What needs to change in government?
Place-based approaches are being successfully supported across government, but this success is often dependent on the skills and tenacity of individual people and teams.
We need to change, systemically, how we fund, resource, learn from and support place-based initiatives.
Individual departments and initiatives across government are working with communities using
innovative place-based approaches.
But the preconditions for success are not yet embedded systematically across government, meaning initiatives are often implemented in isolation without their lessons being shared and translated into systemic change.
The Victorian Government is committed to building on our experiences, deepening our knowledge and understanding of place-based approaches and strengthening how we partner with communities through:
- culture, capabilities and leadership
- funding and resourcing
- information and learning
- effective and sustainable way to provide support
Culture, capabilities and leadership
For public servants to work in place-based ways, we need enabling mindsets that focus on collaboration, innovation and seizing opportunities.
Adaptive leadership and ‘change champions’ that support cross government work and innovation can unlock opportunities and break down bureaucratic barriers that restrict place-based approaches.
Currently, much cross-government work is supported by structures like interdepartmental committees. But we can also explore new ways of blending teams and creating an authorising environment for collaborative cross-portfolio work.
While culture and capabilities are important, we need to be cognisant of policy settings that enable cross-portfolio planning and implementation.
Funding and resourcing
Programmatic or siloed funding approaches counteract this work. Government needs to be flexible and innovative in how it resources place-based approaches. For example, by providing funding that is flexible at a local level, or by pooling funding with multiple departments and partners operating in an area.
Embedding models of shared accountability and reporting can also help overcome challenges associated with individual program funding streams.
Information and learning
To ensure place-based work is building on lessons learnt, government needs to make sure that data and evidence is in the hands of the people who need it and that they are supported to use it.
Powerful ways that government can support place-based projects include:
- embedding systems that support sharing of learnings
- supporting a culture of adaptive learning
- sharing data across agencies and with communities
- providing local data that is accessible and meaningfully communicated to local partners
Effective and sustainable ways to provide government support
To embed place-based work as part of everyday business, we need to better coordinate policy and practise capability within government, ensuring there are processes for initiatives to access required supports.
Reviewed 14 March 2023