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PPG 1007: Putting Policy into Action - Strategic Implementation of Public Objectives

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University of Toronto - School of Public Policy and Governance

PPG-1007: Putting Policy into Action - Strategic Implementation of Public Objectives

Description: This is a foundational course in policy practice. It is interdisciplinary, drawing on key concepts from science, social science, business and public administration as well as the world of the policy practitioner. It introduces you to thinking in a critical, integrated way about how to deliver on public policy objectives in the context of a dynamic political and stakeholder environment. Specifically, it examines key considerations in developing an implementation strategy for a policy initiative. Your instructors, Pamela Bryant, Janet Mason and William Forward have built this course drawing on their significant experience as senior leaders in both policy and delivery in the Ontario Public Service and elsewhere.

This course has two main objectives:

  1. To provide you with an overview and basic understanding of implementation strategy and of certain critical success factors in developing and executing one.
  2. To help you hone your analytical, problem-solving and communications skills in arriving at a recommended course of action (your advice to a decision maker), applying these critical success factors.

Faculty: Pamela Bryant; Janet Mason, William Forward (Winter 2014)

Source: Attached syllabus at (accessed 8 January 2014)


Teaching Topics Addressed in this Course, Organized by Public Management Subject

 Strategy and Structure for Public Management

  Implementation and Policy
  Implementation Environment
  Implementation and the Budget Context
  Implementation and Risk
  Implementation and the Poltical Context

 Ethics and Accountability

  Implementation and Accountability


Commentary by the Atlas editors: The class titles, which are organized under three themes, have been helpful in characterizing a number of teaching topics.

I. What is implementation and implementation ‘space’? Examining the policy/delivery continuum, or where implementation fits in the policy process: how the upfront choice of policy tool or mix of tools (legislation, regulation, tax incentives, direct spending, etc.) influences implementation options and strategies; the complexity of the implementation landscape, where there are many players beyond government itself and where it is critical to know and understand the distinctive competencies of each and the role each can play in determining implementation success or failure.

What is Implementation?

The Demand for Effective Implementation

II. How does the broader context affect implementation? Policy implementation unfolds in an environment where there are a range of constraints, including time, money, legal, institutional, organizational and other real world influences on what can be accomplished. The political context and public policy cycle of any government are major factors that determine implementation strategy. Significantly these are driven by fiscal realities and by the role that both conventional and new media play in influencing and shaping ideas and public opinion on how well policy is being delivered.

The Political Context

The Implementation Environment

III. What are some of the critical success factors in implementation? An implementation strategy must balance and integrate a number of key considerations, starting with an understanding of the policy objective to be achieved, or the problem to be solved, and a solid assessment of risk, or what’s at stake in achieving it. Then it becomes the challenge of creating a delivery network that will lever success and of getting the governance and accountability relationships right to drive performance and achieve the desired outcomes. Leadership can be viewed as the glue that pulls it all together.

Translating Context into Action

Designing the Delivery Network

Outcomes, Governance and Accountability

Assessing and Mitigating Risk

Evaluating Implementation Options

Implementation Strategy

Page created by: Ian Clark, last updated 8 January 2014. The content presented on this page, except in the Commentary, is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.



Putting Policy into Action 2014 Syllabus 8 december 2013 final.pdfPutting Policy into Action 2014 Syllabus 8 december 2013 final

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School of Public Policy and Governance