This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No694266)

Popular publications

Reports

Luetjens, J., and P. 't Hart (2019) Governing by looking back: learning from successes and failures

An ANZSOG research paper for the Australian Public Service Review Panel. 

J. Rob Bray, Matthew Gray, and Paul ’t Hart (2019) Evaluation and learning from failure and success

A research report of how accountability mechanisms within the APS can be improved to ensure evidence-based policy making and advice to government. The authors contend the APS must change how it evaluates the outcomes of its programs and how it learns from examples of success (as well as failure) to ensure more effective and efficient public sector management. The report can be found here.

van der Torre, L., Dgouglas, S. & 't Hart P. (2019) Werken aan publieke waarde: Leren van en voor gemeenten

A report written together with the VNG and SPG members Lieske van der Torre, Scott Douglas and Paul 't Hart about 'waardevol lokaalbestuur'(meaningful local government) and their the keyrole in valuecosntruction.

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Articles

't Hart, P. & Mallory Compton wrote the article 'Against negativism: what we can learn from great public policy successes'

Paul 't Hart and Mallory Compton wrote this article in light of their published book Great Policy Successes where they aim to shift from focussing on failures towards looking at succesful cases. 

Compton, M. & Paul 't Hart wrote an article for CSN news: Forget blunders – here’s what we can learn from great policy successes

Mallory Compton and Paul ’t Hart argue that knowing what went wrong in the past doesn’t always
help governments get things right in the future. This article was written steer towards what we can learn from what goes right instead of focussing on what goes wrong. 

Compton, M. & Paul 't Hart wrote an article for the Oxford University Press in light of their newly published book

In the article for OUP blog Mallory Compton and Paul 't Hart write about the lessons that still can be learned from government successes, in light of their newly published books.

Luetjens, J., Paul 't Hart and Michael Mintrom (2019) What makes government policy successful?

SPG member Jo Luetjens wrote a blog for the Integration and Implementation Insights concerning the ingredients to make a policy succesful. 

Luetjens, J., Paul 't Hart and Michael Mintrom (2019) ​Six ingredients of successful public policy.

To support the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service, SPG team members Paul ‘t Hart and Jo Luetjens have produced Governing by looking back: learning from success and failures. This report examines how governments investigate and learn in a more ad-hoc fashion, from parts of their past that already have become labelled as a ‘success’ or a ‘failure’ in professional, public and political arenas. Learning from failures aims to avoid its repetition, while learning from success aims to determine what can be emulated and transplanted. The main argument is that there is a structural imbalance that sees the APS more concerned with failure than success and that this has potentially negative consequences for policy.

Governing by looking back forms one part of a larger suite of commissioned research explicitly focusing on understanding and strengthening the role of evaluation and learning in the APS. Here, Paul ‘t Hart, together with colleagues from the Australian National University, discuss the evaluation capacity and capability of the APS. This report outlines the need for a cultural shift and an institutional framework that embeds the strategic importance and processes of institutional learning.

't Hart, P., Jo Luetjens and Michael Mintrom (2019) From gun control to HIV: six ingredients of successful public policy

't Hart, P., Jo Luetjens and Michael Mintrom wrote an article for the website: The Conversation talking about the succesful public policy especially with the federal elections approaching. 

t' Hart, P. and Jo Luetjens (2019) Getting it right when the time is right

Paul 't Hart together with Jo Luetjens and Michael Mintrom have written a piece for the inside story to explain the origin of their new book Successful Public Policy: Lessons from Australia and New Zealand.

Compton, M. (2019) Economic insecurity is rising, and social capital may be making it worse

Millions of Americans now experience economically insecure lives, often living pay check to pay check. Could improving people’s social capital – people’s trusted connections with one another – be one starting point to addressing this insecurity? In new research, Mallory E. Compton finds that social capital is actually linked with greater economic insecurity: where it is at its highest, nearly 18 percent of households are predicted to experience a substantial income loss in any given year. She points to the potential ‘dark side’ of social capital as one possible cause – strong bonds between the powerful can bring together resources to disadvantage already marginalised groups. 

