During the past decade the role of government has been steadily changing, with increasing emphasis being placed on setting overall direction through policy and planning, on engaging stakeholders and citizens, and sometimes on empowering stakeholders or partners to deliver programs and services.
At the same time, the environment for policy and planning has increased in complexity. The ownership of issues is often unclear, especially when more than one department and often more than one level of government are involved. Community is also increasingly claiming ownership of policy issues and process.
Globalization and fiscal resource limitations contribute to the confusion. In this complex environment the demand for good public policy development is steadily increasing, as must the capacity of managers, policy analysts, planners, and others involved in the design and delivery of policies and programs.