACT government’s Learning and Development Framework, delivery of graduate programs for the ACT government, the Commonwealth departments of Industry, Infrastructure and Agriculture, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“In addition, the Institute has co-designed bespoke programs on different aspects of change governance with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Tax Office and the ANZSOG Excellence in Local Government Leadership Program.
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“Internationally, the Institute has delivered the ‘Open Policy-making Program’ for the UK Cabinet Office, ANZSOG’s ‘Political Communication in an Era of Governance’ for Chief Information Officers in the Singapore government and the AusAID/DFAT Senior Fellows Program on Social Security Reform for the Vietnamese Government.”