- About the Coombs Forum
- Policy Research Programs
- Future Thought Leaders
- Contact us
- Staff login
- The HC Coombs Policy Forum coordinates Policy Research Programs to strengthen policy-relevant research capacity across ANU, identifying opportunities to leverage existing research capacity in areas of importance to the government policy community, wherever possible conducting this work in partnership with APS staff as joint activities.
The PRPs serve to anchor other activities, such as capacity-building workshops, public lectures and international visitors, to priority policy research activities. These programs incorporate horizon-scanning exercises designed to inform policymaking and public debate over the coming years.
Science, Technology and Public Policy PRP led by Dr Mark Matthews works in partnership with government and researchers from a wide range of disciplines. This PRP examines both ‘policy for science’ and ‘science for policy’ questions, focusing on issues such as measuring the impact of public investments in research, the role of science as an input to policy processes, and the role of government in maximising the benefits to society from technological change.
Social Policy and Participation PRP led by Sue Regan focuses on Australia’s long-term workforce participation challenge, in the context of broader social policy concerns and new perspectives on social policy. How to increase workforce participation, and to do so in a way which balances economic and social objectives, is a major challenge for Australia in the future. The work brings together academia and government on a number of aspects of the challenge, including how to increase participation of mothers and of older workers. Drawing on domestic and international experience, it will also inform the Government’s review of Employment Services post 2015.
Innovation in National Accounts PRP led by Dr Judith Ajani aims to connect Australian public servants, researchers and national statisticians to contribute to innovation in the development and application of national accounting frameworks as a major information resource for Australian policymaking, research and public policy debate. We are working with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Department of the Environment and scientists to implement the first stage of the PRP which is focused on carbon stock accounting to complement existing flows-based accounts. This PRP will address the user need for carbon stock data; develop an accounting framework that enables connections with other information systems, including the System of National Accounts; undertake an experiment to populate a carbon stock account and, in so doing, further refine the account classifications, terminology and methods; and assess what is needed for regularly producing a carbon stock account for Australia. With mounting interest in carbon stock accounting in Australia and globally, the PRP will significantly enhance Australia’s global contribution to the development of fundamental information for policy and research.
Productivity in the Private and Public Sector PRP was led by Dr Chris Vas. This program focused on long-term productivity growth in the Australian economy. It sought to contribute to: (a) enhancing policy thinking through international comparative studies on productivity, (b) future analytical work conducted by the Australian Government in support of the Intergenerational Report, (c) emerging perspectives of the role and importance of innovation in both the private and public sectors, and (d) identifying the role of business, skills and education, and other relevant social policy and workplace reforms that will influence long term productivity.
Policy Futures – Scenarios for the Future of the Nation PRP was led by Dr Chris Vas. The program explored possible long-term issues influencing Australia’s economy. It aimed to develop scenarios through cross-sectoral engagement with the Australian Government, academic researchers, representatives from industry and other relevant sectors looking at emerging trends, patterns and themes. To ascertain the rigor of current policy settings the PRP sought to pursue back-casting exercises. The program’s aim was not to predict one future but to describe plausible futures, which could be prepared for and against which current policy frameworks could be tested.