Professor Roberta Ryan is a leading social researcher and policy, program evaluation and stakeholder engagement practitioner with over 30 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors. With a strong interest in the relationship between people and places she has worked in areas of community services, strategic planning, land use planning, sustainability, organisational change and development and citizen engagement. Roberta is the Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Governance (UTS:IPPG) and the UTS Centre for Local Government (UTS:CLG) at the University of Technology Sydney.
Roberta has completed over 300 social research and evaluation projects, including major national reviews and evaluations, methodologically complex projects using outcome and process evaluation approaches, program logic and many service reviews and evaluations. Roberta has particular expertise in the development of innovative methodologies that deliver key strategic outcomes for clients. Roberta has an established reputation for consultative and expert facilitation of processes that assist governments to arrive at constructive and mutually acceptable policy and program outcomes.
Passionately committed to supporting local government as the most important interface between citizens and government, Roberta is specialised in the application of research to assist with the most practical challenges. Roberta has a demonstrated capacity to manage complex projects in organisationally, culturally and strategically sensitive environments where there are significant stakeholder interests to deliver timely outcomes.
Roberta is regularly sought both nationally and internationally to provide high level government policy and governance advice and an expert in building public sector institutional capacity. Key to this work is supporting the devolution of public policy making and service delivery to sub national governments. Roberta utilises and encourages capacity building techniques when undertaking such projects to assist with institutional development in this area. Having the aim of improving regional council planning processes and employee training to deliver better services to local communities.
- Institute of Public Administration Australia (National)
- Institute of Public Administration Australia (NSW Division)
- Planning Institute Australia
- Australasian Evaluation Society
- Australian Institute of Urban Studies - NSW Division
- Social policy research and evaluation
- Applied public policy
- Local government studies
- Federalism and intergovernmental relations
- Strategic planning
- Facilitation of strategic planning, organisational change, service and program review Community and stakeholder engagement
- Social research, program evaluation and policy review and development in the areas of health, disability, housing and employment
- The development and review of community strengthening, community development and whole of government and whole of community programs
- Stakeholder management, communications and facilitation
- Public value
- Strategic reform processes
- Environmental prevention
- Public sector capability building
- Public policy
- Social research
- Intergovernmental relations
- Local government studies
- Community engagement
- Stakeholder management
- Facilitation skills
- Social planning
- Understanding and evaluating partnerships and collaboration
- Social Sustainability
- Sustainability education
- Applying research to policy
- Applied policy and practice
- And a range of other practice topics around change management, case management, organisational training and accreditation.
Grant, B.J., Ryan, R. & Kelly, A. 2016, 'The Australian Government's 'White Paper on Reform of the Federation' and the future of Australian local government', International Journal of Public Administration, vol. 39, pp. 707-717.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The Abbott Government announced its 'White Paper on the Reform of the Australian Federation' on 28 June 2014. Set against this backdrop, discussions of the future of Australian local government may provoke a general assumption of what Brown (2008, p. 422), commenting upon the 1974 attempt at Constitutional recognition of local government, termed a 'set piece party battle'. However, reflection suggests that such a generalisation is misplaced, that the debate ought not to be that
predictable and the position of the local government sector ought not to be that passive: If we consider the complexities of regionalism, the potential role of local government is thrown open to broader considerations. We argue that local government ought to adopt a 'maximalist' position (Allan 2006) particularly with respect to financial reform.
Grant, B.J., Ryan, R. & Martin, J. 2016, 'Local governance and regional development: An introduction to the Special Edition of AJRS and strategic directions for research', Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 2-8.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In December 2015 the Australia and New Zealand Regional Science Association International (ANZRAI) held its 39th Annual Conference at the University of Technology Sydney. Prior to the conference the Editorial Board of Australasian Journal of Regional Studies (AJRS) and the Executive of ANZRAI agreed to a Special Edition (SE) of the journal entitled 'Local Governance and Regional Development' to be developed and published as part of the outcomes of the conference. In this 'Introduction' the members of the ad hoc Editorial Board formed for the SE provide an account of the conference and a concise overview of the papers therein as they relate to the theme of 'Local Governance and Regional Development'. We also reflect upon the strategic directions for research in regional studies.
Hastings, C., Wortley, L., Ryan, R. & Grant, B.J. 2016, 'Community expectations for the role of local government in regional Australia: Meeting the challenges of 'slow burn'', Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 158-180.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Regional Australia is confronted by specific demographic, social, economic and infrastructure challenges, which we are denoting as 'slow-burn' threats. This article interrogates a recent national survey concerned with the value of local government to Australian communities, focusing upon differences in responses for regional and remote areas compared to those from urban capital cities. Findings indicate that regional and remote residents place more importance on local government delivering services that specifically focus on the long-term development and sustainability of the community than their urban counterparts, particularly economic and community development roles. We argue that this constitutes a demonstration of the different expectations that regional and remote communities have of local government in the face of 'slow burn' in regional and remote areas. Further, we suggest that the relationship between local governments in regional Australia and the communities they serve is usefully conceived in terms of what we denote as 'the close economy' and 'the local state'.
