Probably the most important role of Whitehall departments is giving policy advice to Ministers. It is therefore curious that policy-making did not figure directly in the Capability Reviews that central government departments have been going through in the past few years.

In order to address this gap, researchers at the Herbert Simon Institute, University of Manchester, have devised a “Policy-Making Capability in UK Government 2008” survey.

The survey is available on-line by clicking on:

Policy Survey

Or pasting this into your browser:


Anyone who has experience of government Ministries policy-making can fill out the survey – we are looking for a 360-degree view of their capability. The survey can be completed separately about more than one Ministry, if you have dealings with more than one.

It should not take more than 10-15 minutes to complete.

All replies will be treated in strictest confidence.

The survey is being organised by researchers at the Herbert Simon Institute, Manchester Business School and supported by Public Servant. Summary findings will be published in Public Servant magazine and a full report will also be published.

Prof. Colin Talbot, Dr Carole Johnson, Dr Rutaichanok Jingjit

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