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Policy Dialogue and Engagement between Non-Governmental Organizations and Government: A Survey of Processes and Instruments of Canadian Policy Workers

Author(s): Bryan Mitchell Evans | Adam Wellstead

Journal: Central European Journal of Public Policy
ISSN 1802-4866

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 60;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: New governance | policy engagement | non-governmental organizations | policy dialogue

Various analysts have raised concerns respecting declining research, evaluation and analytical capacities within public services. Typically, the decline is attributed to reforms associated with neoliberal restructuring of the state and its concomitant managerial expression in New Public Management (NPM).  This has given rise to a conceptual shift now commonly captured as a movement from ‘government’ to ‘governance’. Policy advising from a new governance perspective entails an image of a more distributed policy advisory system where a plurality of actors, including non-state actors, engages with government in deliberating policy interventions to address collective problems.The original research presented here suggests that those responsible for policy work across four policy communities in the three Canadian provinces surveyed differ in terms of their capacities, depth of commitment to a specific policy file/field, roles and functions, as well as perceptions of the policy work that they undertake. Over the past several years, a number of primarily quantitative analyses examining the processes, tools and perspectives of Canadian federal and provincial government policy analysts have been published.  Consequently, a significant knowledge-base has been acquired respecting what government policy analysts do and their attitudes toward their work but very little is known about external interactions with non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
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