Ryan, R., Hastings, C., Grant, B., Lawrie, A., Ní Shé, É. & Wortley, L. 2016, 'The Australian Experience of Municipal Amalgamation: Asking the Citizenry and Exploring the Implications', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 75, no. 3, pp. 373-390.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Debate over municipal amalgamations in Australian continues to dominate local government reform agendas, with the putative need to achieve economies of scale and scope consistently set against anti-amalgamation arguments designed to preserve extant communities. Following from an examination of recent episodes of consolidation in Australia, this paper reports on citizens' attitudes to amalgamation garnered from a national survey of 2,006 individuals. We found that generally, citizens are ambivalent toward amalgamation, although attitudes were influenced by particular demographic characteristics and attitudes to representation, belonging, service delivery requirements and the costs thereof. The results suggest that, away from the local government sector itself, structural reform may not be the vexatious issue it is often portrayed as. The implications of this are explored here.
This paper reviews evaluations of post-disaster recovery efforts. The focus is on operational material and other 'grey literature' from disasters that have occurred in Australia, New Zealand and internationally. We develop a typology that categorises disaster events and includes whether evaluations were undertaken; the methods used; and whether the evaluations focused on the processes or outcomes of the recovery program. The review finds a lack of evaluation of post-disaster recovery. Where evaluations have been conducted, they are mostly process- rather than outcomes-based. There is a need for guidance for post-disaster recovery programs to support evaluation practice to determine the effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness of post-disaster recovery interventions. There is significant investment in post-disaster recovery programs, with little known of their effectiveness. This review identifies useful case studies and methods to evaluate post-disaster recovery efforts, and informs the development of a national post-disaster evaluation framework.
Lavarack, J. & Ryan, R. 2015, 'Cultural development and local government: analytical frames, insights and observations', Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 44-55.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Over the last 50 years, local government in Australia has increasingly been involved in cultural development as a means of supporting community cohesion, wellbeing, sense of identity, and economic development. The involvement includes activities intended to elicit, express or explore aspects of community life that lend themselves to these goals, including arts practices that are generally integral to the activities. The requirement of funding bodies to evaluate the effectiveness of subsidised programmes has led to a tendency to view the arts instrumentally as a means to an end and thus to leave discussion of the intrinsic value of the arts relatively undeveloped or unresolved. In response, this article argues for the use of various analytical frames for evaluating cultural development and for the institutional value of cultural development for local government and its communities to be better recognised. Integrated strategies are available for a systems view of cultural development which can contribute to appropriate governance approaches in local government.
Ryan, R. & Hastings, C. 2015, 'Missed opportunities for democratic engagement: the adoption of community indicators in local government', The Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 33-43.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Community indicators, as a framework for the measurement of community wellbeing and progress established in collaboration with the community itself, have more than three decades of history in the United States. Although community indicator projects developed in Australia from the 1990s onwards, particularly by local governments, they have primarily been used as a reporting tool rather than as an instrument for democratic engagement and evidence-based policy development. In this article, an analysis is provided of the range of approaches to community indicators in Australia and the United States. The argument is made for the use of community indicators to enhance the democratic capacity of local government. The aim is to stimulate discussion about the potential benefits of community indicator projects for local government in Australia and increase understanding of the possible extent of their application.
Ryan, R. & Woods, R. 2015, 'Decentralisation and subsidiarity: Concepts and frameworks for emerging economies', Forum of Federations Occasional Paper Series, vol. 15, pp. 1-54.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
A global trend towards decentralisation, particularly in emerging and transitional economies, is well underway. At the same time, there are many different meanings assigned to the concept, and it is frequently left undefined, even while it is being implemented. Written under the auspices of the University of Technology Sydney, Centre for Local Government, this paper argues that enhanced understanding of concepts and theories can contribute to improved practice during decentralisation reforms, and consequently be of benefit to governments and to their citizens. Drawing on the theoretical, research and policy literature, an approach is adopted that aims to draw benefits from this literature for public policy and administration in particularly the emerging and transitional economies. The material in the paper is used as a foundation for putting forward a recommended synthesis-framework for decentralisation implementation that draws attention to: appreciating the theoretical scope of fiscal decentralisation; focusing on the country and its goals; considering the design of the system of multi-level governance; focusing on central and local capacity; and adopting flexibility, supported by feedback mechanisms, in the process of decentralisation.
This paper analyses how effectively local government in Australia performs its functions as a key element of subnational governance. Service delivery and local democracy are identified as the core functions of local government. The analysis takes into account paradigms of public administration, democracy and management, the public organization, accountability and capacity. The concept of 'capacity' brings together many of the issues discussed in this paper. Questions of capacity relate to whether local governments are effectively performing their institutional functions, how they do so with regard to principles of good governance, and whether the dimensions of their capacity can be reformed if there was the need to meet additional demands
Ryan, R. 2014, 'Innovative Citizen Involvement for Creating Public Value in Local Government', Journal of African & Asian Local Government Studies, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 35-51.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Rural communities in Australia are confronting a period of unprecedented change. They face declining commodity prices, the withdrawal of both public and private sector sen'ices, such as banks and hospitals, and the closure of small businesses. Their populations are in decline, with young people leaving for the larger regional centres. Many also face a declining resource base as soils become saline and water resources are sold to areas with higher unit returns. This paper presents a framework for sustainable community development based on emerging ideas of performance auditing and the development of progress indicators. The triple bottom line community audit approach is recast for the community level, measuring performance on improved community wellbeing, reduced environmental impact and increased economic vitality. Rural communities need to redefine their future. A sustainability focus offers a way fonvard. © 2001 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Ryan, R. 1997, 'Participatory processes for citizenship for people with intellectual disabilities', Interaction: The Australian magazine on intellectual disability, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 19-23.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ryan, R. 1997, 'Social networks and employment', Australian Disability Review, no. 3, pp. 16-28.
