OGP Australia logo

Improve public service practices using place-centred approaches

What are your views on improving public service practices using place-centred approaches?Lead implementing agency/actor

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


What is the public problem that the commitment will address?

The problems present in the most disadvantaged locations across Australia are numerous and interrelated, and addressing them requires locally tailored, community based approaches (Australian Social Inclusion Board). The public service must have the authority, flexibility and capabilities to collaborate with different communities in different places to develop and implement different approaches.

A place-based approach recognises the impact of ‘place’ on individuals’ experiences and outcomes and incorporates this recognition into strategies to improve social, economic and environmental outcomes. It embeds meaningful public and multi-stakeholder participation into the business of policy development and service delivery. Too often, decisions regarding communities have been taken centrally without the engagement of local communities. In addition, lines of accountability for delivery and quality of outcomes have been unclear. Place-based approaches also have the potential to contribute to fulfilling the Government’s commitment to ‘do things with’ and ‘not to’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This commitment, focused on public sector improvement, will explore what changes to planning, engagement and implementation practice of the public service are required to support a place-centred approach. It will identify learning from place-based approaches such as Empowered Communities, Stronger Communities for Children and Logan Together and consider how to better enable community engagement and involvement in program design and delivery.

What is the commitment?

The Government will explore ways to encourage the broader adoption of place-based approaches across the public service, including how the public service could apply a more place-centred and transformational approach to its work. This will be done by establishing mechanisms for the public service to learn from place-based approaches being undertaken by Government agencies, such as Empowered Communities, Stronger Communities for Children and Logan Together. The learning focus will be on good practice and challenges in relation to delegation and accountability for local planning, engagement and service delivery to support place-based approaches and listening to the experiences of communities.  

How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?

Our ambition is to design and promote a whole-of-government approach to learning from and applying place-based approaches. The adoption of place-centred approaches should contribute to the development of policy and implementation responses that better take account of the needs and aspirations of citizens, deliver tangible outcomes , hold all stakeholders to account for their responsibilities and ensure that services are delivered in a way that meet the needs of the end user. 

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?

This commitment will advance the OGP values of transparency, civic participation and public accountability by:

  • facilitating informed public participation;
  • improving policy development and service delivery; and
  • encouraging an ongoing sharing of information and views across the public service that builds consensus on broad policy directions

Additional information

The work could draw on learnings from Empowered Communities, Stronger Communities for Children and Logan Together


Milestone Activity with

a verifiable deliverable

Start Date: End Date:

Finalise scope of works and scope interest among relevant Commonwealth agencies

Q3 2018 Q3 2018

Develop learning framework / mechanism

Q4 2018 Q1 2019
Capture learnings


Q1 2019


Q4 2019

Finalise report on learnings

Q1 2020 Q2 2020

Provide recommendation to Government based on learnings

Q2 2020 Q3 2020


Engagement and Development Branch, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Special Adviser, Regional Governance, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


Other actors involved

State actors:  Department of Health, Department of Social Services, Department of Human Services, Department of Education and Training, Department of Jobs and Small Business

CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups: Specific organisations not yet identified, but may include connecting with jurisdictional place processes, a cross section of Empowered Communities backbone organisations, Logan Together community partners and Stronger Communities for Children facilitating partners.

Discussion question

Is this draft commitment specific, relevant, and ambitious?


To participate, you’ll need to register for an account. You’ll then be able to respond to the questions under each of the proposed themes, leave a general comment or respond to those of other participants, and vote on comments.

We expect your comments to be respectful and relevant. As comments are moderated, they won’t appear until they’ve been approved. If, after submission, you do not receive a notification stating that your comment has been queued for review, your submission has not been successfully transmitted to us. In this case, please email your submission to ogp@pmc.gov.au and we will publish it on your behalf. Comments will close 8 July.

If you wish to make a longer submission, you can email us at ogp@pmc.gov.au. We’ll publish all submissions we receive.

The outputs from this and the face-to-face consultations will be made available to the Open Government Forum. At its meeting in July, the Forum will be asked to consider feedback and make final recommendations to government on the form of Australia's second Open Government National Action Plan 2018-20.


Submissions and comments received via email



Log in or Register to add your comment.


Open Government...

The Canberra consultation to finalise the National Action Plan were held on 27 June and were attended by four participants from civil society. The following comments below were received from participants on this draft commimtment.

Vote up!

Post A Response

Plain text

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.