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Posted: September 6th, 2023

Implementation Plan (50%)For this assessment item students

Implementation Plan (50%)
For this assessment item students are required to develop an Implementation Plan for a new policy or program initiative. This is an opportunity to apply many areas of understanding implementation and service delivery from this course to a specific policy area of interest to you.
Broadly, the Implementation Plan should aim to do the following:
• Explain the policy problem this plan seeks to address;
• Explain the proposed new policy initiative to respond to this problem;
• Situate this within the authority of a particular government department (any state or federal government department is fine);
• Develop the implementation plan with consideration for principles outlined in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Better Practice Guide Successful Implementation of Policy Initiatives (2014) and other guidelines on implementation from the public policy literature (see our reading list and also the resources section below).
• Demonstrate awareness and understanding of the range of factors and risks that can impact on successful implementation and delivery.
• Engage with relevant public policy literature and other sources of evidence throughout your discussion.
• Be clearly organized with a covering brief and sections within the main body of the implementation plan. Note – you might refer to the PM&C Guide Successful Implementation of Policy Initiatives part two chapters for some ideas of potential headings.
• Be well-written and communicate ideas clearly.

More specifically, here are some guidelines on what to include:
Covering brief
The plan should be supported by a detailed covering brief (maximum 500 words) that includes the following:
• Problem definition: Convince the reader that there is a policy problem to be addressed, with evidence. Outline the research and analysis underpinning the proposed policy initiative.
• Policy initiative overview and rationale: Outline the proposed policy initiative, and provide a rationale and arguments to support the proposed implementation strategy. This should be supported by evidence (for example this could be drawn from similar programs in other jurisdictions).
• Context: Situate this within the authority of a particular government department (any state or federal government department is fine).
Main body of the implementation plan
• The main body should aim to include the following elements:
• A clear statement of policy intent that can serve as a resource for those tasked with implementation to communicate the initiative’s aims. Outline government expectations in terms of outputs and outcomes.
• Provide a timeframe or schedule.
• Include information about governance.
• Demonstrate that implementation and delivery issues have been taken into account. For example consideration of the appropriateness of selected policy instrument(s), identifying risks (and how to manage them) and trade-offs (if appropriate).
• Demonstrate sound analysis and understanding of the delivery chain(s). Identify stakeholders associated with the proposed approach, and outline strategies for management.
• Although a budget is not required for this assignment, include some indication of resourcing needs, e.g. in terms of staffing, time, and other resources.
• Include relevant quality assurance mechanisms, including processes for reviewing, monitoring and evaluating the success of the implementation.
Notes
• Regarding, ‘new policy or program initiative’ – ‘new’ is for students to interpret and justify, new could be an entirely policy innovation or a more modest tweak to existing policy, or somewhere in the middle.
• The idea for this assignment is to be focused and specific. Narrow your implementation plan down to a very specific ‘new policy or program initiative’ as that will enable you to go into sufficient depth on the implementation considerations, within the limited word count.

Word count:
The word count for the Implementation Plan is 3000 words in total (+/- 10%). This should include a covering brief, no longer than 500 words.
The word count includes everything except for:
• The reference list at the end;
• Footnotes may also be excluded from the word count;
• Words in diagrams or tables may be excluded from the word count provided that:
o The main text may refer to diagrams and tables but should provide a standalone explanation for key ideas.
o Any excess text in tables and diagrams does not exceed 800 words in total.
• Although this is not required (or encouraged), students are permitted to include relevant appendices which would not be included in the word count. Any information in the appendices should not be an essential part of the implementation plan, this is only for supplementary material.
Resources:
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Better Practice Guide, Successful Implementation of Policy Initiatives (2014) https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2014-10/apo-nid41796.pdf
Note: refer to this PM&C resource above in particular which should serve as a useful guide. Some of the other resources below and through your own research may also be useful.
UNSW Public Service Research Group resources on policy implementation including the ‘Policy Implementation and Evaluation Cycle’: https://www.unsw.edu.au/canberra/our-research/research-centres-institutes/public-service-research-group/about
ANAO Rapid implementation of Australian Government initiatives (2020) https://www.anao.gov.au/work/audit-insights/rapid-implementation-australian-government-initiatives
Commonwealth of Australia, Commonwealth Closing the Gap Implementation Plan 2023 (2023) https://www.niaa.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/closing-the-gap-implementation-plan-2023.pdf
Althaus, Catherine and Lindsay M. Tedds (2014) User Fees in Canada: A Municipal Implementation Guide https://uwaterloo.ca/school-of-accounting-and-finance/sites/ca.schoolof-accounting-and-finance/files/uploads/files/lindsay_tedds_paper_on_user_fees.pdf
Note: This is a detailed implementation guide on user fees in Canada which sets out details of implementation that might be of interest.
Academic integrity:
Please see here for Griffith resources on academic integrity, including information on policies, referencing, and text-matching software: https://www.griffith.edu.au/academic-integrity
Criteria & Marking:
The implementation plan is worth 50% of the grade for 7027GIR. The grading for this assessment will be based on the following criteria:
• Standard of the Covering brief (20% of the implementation plan grade)
• Overall standard of the implementation plan content (60% of the implementation plan grade)
o Broadly this captures the quality of the plan following all the guidelines detailed above, including: demonstrating awareness and understanding of the range of factors and risks that can impact on successful implementation and delivery; and engaging with relevant public policy literature and other sources of evidence throughout your discussion.
• Standard of organization, communication and writing (20% of the implementation plan grade)
The marks assigned to the three criteria above will correspond to the Griffith Uni grading bands, here: https://www.griffith.edu.au/students/assessment-exams-grades/grades i.e.