This paper examines evidence on the relationship between social networks and
employment for people with a psychiatric disability. An extensive review of literature
on social networks and employment programs reveals a confused picture of the
relationship between employment success, prior employment history and the impact of employment on social networks.
The importance of good social networks is often cited as a critical dimension of mental well-being and serious mental illness is believed to impact upon the successful maintenance of good social networks. It is proposed here that when psychiatric disability is understood as a consequence of the disabling conditions experienced by people, not as something inherent in the impairment of mental well-being, the importance of, and role of, social networks is amplified.
A pilot study is presented which examined the impact of previous employment history
on the current social networks of people with psychiatric disability. The results of this
study indicate that the disabling barriers experienced by people with psychiatric
disability with respect to opportunities to enjoy employment may have profound
implications for improving social networks and may, perhaps be a way of improving
the experience of the disabling effects of psychiatric disability.
Ryan, R. 2017, 'Why Local Government Matters' in Brueton, M., Arklay, T., Hollander, R. & Levy, R. (eds), A People's Federation, pp. 54-69.
Ryan, R. & Woods, R. 2017, 'Decentralization and Subnational Governance: Theory and Praxis' in Ryan, R. & Schoburgh, E. (eds), Handbook of Research on Subnational Governance and Development, IGI Global, Hershey, USA, pp. 1-33.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
A trend towards decentralized systems of government and the strengthening of subnational governance is underway globally. However, decentralization has many different meanings, and it is frequently left undefined, even while it is being implemented. This chapter argues that enhanced understanding of concepts and theories can contribute to improved practice during decentralization reforms, and consequently be of benefit both to governments and their citizens. Drawing on the theoretical, research and public administration literature, an approach is adopted that aims to inform decentralization praxis, that is, the interplay of policy, strategy, implementation and review. The material is used as a foundation for presenting a synthesis-framework for praxis that draws attention to: appreciating the theoretical scope of fiscal decentralization; focusing on the country and its goals; considering the design of the system of multi-level governance; focusing on central and local capacity; and adopting flexibility, supported by feedback mechanisms, in the process of decentralization.
Ryan, R. & Woods, R. 2017, 'Women's Political Empowerment: Lessons for Subnational Levels of Government: Nepal, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Indonesia' in Ryan, R. & Schoburgh, E. (eds), Handbook of Research on Subnational Governance and Development, IGI Global, Hershey, USA, pp. 385-405.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Political participation by women is central to development and the empowerment of all citizens. This chapter argues for the recognition of opportunities for women in leadership, political participation, and the strengthening of democracy at the level of subnational governments. A key reason for focusing on gender equity in political life is that women constitute slightly more than half of the world's population, and they contribute to the social and economic development of all societies to a greater degree than men because of their dual roles in the productive and reproductive spheres. At the same time, their participation in formal political structures and processes, where they can contribute to decisions on the use of societal resources generated by both men and women, remains far below parity. Drawing examples from a range of national parliaments and countries, this chapter demonstrates lessons for increasing political participation by women in subnational governance.
Ryan, R. & Schoburgh, E. 2016, 'Preface to the Handbook of Research on Subnational Governance and Development' in Ryan, R. (ed), Handbook of Research on Subnational Governance and Development, IGI Global, Hershey, USA.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Grant, B.J., Ryan, R. & Lawrie, A. 2015, 'Dirty hands and commissions of inquiry: An examination of the Independent Local Government Review Panel (ILGRP) in NSW, Australia' in Schwatz, M. & Harris, H. (eds), Conscience, Leadership and the Problem of 'Dirty Hands' (Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations), Emerald, UK, pp. 19-39.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
We utilise the problem of dirty hands to consider the ethical dimensions of commissions of inquiry, particularly commissions of inquiry conducted for the purposes of public policy. The Independent Local Government Review Panel (ILGRP) in NSW is used as an example for the purposes of discussion. Four questions endemic to considerations of dirty hands are derived from Coady (2014). The framework affords various insights into the ethical terrain of this particular inquiry and those undertaken for the purposes of public policy more generally. We argue that commissions of this type and the ILGRP in particular cannot be labelled examples of dirty hands and that the concept of determinatio from the work of St Thomas Aquinas sheds light as to the nature of moral claims around commissions. We also argue that a fruitful analysis is afforded by Wallis' (2013) analytic framework of the 'logic of fateful choices faced by the leaders of commissions of inquiry'. Nevertheless, confusion surrounding the nature and types of inquiries is partially responsible for accusations of their ethical incoherence.
Ryan, R. 2018, 'Evaluating Public Value', International Research Society for Public Management, Edinburgh, UK.
