The French-Australian Forum on Policy Analytics was held on 10-12 September in Paris at the Université Paris Dauphine. It focussed on the conceptual and practical challenges of recoupling knowledge, values and process for improved public policy in the 21st century. Over 20 participants – approximately half from Australia and half from France – participated in a range of presentations and panel discussions, interactive workshops and institutional-level cooperation building discussions.
Participants discussed the impact technologies emerging through the fourth technological revolution will have on public policy. They explored how sensing capabilities, big data availability and artificial intelligence techniques may in fact provide opportunities for the design of more innovative public policies and that we must be thinking about this approach now, even before the technologies have been created. In particular, they discussed how these technologies will enable a never-before-seen level of individualisation and granularity in service delivery and program evaluation.
A strong focus of the workshop was how researchers and policy analysts within and outside of government can play a key role in policy support. Participants prepared specific examples to showcase to the group, and then facilitated discussions to build on these. The showcases demonstrated how to use cutting-edge data analytics integrated with a range of carefully crafted participatory and collaborative methods, for the purpose of bringing different communities and stakeholders of policy processes together.
The forum included participants from researcher, policy practitioner and industry backgrounds (e.g. IBM, SUEZ) representing a range of disciplines including computer science, anthropology, engineering, sociology, management sciences, economics, environmental studies, history and political science. A follow-up forum as a part of the inter-disciplinary research program will be held at the Australian National University in early 2019. A range of other ongoing works have been planned including joint publications, co-tutelle PhD programs, researcher visits and designing a summer school.
The forum and research program has been supported by the Australian National University through its Global Research Partnerships Scheme and the 3A Institute, the CNRS GDR on Policy Analytics and IRSTEA. Anyone with an interest in the ongoing activities can contact Katherine.Daniell@anu.edu.au