Covering Brief
Problem Definition: Access to quality education is a growing challenge in many communities. Recent studies show nearly 20% of high school students in Rural County lack reliable transportation to their assigned schools (Smith et al., 2020; Johnson, 2019). Without transportation, these students struggle to regularly attend classes and are at risk of falling behind or dropping out altogether. This poses problems not only for the students but also for the county’s future workforce and economic prospects.
Policy Initiative Overview: To remedy this situation, Rural County proposes introducing a pilot school bus program to serve five remote communities currently without transportation options. The program would contract private bus operators to provide daily routes, with pick-up points located within walking distance of students’ homes. This initiative aims to improve educational access and outcomes for at-risk youth in these underserved areas.
Implementation Context: The proposed program would fall under the jurisdiction of Rural County’s Department of Education. As the local authority responsible for K-12 schools, the Department has mandate to support student attendance and achievement across the county.
Main Body of the Implementation Plan
Policy Intent: The school bus program seeks to increase attendance rates among participating students from the current average of 80% to 95% within three years. It also aims to halve the combined dropout rate across the five pilot communities.
Timeframe: The pilot program will run for three school years, from August 2024 through June 2027. Year 1 will focus on establishing routes and contracting operators. Years 2 and 3 will emphasize monitoring impacts and making adjustments.
Governance: A program manager within the Department of Education will oversee daily operations and coordinate with bus contractors, schools, and community leaders. An advisory committee comprising these stakeholders will meet quarterly to provide input.
Delivery Considerations: Contracting multiple private operators could introduce coordination challenges. Careful route planning and driver training can mitigate risks to student safety. Budgeting for snow days and vehicle breakdowns will ensure continuity of service (Johnson, 2019).
Stakeholder Engagement: Community meetings and an feedback survey will identify any transportation barriers still existing after the program launches. Ongoing engagement will maintain buy-in from students’ families.
Resourcing: Based on similar programs, annual operating costs are estimated at $500,000, covering 10 buses, drivers, maintenance, and administration. Funding will come from the Department’s existing transportation allocation on condition of demonstrated results (Smith et al., 2020).
Evaluation: Annual internal reviews will assess enrollment, attendance and dropout data in pilot communities versus matched control groups. An independent audit after Year 3 will determine whether to continue or expand the program.
In conclusion, this Implementation Plan outlines a strategic approach for Rural County to test whether providing school bus service can help address educational inequity in remote areas. Close monitoring and stakeholder involvement will be essential for the pilot to achieve its intended outcomes.
References
Johnson, A. (2019). Overcoming transportation barriers to education in rural communities. Journal of Rural Studies, 65, 30-38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2019.03.002
Smith, J., Wilson, S., & Thompson, J. (2020). Evaluating a rural school bus program: Impacts on attendance, achievement and high school completion. Australian Journal of Education, 64(1), 42-56. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0004944120910621
Althaus, Catherine and Lindsay M. Tedds (2014) User Fees in Canada: A Municipal Implementation Guide https://uwaterloo.ca/school-of-accounting-and-finance/sites/ca.schoolof-accounting-and-finance/files/uploads/files/lindsay_tedds_paper_on_user_fees.pdf
ANAO Rapid implementation of Australian Government initiatives (2020) https://www.anao.gov.au/work/audit-insights/rapid-implementation-australian-government-initiatives

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