Policy professionals face increasingly complex challenges when evaluating policy. Moving away from traditional notions of public administration, largely founded on outputs rather than outcomes, new public management has transposed the private sector's measurement of success into the public sector. Most recent ideas of public management linking to enabling public value through co-design pose challenges in accounting for success. This paper provides strategies for overcoming these challenges through theoretical and methodological considerations.
Ryan, R. 2018, 'What Matters About Connection to Place: Differences Between Inner and Outer Metropolitan Suburbs', Urban Affairs Association Conference, Toronto, Canada.
Over the last few years we've watched urban and regional planning rocket to the top of various lists of 'hot' or 'future-proof' professions. Whilst this might not be news to most planners, this major piece of social research reveals just how important different communities across Australia find planning is to their lives.
This survey research of 2,000 Australians asked a variety of questions about the place where they live. We wanted to know what makes people feel good about where they live? What makes this place tick and feel like home? We asked how important strategic planning and development assessment are, and what sort of outcomes communities want to see for their area.
Communities are hugely connected to 'place'. An astounding 88% of Australians strongly or moderately agree they feel at home in the place where they live. There are similarly high levels of agreement when asking whether they feel connected to friends and neighbours (75%), and whether the place where they live has the qualities they value (78%); landscapes that make them feel good (77%); and makes them feel good about themselves (76%).
The research also demonstrates that the importance of place qualities differ for those living in inner and outer metropolitan areas.
The findings are of value for planners, policy makers, and anyone interested in urban and regional affairs.
Ryan, R. 2017, 'Australian experiences in public sector leadership training and social science research', Enhancing Quality of Scientific Research and Capacity Building Conference, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam.
Ryan, R. 2017, 'Forum of Heads of Schools and Institutes, Session Chair', 2017 IASIA-MENAPAR Joint Conference, Ramallah, Palestine.
Ryan, R. 2017, 'PWG X: Public administration's role in building and consolidating postconflict states, Working Group Co-Chair', 2017 IASIA-MENAPAR Joint Conference, Ramallah, Palestine.
Ryan, R. 2017, 'Panel Discussion: Creating conditions for suitable housing', MOD.A 2017 National Conference and Exhibition - Going For Gold: the pursuit of best practice in the age of reform, Sydney.
Ryan, R. 2016, 'Connecting Communities Keynote', Infor Public Sector User Forum, Sydney.
Ryan, R. 2016, 'Developing an Improved Performance Measurement and Improvement Framework for NSW Local Government', LG Integrated Planners, Bowral, NSW.
Ryan, R. 2016, 'Keynote on the Value of Libraries as Public Spaces', Civica Expo, Sydney.
Ryan, R. 2016, 'Keynote on Why Local Government Matters', Local Government Association of South Australia LGA Conference, Adelaide.
Ryan, R. 2016, 'Local Government Workforce', Annual Australian Services Union Conference, Local Government Division.
Ryan, R. 2016, 'Stage Management Leveraging Public Governance to Achieve the SDGs, International Institute of Administrative Sciences Panel', 2016 Joint Congress of IIAS-IASIA, Chengdu, China.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ryan, R. 2016, 'Why Centralization and Decentralization in Federations? A Comparative Analysis', Asia-Pacific Workshop: The Experience of India and Australia, New Delhi, India.
Ryan, R. 2016, 'Why Local Government Matters', A people's Federation for the 21st century.
Public participation in planning processes is legislatively mandated to varying degrees across Australian jurisdictions. It is prosecuted as a mechanism for equitable, effective and democratic decision-making by a variety of stakeholder groups. However, in some areas, the enduring imperative for public participation can lead to reliance on previous techniques and path-dependent approaches rather than 'engagement for place'. In particular, assumptions about citizens and the type of involvement policy-makers have come to expect can hamper efforts to co-produce place.
This paper presents learnings from several large-scale public participation processes in major strategic, land use and infrastructure planning contexts in Australia's largest and most rapidly developing city, Sydney. In searching for more inclusive, democratic and equitable forms of co-production, we focus on how to best support citizens engaging in complex city planning processes, identifying how people want to engage in city shaping and what they see as the most important decisions they should be involved in. We find that in attempting to refresh engagement, a focus on the types of evidence, information, and education citizens require to engage with place, alongside attention to how processes be designed from the outset can enable citizens to arrive at informed and considered views that dispel policy maker expectations of citizen involvement in co-producing place.
Grant, B.J., Ryan, R. & Lawrie, A. 2015, 'Reforming 'Sydney global city': Mapping enduring sites of institutionalconflict', 14th Australian Society of Heterodox Economists Conference, Australian Society of Heterodox Economists Conferences, SHE; UNSW Business School, University of New South Wales.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Local government in New South Wales (NSW) Australia presently faces the prospect radical consolidation alongside the implementation of metropolitan-wide governance structures. The pervasive modernity of these processes has been couched in the rhetoric of the need to achieve 'Global City' status such that Sydney can compete with other regionally-based centres. However, these narratives neglect the historically repetitive nature of these conflicts. Following from an account of the city's early attempts at metropolitan governance, this discussion examines 'Sydney Global City' as it is portrayed in the advocacy literature exemplified by the work of the increasingly influential lobby group, the Committee for Sydney. We then provide an account of contemporary processes of state-local relations toward consolidation and metropolitan governance. We argue that former iterations of attempted reforms are instructive, particularly in directing attention to the institutional sites of conflict away from the economic reductionism of the 'global cities' narrative.
