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Commitment 7 progress report: Jun – Aug 2017

Open Government Partnership New Zealand National Action Plan 2016-2018

Date: June to August 2017

Commitment 7 progress report: June to August 2017


Commitment 7:  Improving policy practices

Lead agency: Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

To ensure that policy advice to government is better informed by insights from those most affected by government policy and programmes, by input from diverse points of view, and by data and evidence.

What have we been doing?

  • The Policy Project has been supporting a number of government agencies to implement our policy improvement frameworks, which feature the following OGP commitment-relevant components:
    • Policy Quality Framework: includes ‘is informed by evidence and insights’ and ‘is put in context’ as key determinants of quality advice – and ‘we seek out diverse perspectives to add rigour to our analysis and advice’ as a quality advice enabler
    • Policy Skills Framework: identifies ‘engagement and collaboration’ and ‘evidence insights and evaluation’ as two of the key applied skills for policy practitioners – to be featured in job descriptions, recruitment, promotion and personal development
    • Policy Capability Framework: in addition to incorporating the people skills elements touched on above, features ‘Engagement/Customer-centric: how well do we meet the expectations of Ministers, customers and other stakeholders?’ as one of the four key components of policy capability – offering ‘lines of enquiry’ and potential indicators to review and build overall organisational capability to produce quality policy advice.
  • Co-hosting/supporting events with other organisations that provide insights on ‘policy advice that is well-informed by evidence’ and open government, including:
    • A roundtable for senior officials and experts with Dr Sarah Morton (Co-Director for the Centre for Research on Families in Edinburgh, and a Director of What Works Scotland), with the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (Superu) and the Victoria University School of Government - to discuss the need to, and approaches to, build the authorising environment for producing better evidence and insights
    • A Statistics New Zealand workshop on how to use open data for policy design facilitated by Ellen Broad (Associate – Policy, Open Data Institute), also supported by the Department of Internal Affairs (who administer the open data platform)
    • Supporting the launch of the Ministry of Pacific People’s KAPASA – The Pacific Policy Analysis Tool.
  • Developing the first phase of the online Policy Methods Toolbox (Release 1), which encompasses:
    • Start Right (light-touch project management tools for policy project initiation)
    • Behavioural insights
    • Design thinking
    • Public participation.

Release 1 of the Policy Methods Toolbox went live on the DPMC web site on Tuesday 22 August, thereby successfully achieving the milestones for Commitment 7 in the National Action Plan 2016 -2018.


  • The Policy Project: Policy Quality Framework
  • The Policy Project: Policy Capability Framework
  • The Policy Project: Policy Skills Framework
  • Use of evidence in public policy
  • Using open data for policy design
  • Kapasa launch
  • Policy Methods Toolbox

What’s next?

  • Continuing to support policy agencies to implement the policy improvement frameworks.
  • Making policy agencies aware of the Policy Methods Toolbox (release 1), and the policy improvement frameworks.
  • Initiating the co-design process with policy agencies for Release 2 of the Policy Project Methods Toolbox.
  • Working with Tier 2 Policy Leads and Agency Policy Capability Leads to build collective ownership of the policy system, and a programme of improvement activities.