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Coordinated and orderly implementation provides transparent decision-making, delivery and opportunity to learn from evaluating actions.


Coordinated and orderly implementation provides transparent decision-making, delivery and opportunity to learn from evaluating actions.

  • Impact identification and analysis
  • Design and implementation
  • Monitoring and evaluation 

The policy framework for economic recovery can be based closely on the existing community and regional development principles used to support transition, economic growth and sustainability. The main elements of this approach are outlined below.

The first point is that any interventions that government undertakes must meet good public policy principles19:

  • effective targeting of the intervention
  • intervention leads to additional activity
  • programs are efficient for government; administration is not unduly prescriptive and the compliance burden on firms reasonable
  • processes and policies should be transparent
  • the benefits of the action/intervention outweigh the costs
  • accountability through measurement of outcomes and proper evaluation.

The goal is for interventions to tackle clearly identified problems based on a good understanding of the cause of the problem and a strong rationale for government to intervene. The rationale will typically be the existence of market failures such as failures of competition (including concentration of market power as well as underdeveloped markets), information failures (where the flow of information is less than perfect and business or workers face barriers in accessing that information including high search costs), and externalities (where third parties such as businesses or society bear some of the costs or share in some of the benefit from certain types of activity)20.

The economic impacts of emergencies vary widely. These events may introduce market failures into a local economy or may generate negative consequences that resemble the forms of market failure outlined above. Most importantly, there is a close parallel between the ‘shock’ effects of emergency and economic events (such as major company closures) and their capacity to trigger the structural adjustment impacts on surrounding areas.

The current approach to regional structural adjustment support applied by DJPR21 consists of three key steps which provide a useful framework when considering the consequence of natural disaster and emergency events. In general, the development of economic recovery responses can largely follow the following main steps.

Step 1: Impact identification and analysis

Clearly understanding and articulating the problem being faced is critical to the development of all policy. Understanding the drivers and impacts will assist in the development of a response by establishing whether government action is warranted; which type of response is appropriate; what the objective of that action is; who and where assistance needs to be targeted.

Cause Identify the cause and impact of the event
Scale Establish the consequences of the event including long and short-term impacts, effects on individual businesses/community/region etc.
Adjustment capacity Determine the capacity of the local community to adjust
Problem identification Base problem identification and response on evidence

Step 2: Design and implementation

Well designed and implemented assistance can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of programs, creating positive outcomes for government and ensuring that future circumstances of government assistance remain well supported. Properly targeting the assistance by communicating with stakeholders to understand the key opportunities and challenges facing communities will assist the transition of the local economy.  

Approaches Determine the approach required.
Scope of assistance Direct assistance towards reducing the transitional costs on the affected community.
Evidence collection Identify and utilise the key local opportunities and drivers of regional growth.
Response co-ordination Co-ordinate the response across government (noting that in emergency recovery there is frequently a requirement for immediate relief and early recovery measures).
Engaging stakeholders Identify and engage with key government, business and community stakeholders.
Funding Design programs and initiatives to be flexible. Focus program purpose and design on outcomes. Seek partnership funding, leveraging opportunities and equitable provision of support.

Step 3: Monitoring and evaluation 

Monitoring and evaluation play a critical role in policy - a well-structured framework can: 

  • provide important feedback on the success of the outcomes
  • enable policy makers to alter programs or funding decisions to improve outcomes, and make decisions regarding the need to further programs or funding
  • improve the accountability of government expenditure
  • provide important information for future responses to emergency events.

Importantly, effective monitoring and evaluation can address the following key elements:

  • Justification/problem: What is the evidence to support the continued need for the program, and what is the role for Government in delivering this program?
  • Effectiveness: What is the evidence of the program’s progress toward its stated objectives and expected outcomes, including alignment between the program, its output, departmental objectives and Government priorities?
  • Funding/delivery: Has the program been delivered within its scope, budget, expected timeframe, and in line with appropriate governance and risk management practices? What were the challenges in delivery of the program? How were these challenges addressed?
  • Efficiency: Has efficiency in the delivery of the program been demonstrated?
  • Risk: What would be the impact of ceasing funding for the program (for example - service impact, jobs, community) and what strategies have been identified to minimise negative impacts?
  • If funding is continued: Reassess funding required to deliver the program using data collected through service delivery. Does the initial funding allocated reflect the true cost required to deliver the program? What level of efficiencies could be realised?
Baseline Establish and monitor baseline data for the region.
Indicators Establish and monitor appropriate key indicators for projects and programs.
Transparency Design programs and projects to be transparent and subject to appropriate accountability mechanisms.
Review Monitor and review expenditure and outcomes on an ongoing basis.



19 See for example, VCEC, 2011. Victorian Manufacturing: Meeting the Challenges [Online] Available at:… [Accessed 05 May 2020].

20 Department of Treasury and Finance, 2016. Victorian Guide to Regulation Toolkit 1. [Online] Available at:… [Accessed 05 May 2020].

21 Structural Adjustment Toolkit, Key considerations for policy makers, Regional Development Victoria Working Paper, October 2014