Ryan, R. 2015, 'Democratic planning and local government', Whose City? Activist planning for a democratic Sydney, Sydney.
Ryan, R. 2015, 'Establishing service levels with the community', Local Government Financial Sustainability, Sydney.
Ryan, R. 2015, 'Sydney, a Global City for Whom?: Bringing Back Discussions of Equity', 45th Annual Urban Affairs Association (UAA) Conference, Miami, Florida, USA.
In post war Australia socio-economic disadvantage has been marked by a series of changing lead indicators. From the 1990's onwards the best single indicator of disadvantage is ones post (zip) code. Sydney with the combination of particular early settlement patterns, constrained geography, increasing migration, and extremely fragmented governance is dominated by urban sprawl and some of the worst aspects of car dominated cities. Now with the least affordable housing in the world, accompanied by the longest travel to work times, spatial inequality in Sydney is evidenced by markedly different access to public goods. The consequences of this are rendered opaque with the relatively well-off, most influential citizens largely unaware of the living conditions of their less advantaged fellow city residents. These factors are all exacerbated by neo-liberal thinking prioritising individualist, small government promoting property for profit and market oriented beliefs absent of state interventions to address this increasing spatial disadvantage. The only policy interventions, those which seek to support economic growth, are aiming to increase housing and public transit through private sector urban renewal, absent of any understanding that inequality impedes the very outcomes sought by global city positioning and the realisation of the benefits of economic growth. Highly fragmented urban governance leaves few mechanisms for citizens to penetrate urban renewal initiatives as public participation is dominated by the concerns of government backed property interests privileging support for economic growth through increased housing supply; or existing property owners trying to protect their amenity and the homogeneity of their locales, often posited as environmental protection, from increased transit and services impacts. Sydney as a global city is at risk. The only real action on the horizon which seeks to address these challenges comes from innovations in local governance.
Ryan, R., Martin, J. & Schoburgh, E. 2015, 'Local Governance in Commonwealth Countries: Exploring Similarities and Differences in a Post-Development Framework', Annual Conference of the International-Research-Society-for-Public-Management (IRSPM), Birmingham, UK.
Faruqi, M., Ryan, R. & Liebman, M. 2005, 'Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) a Strategic Framework for Hastings and Greater Taree City Councils', Stormwater Industry Association 2005 Regional Conference, Port Macquarie, NSW.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The Mid-North Coast Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) Framework project aims to enhance the organisational and institutional capacity of Hastings and Greater Taree Councils to deliver economically, socially and ecologically sustainable environmental and water resource management outcomes for their local government areas. This project has been funded by the NSW Government through its Stormwater Trust and is significant because it seeks to develop, trial and test a strategic framework through extensive stakeholder engagement, research and investigation. This project offers strategic value for Councils throughout NSW as a model for integrated water cycle management.
The Framework has been designed to facilitate integrated governance of water management responsibilities and provides Hastings Council and Greater Taree City Councils with comprehensive issues analysis, community profile data, water balance modeling scenarios, framework guidelines and implementation tools. This paper documents and discusses the rationale and process of the framework development, results of the water balance modeling studies and the IWCM policy, guidelines and implementation tools developed as a result of the this work
Ryan, R. 2003, 'Youth and citizenship: looking at perceptions of citizenship among young people', Australian Social Inclusion conference, National Social Policy Conference, University of NSW, Sydney.
Integrated approaches to policy and planning are frequently advocated as the preferred response to Natural Resource Management (NRM) at all levels of government. The notion of integrated governance promotes cross-sectoral inter-organisational interaction and multi-sectoral collaboration seeking to overcome traditionally fragmented and single issue defined policy processes and structures. Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) can be located within the broader discourse of integrated governance and more specifically within Integrated Environmental Management (IEM). While there is general agreement surrounding the theoretical value of this discourse and its underpinning principles, the movement from rhetoric to reality is more complex.
The Strategic Framework for Integrated Water Cycle Management and Sustainable
Stormwater Outcomes in the Mid-North Coast Region is a project which grapples with the 'rhetoric reality' dilemma through exploring strategic planning as a tool and process for working towards IWCM within a local government and catchment context.
Ryan, R. & Rudland, S. 2001, 'Enhanced stormwater quality management - Community interaction, integration and coordination', Stormwater Industry Association: Community Futures Workshop, Concord, NSW.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The University of Technology Sydney, Institute for Public Policy and Governance (UTS:IPPG) has undertaken research to investigate how public sector leaders are responding to digital transformation. This research has carried out on behalf of Civica, a leading provider of software and services to local government. The study builds on previous UTS:IPPG and Civica research, The Changing Landscape for Local Government: A vision for 2025
This report presents the headline findings from the latest research which seeks to understand:
* Driving forces for new ways of working in a digital society
* What (if anything) is holding back digital changes to public sector service delivery
* Views on the opportunities and future for 'digital first' organisations
* Leadership capacity and skills required to drive digital change
* Ideas for building a digital first organisational culture and mindset
Following initial desktop research, a survey of public sector professionals and 1:1 interviews with leaders from the local government sector, the research findings reveal a number of insights into the challenges, opportunities and changing landscape of digital cultures in the public sector. This report provides a scaffold to help public sector organisations better understand and prepare for a digital-first future.
