the clear english company logo
clear thinking clear communication

Policy Logic

Policy Logic Workshops

What is Policy Logic?

'Policy Logic’ is an interactive, semi-structured conversation about policy and program goals, implementation, and the measures of success we can identify at different stages of the policy life cycle. As an analytic tool, it is in increasingly wide use in government, non-government and not-for-profit organisations, as a way of laying the foundations for M&E frameworks, as a way of refreshing thinking when new policy directions are needed, and for evaluation capability-building (ECB).

Key features of Policy Logic:

  • Highly interactive, building ownership as participants co-create a program’s ‘logic’ chain
  • Begins by clarifying the ‘problem’ for government and why we care about it
  • Helps participants identify outcomes (as well as outputs) in the short, medium and long term
  • Identifies barriers to change and the preconditions for success
  • Builds a ‘program theory’ or ‘theory of change’
  • Identifies others with a potential role

"Knowing how to turn a vague discussion of the presumed linkages between program activities and expected outcomes into a formal theory of action can be an important service to the program."

–Patton 2006

How is Policy Logic being used in government?

Policy Logic can be scaled up and down, from policy/package level to an individual initiative, and it can be adapted for use in organisation change and building cohesion. It is currently in use by public sector managers for a variety of purposes, including:

  • ‘getting everyone on the same page’
  • building a ‘theory of change’ or ‘program theory’
  • spotting risks and gaps in the logic
  • filling gaps in a team’s policy and program skill set
  • helping teams step back and take a new look at an existing policy
  • problem-solving a program that isn’t getting the results it should
  • writing better tenders
  • preparing for evaluation
  • communicating effectively about a program’s goals
  • making the best case we can for a policy or program

What did participants say?

Government agency - tailored in-house training

-‘I attended the Policy Logic training session. The training was useful, practical and particularly valuable to me because a problem I raised was used as a working example for my table. It was really valuable being able to talk to people outside my division who had no subject-matter knowledge. They were able to draw on their own policy and program experience to ask pertinent questions and suggest things that I hadn’t considered. This helped to redirect my view “out of the weeds”.

-"Very useful. The more people in the organisation who are on the same page, the better."

Policy officers’ conference

-‘Brilliant (clear, simple and effective tool). My new problem solving 101."

-"As usual, Carolyn’s presentation was excellent. The ability to “detangle” a problem and provide logic and structure for implementation was impressive."

-"A very professional, easy approach to learning, involving all participants."

-"Carolyn’s presentation was highly relevant for the practical application of program management."

Executive Officers’ Conference

-"This made me think more than any other presentation. It was real life but it stretched my brain."

-"Loved this session – fast paced and maintained my interest – totally suits my learning style."

-"This is very applicable for thinking through a lot of projects, even when it is applied to small projects."

Organisations that have used Policy Logic for ECB

Policy Logic was originally developed in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in 2000 as a way to engage program teams in assessing their program’s effectiveness in terms of policy goals. Since that time, a growing number of government departments and other organisations have used Policy Logic as the first step in evaluation capability-building (ECB), policy planning and change management.

  • ACT Department of Education
  • ACT Department of Health
  • Australasian Evaluation Society (ACT)
  • Australian Catholic University
  • Australian Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • Australian National Schools Network
  • Catholic Education Office (Victoria)
  • Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Department of Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy
  • Department of Education, Science and Training/Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Department of Environment and Resources
  • Department of Industry and Resources
  • Department of Infrastructure and Transport/Regional Services
  • Department of Social Services
  • NSW Department of Environment and Planning
  • NSW Rural Fire Brigade
  • Office of Early Childhood Education and Child Care
  • Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
  • Queensland Department of Transport
  • Victorian Department of Health

Clear Thinking

Policy and evaluation capability building

A series of capability reviews have warned of declining policy and evaluation capability across many government agencies, particularly in relation to long-term or broad-ranging strategic policy issues – and in our ability to take effective stewardship and drive implementation towards the achievement of successful policy outcomes.

The Clear English Company provides advice, training and coaching for managers, teams and individuals needing to develop key skills in policy and evaluative thinking.

These can include:

  • key concepts in public policy
  • applying analytic frameworks in policy and evaluation
  • understanding the context and drivers for public policy
  • building bridges between policy and program expertise
  • improving your ‘pitch’ and writing better briefs
  • being evaluation-ready
  • leaving a legacy

Want to know more? Contact us for more information on Policy Logic.

Return to the top

Our Services

Our company

Copyright © The Clear English Company - All Rights Reserved
the clear english company

ABN 59 945 644 596

simple
submenu arrow
© The Clear English Company | All Rights Reserved

What is Policy Logic?

'Policy Logic’ is an interactive, semi-structured conversation about policy and program goals, implementation, and the measures of success we can identify at different stages of the policy life cycle. As an analytic tool, it is in increasingly wide use in government, non-government and not-for-profit organisations, as a way of laying the foundations for M&E frameworks, as a way of refreshing thinking when new policy directions are needed, and for evaluation capability-building (ECB).

Key features of Policy Logic:

  • Highly interactive, building ownership as participants co-create a program’s ‘logic’ chain
  • Begins by clarifying the ‘problem’ for government and why we care about it
  • Helps participants identify outcomes (as well as outputs) in the short, medium and long term
  • Identifies barriers to change and the preconditions for success
  • Builds a ‘program theory’ or ‘theory of change’
  • Identifies others with a potential role
© The Clear English Company
the clear english company
© The Clear English Company