New institute takes on Australia's biggest challenges

Picture by Andrew Worssam

Picture by Andrew Worssam

In summary: 
  • The newly launched UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance is at the forefront of applied policy, social research, stakeholder engagement and leadership
  • The new Institute will contribute to work informing better governance at local, state, national and international levels

From brokering solutions on youth unemployment to developing assistive technologies for people living with a disability, a new institute in Sydney is taking on the biggest challenges facing Australia. 

The newly launched UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance (UTS:IPPG) works with government and non-government organisations to research evidence to find long-lasting, cost-effective and sensible policy solutions.

The new Institute brings together world-class academics, leading practitioners, former executives from the government and private sectors, researchers and educators in the fields of applied policy, governance, social research, stakeholder engagement and leadership.

UTS:IPPG Director Associate Professor Roberta Ryan said the Institute was a fantastic partner and resource for both the government and non-government sectors.

"We have brought together some of the best people in the business and are undertaking some of the most exciting research projects in Australia.

"As a non-partisan, university backed research institute, we strongly believe that effective and sustainable public policy is based on research and robust data.

"At no other time has it been more important to have solutions to the critical issues facing our society based on objective knowledge, not subjective opinion," Associate Professor Ryan said.

The new Institute incorporates Australia's leading research centre in local government policy and practice, the UTS Centre for Local Government (UTS:CLG).

"With our experience at UTS:CLG, the new Institute is equipped to undertake large social research projects, involving thousands of respondents, drilling down into the key challenges facing society.

"For example, our seminal research into community attitudes to local government, Why Local Government Matters, was the largest project of its kind ever undertaken. It demonstrated how and why communities value the activities and role of local governments much more than other levels of government.

"The formation of UTS:IPPG, incorporating UTS:CLG, presents an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration and learning across the tiers of government," Associate Professor Ryan said.

IPPG is currently working with public organisations including the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the Commonwealth Department of the Environment, the NSW Department of Family and Community Services and the City of Sydney, to name only a few. During 2016 the Institute is also working on projects in Nepal and Pakistan.

In Sydney, IPPG's research has provided unique insights into how residential water customers prefer to pay for water usage and services through different water tariff structures. 

For the NDIA, the IPPG in collaboration with UTS Business School is conducting a study to scope the establishment of an assistive technology innovation hub to stimulate the supply of assistive technologies.