This study seeks to understand how local government can address place focused renewal by collaborating with communities. It aims to explore:
* The role of local government when working with communities, particularly in areas with a focus on local renewal;
* How a tool such as the 'collective impact framework' can be utilised by governments in community collaboration initiatives; and
* Key elements for success in local government led collaborations that involve a range of community stakeholders.
This report provides governments and stakeholders involved in local and place-focused renewal with conceptual framing and case study examples that can help inform and shape new community collaboration initiatives for their own contexts.
Goodall, A., Huuskes, L., Gamage, S., Pavkovic, I. & Ryan, R. Institute for Public Policy and Governance 2017, How local governments can increase the social and economic participation of people with disability, University of Technology Sydney.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) launched the Right to Farm Policy in 2015. The policy is a comprehensive, state-wide approach to deal with the issues of 'right to farm' - defined as a desire by farmers to undertake lawful agricultural practices without conflict or interference arising from complaints from neighbours and other land users.
The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) are investigating the type and extent of agricultural land use conflict across NSW, how councils are managing this conflict, and how councils can best be supported in conflict management.
The research will be completed in three stages:
* Stage 1 (2016) – Preliminary council interviews and benchmarking survey
* Stage 2 (2017) – Follow up survey and eight in-depth interviews with local governments
* Stage 3 (2018) – Final survey.
This project undertaken by UTS will advance the purpose of the Right to Farm Policy and assist NSW DPI in supporting local councils in managing and responding to agricultural land use conflict.
This report presents the findings from Stage 2 survey which 58 local governments responded to (56% response rate), and findings from the eight in-depth interviews with local governments which were selected based on their patterns of agricultural land use conflict.
Hunting, S., Goodall, A., Pavkovic, I., Lawrie, A. & Ryan, R. National Disability Insurance Agency 2017, How local governments can increase the social and economic participation of people with disability, pp. 1-81, Sydney: UTS: IPPG.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This resource provides a national framework for local governments across Australia which recognises that responses need to be local, needs-based and fit for purpose. The key aim of the resource is to build
awareness, understanding and knowledge about how to plan and implement strategies and programs to increase the social and economic
participation of people with disability.
Hunting, S.A., Goodall, A., Pavkovic, I., Lawrie, A. & Ryan, R. Institute for Public Policy and Governance 2017, How local governments can increase the social and economic participation of people with disability: A place-based framework for success, University of Technology Sydney.
Hunting, S.A., Pavkovic, I., Alvarez, T., Wortley, L. & Ryan, R. Institute for Public Policy and Governance 2017, How local governments can increase the social and economic participation of people with disability: Desktop review, University of Technology Sydney.
Institute for Public Policy and Governance 2017, Institute for Public Policy and Governance Annual Report 2016.
The Centre for Local Government at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:CLG) was engaged by Litchfield Council to undertake a needs study of library services. The objective of this study was to guide Council and the Northern Territory Library (NTL) in their decisions and allocation of resources for the extension and operations of future library services in Litchfield. To that end, the study:
* Engaged with the Taminmin Community Library users, non-users and key stakeholders;
* Mapped library services and library opportunities;
* Identified partnership opportunities; and
* Investigated options for expanding library services.
Through the inception process, the following agreed aims, guiding principles, and outcomes of the study were determined:
* Agreed Aims
o Identify what library services the community needs;
o Identify whether existing services are adequate to meet this need; and
o If the existing services are not adequate, provide options for the delivery of library services to meet the identified needs.
* Agreed Guiding Principles
o Engage and consult with a wide range of stakeholders throughout the study; and
o Respond to the needs and aspirations of both current the Taminmin Community Library users and future prospective library users.
o The study will assist Council and NTL to understand current and future need for library services;
o The study will provide options in relation to models to deliver expanded library services, if required;
o The study will provide a robust evidence base for seeking funding for the development of a new library facility in Litchfield, if required; and
o The study will provide an analysis of the viability of the existing library service at Taminmin College.
This paper, intended for presentation to the Litchfield Council and NTL, provides a report on the study's findings. As such, it provides:
* Background information (including a review of relevant documents and literature, a demographic analysis, and spatial mappi...
Lopata, T. 2017, Implementation Plan - Jobs for people with disability: A plan for the NSW public sector.
Dowler, B., Gamage, S. & Ryan, R. 2016, Port Macquarie-Hastings Community Survey.
UTS:IPPG was engaged by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to undertake a community survey with 800 local residents. The survey focused on the satisfaction and importance of services, facilities and infrastructure people use in the Port Macquarie-Hastings Local Government Area.The survey was designed and developed in collaboration with Council and undertaken by one of our market research partners - Galaxy Research via telephone interviews (sourced through the Australian Residential Database). UTS:IPPG reviewed and analysed the data, before preparing a topline report that included key demographic bivariate analysis and considerations for Council service provision and policy development moving forward.
As part of this Civica-commissioned research, UTS:IPPG connected with local government professionals representing more than 30 councils across Australia and New Zealand conducting in-depth phone interviews which assisted in their analysis of how councils interact and engage with their communities.
