William Plowden Fellowship Report Publication – Connection, Coherence and Capacity: Policy Making in Smaller Countries

The William Plowden Fellowship supports short research projects looking at issues of governance and public policy. Under its auspices, Tamlyn Rabey, a civil servant at the Welsh Government, has undertaken a study of policy making in smaller countries.

The study found that there are significant advantages in relation to policy making from working at the smaller scale. These relate particularly to:

  • building and maintaining strong policy networks that can work fast, communicate well and generate a high degree of consensus and joint ownership;
  • Horizontal coherence within and across government, especially where the government is a single organisation. This includes the opportunity to adopt a long term, strategic approach based on a manageable number of outcome-based objectives;
  • Vertical coherence between strategy, policy and delivery, with short delivery chains and fast feedback loops, leading to simple, pragmatic, implementable policy.

The report also identified particular challenges and some implications of the context of austerity.

The final part of the report applies the findings to Wales in particular, concluding that huge progress has been made in policy making since devolution, but that there is great potential for further improvement. It suggests some steps that might be taken for the next phase of development.

To view the report click here.

For more information about this project, please contact Tamlyn Rabey at Tamlyn.Rabey@wales.gsi.gov.uk

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