This course is about factors in the political and public service
environment that impact on the effectiveness with which programs are
implemented and delivered. The objective of the course is to identify
and examine these factors and to understand how that knowledge might be
used to optimize effectiveness in implementing new policy and to improve
existing program effectiveness.
Donald Savoie’s most recent
book, What is Government Good at: A Canadian Answer, will be used as the
starting point in our exploration of these factors. I have chosen this
book, not because it provides definitive answers to the question he
poses in the title, but because he provides a critical analysis with
conclusions that are open debate.
To give the course a practical orientation, students will pick a program for critical examination of its design and other factors relevant for effective delivery. The program selected can be either an existing program or a new policy actually or prospectively under development. The examination will constitute the final assignment for the course. Students may make or finalize their selection at any point during the course as long as it is first cleared with the instructor.