The councils of Kentish, Latrobe, Waratah-Wynyard, and Circular Head in Tasmania engaged the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government and the University of Technology Sydney Centre for Local Government (UTS:CLG) to review their resource sharing arrangements. The review considered governance and decision-making arrangements, the current State Government reform agenda, strategic capacity of the councils and a financial analysis of savings from resource sharing arrangements.
Kentish and Latrobe Councils have been undertaking various forms of resource sharing since 1992 in order to improve levels of service and preserve and maintain local representation. The councils are keen to continue to grow, enhance and refine the resource sharing arrangements and engaged the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) at the University of Technology Sydney to review the resource sharing arrangements between the two councils.
Workforce planning in Tasmania as a whole, and in the local government sector in particular, is essential to meet the needs of communities and deliver a growing, prosperous Tasmania. As the level of government best placed to meet community needs, councils are in a unique position to identify the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to effectively tailor services, generate economic and employment opportunities and support the overall prosperity of their local and regional communities.
Planning a future workforce to deliver vital services needs to be clearly linked to local, regional and state-wide priorities. Councils have a key role to plan for their own workforces as part of strategic planning but also play an important role in partnering with a range of local, regional and state level organisations to identify and support conditions for economic growth.
Workforce planning brings important benefits to councils and their communities and these guidelines are intended to help local government plan at a local, sub-regional and regional level to support the future growth of a vibrant Tasmanian economy.
Ryan, R. 2016, Review of Boarding House Provisions.
The Centre for Local Government, at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:CLG) was engaged by the NSW Office of the Small Business Commissioner to develop a streamlined policy and supporting guidelines on outdoor fitness training for Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils. The project was initiated by the Office of the NSW Business Commissioner with support from participating councils. This was an exciting opportunity for UTS:CLG to model a collaborative and cooperative approach to the development of a policy and regulatory framework.
Civica is involved in ongoing research into the evolution of local government based resources in particular, and as part of these efforts, Civica Libraries engaged the UTS: Institute for Public Policy and Governance to undertake research into the value of libraries as public spaces.
Ryan, R. & Pavkovic 2016, Accessible Tourism Working Paper.
The City of Sydney engaged UTS:IPPG to undertake explorative research into the wellbeing of international students in the City of Sydney Local Government Area (LGA). The central aim of this research is the investigation of how international students living and/or studying in the City area perceive their wellbeing and what does and does not contribute towards their wellbeing. A review of key literature identified the following key focus areas that contributed to the wellbeing of international students.
In mid-2015 Gwydir Shire Council engaged the Centre for Local Government at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:CLG) to conduct workshops with Council, a deliberative panel, and a community survey exploring the financial sustainability of Council and future service delivery in the local area.
Ryan, R., Wortley, L. & Lawrie, A. 2016, Sentiment towards biosolids reuse: Survey instrument and baseline data, Sydney.
The McKell Institute has released a new report, Giving Local Government the Reboot - Improving the Financial Sustainability of Local Governments. Written by staff of the University of Technology Sydney Centre for Local Government (UTS:CLG), the report delves deeply into the financial issues facing most local councils.
Dowler, B., Gooding, A. & Ryan, R. UTS:Centre for Local Government 2015, Regional Library Management Models – Case Studies, Sydney.
The Centre for Local Government (CLG) at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) has been engaged by the State Library of New South Wales (State Library of NSW) to undertake research to explore and recommend regional management models for NSW public libraries.
Dowler, B., Molloy, L., Alvarez, T. & Ryan, R. UTS:Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government 2015, Regional Meals on Wheels Needs Assessment, Sydney.
This report has been prepared by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). ACELG has undertaken a needs assessment of Meals on Wheels (MoW) services for the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSORC).
Dowler, B., Ryan, R., Alvarez, T., Gamage, S. & Molloy, L. UTS:Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government 2015, Blacktown CBD Market Research Project, Sydney.
The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) undertook research on behalf of Blacktown City Council (Council) to understand public perception and opinion of the Blacktown Central Business District (CBD) as a place to visit, invest, reside, work and shop, at day and at night.
Lane Cove Council contracted UTS:CLG in 2014 to develop a community indicator framework to establish a set of indicators and measures of community wellbeing informed predominantly by the social issues aligned to Council's Community Strategic Plan (CSP). The framework was built upon the objectives of the CSP and encompasses indicators and data sources that will increase Council's awareness, knowledge and monitoring of current social issues and trends in Lane Cove.
Hunting, S.A., Ryan, R. & Dowler, B. UTS:Centre for Local Government 2015, Collaborative library service delivery: A guide to regional library management models in NSW, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The Centre for Local Government (CLG) at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) has been engaged by the State Library of New South Wales (State Library of NSW) to undertake research to explore and recommend regional management models for NSW public libraries.
Hunting, S.A., Ryan, R. & Lawrie, A. UTS Centre for Local Government 2015, Strategic Review of the Great Eastern Ranges initiative, pp. 1-54, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This report is the findings of the first phase in a Strategic Review to test and elaborate the GER's value proposition and determine future directions. There are other phases of the review which will build on, recast, or refine the analysis, findings and recommendations provided in this report. The outcomes of subsequent phases could alter the conclusions reached in this phase and further inform what the future of the GER looks like.
