This course is the flagship course in our extended capability offering, teaching a process that officers advising council can use to support decision making on local government issues and writing compelling papers for senior leaders and elected members.

  • 1,450.00 (plus GST) Members
  • 1,450.00 (plus GST) Non Members
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About this event

Wondering why your report to senior leaders or elected members didn’t go how you expected or having difficulty in putting a logical and compelling case together? These courses enable you to hone your report writing and policy craft to support effective decision-making.

Learning objectives

On completing this course participants will:

  • Know how to apply an analytical framework to local government issues
  • Understand how to integrate critical-thinking skills into advice for senior decision makers
  • Understand the elements of an effective narrative and why they are important to guide a decision maker through a change in their understanding
  • Be able to apply a straightforward, five-step process for developing a compelling narrative for decision-making purposes
  • Understand how to write in a polished, plain language style
  • Have practised applying these skills to a paper.

Course format

The course combines facilitator-led, live-learning sessions with self-led content that learners complete online at their own pace. Learners are encouraged to complete all the coursework and collaborate and learn from each other.

Each week of the four-week course consists of:

  • A two-hour facilitator-led, live-learning session
  • Approximately three hours of self-led learning and coursework.

Course dates

Week one: 15 October, 10am - 12pm

Week two: 22 October, 10am - 12pm

Week three: 29 October, 10am - 12pm

Week four: 5 November, 10am - 12pm

Wrap up: 12 November, 10am - 12pm

What is covered in this course

Week one: Crafting Great Analysis

  • The local government decision-making landscape, including significant decisions under the Local Government Act 2002.
  • Introduction to analytical frameworks.
  • A framework to conduct a multi-criteria analysis.
  • Define the problem.
  • Identify what counts as evidence and data.
  • Coursework: write a problem definition, create an evidence plan.

Week two: Crafting Great Analysis

  • Develop criteria.
  • Develop solution options.
  • Understand trade-offs.
  • Conduct a risk assessment.
  • Present a preferred solution option to a decision maker.
  • Coursework: complete a decision matrix to arrive at a preferred solution.

Week three: Narrative for Better Decisions

  • Key narrative concepts.
  • The essential elements of narrative.
  • The five-step narrative process.
  • Coursework: practise steps one and two of the narrative process.

Week four: Narrative for Better Decisions

  • Steps three, four and five of the narrative process.
  • Language, tone, and style.
  • Executive Summary.
  • Recommendations.
  • Coursework: practise steps three, four and five of the narrative process.

Here’s what others say:

"It's such a fantastic learning journey, and so interactive - love the format of teaching. I reckon the course should be part and parcel of training for all local government organisations"

Corporate Planner, Tauranga City Council

"Very useful course - like a light switched on! Really loved the facilitators, they make the course and content so much more entertaining than it could be"

Policy Advisor at Queenstown Lakes District Council

"This is a great course, hands on, and very easy to work through, with plenty of support. I recommend it."

Strategic Planning Advisor, Kaipara District Council

"I want to take this opportunity to thank you and the team for your professionalism and the content in the workshops. I’ve found it very helpful (I wish I had it when I first joined Council!) and have been able to implement what I have learnt already"

Senior Advisor, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana.