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Redesigning collaborative governance for refugee settlement services
journal contributionposted on 02.01.2020, 00:00 authored by Carolyn HolbrookCarolyn Holbrook
Processes of collaborative governance, also known as network structures or joined-up approaches, have been embraced increasingly by policy makers responding to complex and intractable problems. In 2015, a collaborative governance approach was applied in New South Wales to facilitate settlement of 12,000 additional refugees from Syria and Iraq, under the leadership of the Coordinator General for Refugee Resettlement, Peter Shergold. This article examines the success of the initiative, using criteria drawn from collaborative governance and meta-governance literature and evidence from interviews with people working in the refugee sector who were involved in the project. The article concludes that initiative has improved the experience of newly arrived refugees, and identifies some reasons for success, including the existence of a facilitative or collaborative leader. It argues that greater emphasis in collaborative theory be placed on individual capacity, given such a leader’s ability to influence both interpersonal and structural determinants of policy success.