Policy Visualisation Network

(Evan Hill is from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet)

Representatives from the Departments of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; Prime Minister and Cabinet; Climate Change and Energy Efficiency; Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education; and Resources, Energy and Tourism as well as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) met for the first time last Thursday as a steering committee to discuss the potential agenda for the first meeting of a policy visualisation network in late September.  

The purpose of the network is to bring policy makers and designers together to explore how the Australian Public Service (APS) can better use visualisation techniques to provide better policy analysis, advice or engagement. Such a network is consistent with the recommendations for the Blueprint for the Reform of Australian Government Administration to build APS policy capability. The APS has a wide range of technical skills in policy visualisation for example,  spatial information, data visualisation, info-graphic design, data journalism, etc.

Some examples of info-graphic design include Daily Infographic  and Visually and for motion charts the ABS population pyramid, whilst the work of the Recovery Board in the USA tracks the expenditure of some $787bn in economic stimulus funding down to the neighbourhood level.

The network meeting in late September will highlight existing policy visualisation techniques from across individual APS agencies.

If you would like to be part of this network email Evan Hill at Prime Minister and Cabinet.

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  1. You might want to have a look at some of the work that Mitchell Whitelaw from the University of Canberra has been doing with the Cultural Institutions around Canberra – http://visiblearchive.blogspot.com.au

  2. A network member has pointed us to an interesting visualisation site, Information is Beautiful. The site has examples across Infographic/infodesign; Data visualisation; Interactive visualisation; Data journalism; Motion infographic; and Tool or website.

  3. I recommend that you review http://www.ncomva.com/ for Policy Visualisation insights. Acknowledged users of the system include OECD, Eurostats and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) amongst many others. The data representation, interactivity and story telling capabilities are stand-out features of this system.

    • Thanks for pointing that one out Andrew – I wasn’t aware of it and there’s some great stuff there. Alex

  4. Alex, is this intended for internal APS staff only? If not, I’m keen to get involved – having slight issues in the hyperlink to the email address however.

    • Reanna – at this stage the network is APS wide with the potential to be opened more widely later on. We hope to keep the broader public sector innovation network informed about the work being done on visualisation though.

  5. As an FYI, the Policy Visualisation Network has arisen out of the policy visualisation project undertaken by the HC Coombs Policy Forum.