Professional specialist networks: the key to policy success
by Dale Putland; Neal Ryan
International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business (IJGSB), Vol. 12, No. 2, 2021

Abstract: Public policy literature identifies policy networks as a significant contributor to the formulation, implementation and evaluation of government policies. However, policy work involves a broad spectrum of policy actors, operating at different levels and in different parts of government. This paper argue that middle and junior-ranking technical officers within agencies, such as land-use planners, transport engineers, environmental scientists, health professionals and other professional specialists, have an important role in developing policy implementation strategies and in formulating new policies. While many professional specialists rely heavily on networks to assist in policy work, the use of networks is not universal and varies widely amongst policy actors. This paper uses accounts of professional specialists that were collected during case study research to examine some of the aspects/elements which make policy networks effective within the public service, and calls for more research into this previously neglected area aimed at getting the balance between technical content specialists and policy specialists.

Online publication date: Tue, 27-Apr-2021

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