Hunting, S.A., Ryan, R. & Robinson, T. Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government 2015, Service Delivery Review: a how to manual for local government, no. 2nd edition, pp. 1-80, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This 2nd edition of the Manual brings together advice, toolkits and templates to help councils regardless of size with assessing the services they provide for local communities. The Manual meets an increasing need from within the sector for practical guidance in undertaking service delivery reviews that are consistent with current local governance practice and processes.
Ryan, R., Bruce, S., Wortley, L. & Gamage, S. UTS Centre for Local Government 2015, The changing landscape for local government: A vision for 2025, pp. 1-26, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Why Local Government Matters is a major piece of social research on community attitudes to local government by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG), undertaken with substantial expertise from staff of the Centre for Local Government at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS:CLG). The research aims to better understand how and why the activities of local governments, and their roles in society are valued by communities.
Ryan, R., Hastings, C., Woods, R., Lawrie, A. & Grant, B. Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government 2015, Why Local Government Matters: summary report, pp. 1-20, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This report explores motivations for, and facilitators and barriers of, inter-council learning. The study identifies how information, ideas and inspiration is accessed from peers and then taken further and embedded within their own organisations.
Ryan, R. & Molloy, L. UTS Centre for Local Government 2015, Gwydir Shire Council background report: Deliberative panel and local government services 2015, pp. 1-1, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This document is the first evaluation of the City of Sydney's (CoS) pilot International Student Leadership Ambassador (ISLA) program. This document assesses the progress of the ISLA program to date, including the evaluation of the ISLA program objectives to the program outcomes.
The Public Value project, led by the Local Government Business Excellence Network (LGBEN) with support from the Australian Centre of Excellence Local Government (ACELG), explores the current understanding of Public Value concepts.
The aims of the project are to develop an understanding of Public Value Creation, to provide examples of Public Value Creation from the Australian local government sector, to assist others in identifying examples of Public Value Creation from their own councils and to provide accounts of these examples to demonstrate how local government contributes to is communities and more broadly.
Intended outcomes include the development of a robust definition and understanding of Public Value Creation and assisting local governments to place themselves on a footing for continuous organisational improvement.
The Centre for Local Government (CLG) at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) has been engaged by the State Library of New South Wales (State Library of NSW) to undertake research to explore and recommend regional management models for NSW public libraries.
This research was prepared for the Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC or the Department) to provide an independent demonstration of the social value and achievements of WoC and complementary Indigenous NRM programs, and to establish an assessment framework for future studies.
Ryan, R., Halloway, L., Watkins, S.R. & Hatherly, S. Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 2011, National Career Development Strategy (NCDS) Research Project - Element 2: Qualitative Research, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Urbis was commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) to identify and analyse the career development needs and wants of young people (5-24 years), their parents, teachers and communities. The purpose of this research is to inform the creation of a National Career Development Strategy (NCDS).
Ryan, R., Hill, W., Watkins, S.R., Mackin, C. & Heatherly, S. Urbis Pty Ltd 2011, Towards Best Practice in Employment Assistance to People with Mental Illness, Sydney.
Ryan, R., Rudland, S., Rubenstein, L. & Cox, Z. Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage 2010, Evaluation of the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities Program, pp. 1-75.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Urbis is commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA, or the Department) to evaluate the implementation and impacts of the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (CERF) Program. The evaluation commenced in mid-September 2009 and will conclude in June 2010.
This report presents an evaluation of the stormwater management planning component of the Urban Stormwater Program and recommendations for the future of the program. This evaluation was conducted by Rebekah Brown and Roberta Ryan of the University of New South Wales.
The findings and interpretations contained in this report are based on extensive research that involved all key players in the urban stormwater management planning process.
Ryan, R. 2018, 'Role of Local Government in regional Economic Development'.
A keynote presentation at the 2018 CLAIR Forum
Ryan, R. 2017, 'The Influence of Local Government and Its Impacts on Social Cohesion'.
Ryan, R. 2016, 'Why Local Government Matters'.
Local government, devolution & regions: Why Local Government Matters
Australia's local government sector has been undergoing reform in recent decades. The result has been fewer and larger local governments and a reshaped role for elected members or councillors. But do councillors understand what this means for them?
The Baird government is pressing on with its agenda for restructuring local government across New South Wales and for the Sydney Metropolitan Region in particular.
Casting ahead to see what the outcomes might be, the experience of other Australian states and territories is salutary. It appears likely there will be a political price to pay at the next state election due in March 2019. Of more concern is that the reasons for undertaking reform have been lost in the fog of politics – both party-political and state-local.
Ryan, R. 2015, 'Federation out of step with local government's changing role', The Mandarin.
Communities value local governments highly, and want decisions about their communities made at the local level, says ACELG's Roberta Ryan
Ryan, R. 2015, 'Local government matters most, new Australian research finds', The Mandarin.
The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government has released Australia's most comprehensive study into community attitudes on local government. The paper's author, Roberta Ryan outlines the major findings.
Ryan, R. & Gibbs, M. 2015, 'Local government: Australia's real economic workhorse?', The Mandarin.