New guides for public engagement and participation

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28 November 2019

Our APS Engage team has released a suite of tools to help public servants engage with people to deliver better policy, programs and services.

Reviews and senior public servants have long said the Australian public service needs to get better at engaging the public.

The new APS Framework for Engagement and Participation provides practical guidance and support to achieve this.

We showcased the framework at the Institute of Public Administration Australia Delivering Great Policy event in Canberra on 8 November. Nearly 1,000 people from the APS and the public helped build it.

We’d like to see public servants apply the framework, from the most junior team member to the most senior. This will help build a common approach, understanding and language on engagement across the service.

Meeting the engagement challenge in the APS

Work in the Australian public service has never been more complex.

Governments often can’t solve these challenges alone. Roles and responsibilities for action have to be shared with others.

The framework emphasises that engagement shouldn’t solely focus on ‘managing’ stakeholders, but drawing on them as a source of expertise. People have a right to a say in things that affect them. Their expertise and perspectives can help governments better understand and address complex problems.

Engaging people through open dialogue and informed participation improves decision making and makes the process more transparent. Policies, programs and services can also be more effective when you engage and involve people.

Our new engagement and participation tools walk you through the process. They include:

Together, these tools will make it easier for you to design and deliver engagement activities that are successful and fit for purpose.

Support for public servants

We appreciate most public servants work in an environment with many legitimate constraints and pressures. Public servants are good at sharing and consulting, but we’re still learning how to deliberate and collaborate more effectively.

This is why our new APS Engage team is providing easy access to these practical tools, methods and advice. We’re keen to share what we’ve learned and can advise, coach and train public servants.

Contact us

Do you need advice, or just want to talk about engagement? Email

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Learn how we can help you and access our full toolkit.