't Hart, P. and Jo Luetjens (2019) Learning from failure and success

To support the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service, SPG team members Paul ‘t Hart and Jo Luetjens have produced Governing by looking back: learning from success and failures. This report examines how governments investigate and learn in a more ad-hoc fashion, from parts of their past that already have become labelled as a ‘success’ or a ‘failure’ in professional, public and political arenas. Learning from failures aims to avoid its repetition, while learning from success aims to determine what can be emulated and transplanted. The main argument is that there is a structural imbalance that sees the APS more concerned with failure than success and that this has potentially negative consequences for policy.

Governing by looking back forms one part of a larger suite of commissioned research explicitly focusing on understanding and strengthening the role of evaluation and learning in the APS. Here, Paul ‘t Hart, together with colleagues from the Australian National University, discuss the evaluation capacity and capability of the APS. This report outlines the need for a cultural shift and an institutional framework that embeds the strategic importance and processes of institutional learning.

A brief outline of the project can be found in the Research Series section of The Mandarin: https://www.themandarin.com.au/105686-learning-from-failure-and-success/

't Hart, P. (2019) The return of the -isms. Inside Story

​​This article, published in the Australian magazine Inside Story, is a book review of two books: 'How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them' by Jason Stanley, and 'How Democracy Ends' by David Runciman.

't Hart, P. (2019) Towards a second democratic revolution. Inside Story

​This article, published in the Australian magazine Inside Story, is a book review of 'Good Government: Democracy Beyond Elections' written by Pierre Rosanvallon.

't Hart, P. (2018). Cautionary tales from the birthplace of bureaucracy. Inside Story.

This article, published in an Australian magazine Inside Story, is a book review of Verwaltungsdesaster ("Administrative Disasters" in English) written by  Wolfgang Seibel, Kevin Klamann, and Hannah Treis.  

Van de Noort, M., Douglas, S., Van der Torre, L. (2017). Belofte, pijn en medicijn: Het verantwoorden van publieke waardecreatie aan lokale politici en maatschappelijke partners. Bestuurswetenschappen, (71) 2, 5-21.

Public value management encourages public organizations to move beyond existing frameworks and create value in flexible collaboration with societal partners. However, this approach creates problems for the accountability processes, because reports to politicians are often still directed at quantitative goals and rigid frameworks. This creates uncertainty and disagreement around the definition of value, the legitimacy of the new governance styles and the complexity of the new collaborations. This article describes the experiences of a large Dutch municipality where we conducted an experiment with an innovative accountability process for public value creation in the public health domain. Political administrators, council members, civil servants and societal partners have jointly assessed, through an interactive Public Value Table meeting format, what value their combined efforts in complex societal challenges have created. This experiment gives insight in the growing pains of public value creation, but also shows some possible solutions to address these tensions.

Ophoff, P. (2017). Stories of a mission mystique: The success of the Salvation Army.

The Dutch arm of the Salvation Army can be called a success, according to Petra Ophoff, who observed the daily workings of 3 regional chapters and interviewed staff and management there. Working under the supervision of SPG-team member Stefanie Beyens, Ophoff wrote a Research Master thesis in which she elaborated on andapplied Goodsell’s “Mission Mystique” framework. Method-wise, Ophoff was inspired by ethnographic methods, leading her to opt for a participatory observation approach. This was not the easiest way to go about this. The clients of the organisation are people who, because of the complex nature of their problems (e.g. simultaneously struggling with addiction, mental health issues, homelessness), fall between the cracks of the traditional Dutch welfare state. This is recognised and the organisation receives state funding. Surveys show that the Salvation Army is a strong, trusted brand in the Dutch charity sector. However, the uniqueness of its task and its stellar reputation are too superficial to classify the organisation as a success. A proper assessment needs a careful and profound analysis. This is exactly what Ophoff’s thesis offers. Her findings show the importance of the Salvation Army’s mission and how the other characteristics of Goodsell’s framework (e.g. reputation) are infused with it. The careful and reflective way in which Ophoff approached staff and clients of the organisation was exceptional, resulting in a fascinating piece of research.

Petra Ophoff was generous enough to allow us to publish her work here. We thank her for that and invite you to read it.

Beyens, S. & 't Hart, P. (2016)Leren van Bekeken Worden

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