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Using Evidence is one of the core subjects in the Melbourne Master of Public Administration. The Melbourne MPA is an interdisciplinary, globally-focused degree program for managers that work within or with government. This subject is one of three professionally-oriented subjects and it builds on the World of Public Administration and the core discipline subjects to develop the professional skills of participants with a particular focus on using evidence in managerial practice.
This subject will explore the issues of evidence construction and use in practice, allowing participants to reflect on their professional experience and develop their ability to be ‘smart consumers’ of information in a professional setting. It will explore how evidence is created, by whom, and for what purpose, exposing participants to the ongoing debates regarding evidence-based policy-making, data-driven decision-making, and, more broadly, the creation of knowledge. It will place a particular emphasis on the complex relationship between scientific advancement and the challenges this poses to policy makers and public managers.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this subject should:
- Understand the nature of evidence, its foundation, and how it is created;
- Acquire knowledge of the social, theoretical, historical and disciplinary bases of evidence and how this impacts on decision making during the managerial, policy design and implementation phases;
- Develop a deep understanding of the skills and capabilities required to meet contemporary management practice; and
- Appreciate how to apply new skills and capabilities in decision making to managerial practice.
On completion of this subject students should have:
- a sound understanding of the principles of evidence and evidence-based decision-making, and their foundations;
- a high-level ability to combine theory and practice in order to address managerial challenges, and to do so in response to the meaningful use of evidence;
- a high-level ability to combine professional skills with discipline-based expertise, in particular in relation to the use of evidence;
- a highly-developed capacity to adapt to new situations and reflect upon professional practice, using evidence-based policy-making and data-driven decision-making in order to meet managerial challenges; and
- flexible communication skills with a highly-attuned sensitivity to a diverse audience, and to the issues specific to cross-cultural communication.
Last updated: 3 November 2022