Digital Era Public Policy

The rapid rise of new technologies and web-based services creates a plethora of opportunities for the public sector, but also has the potential to be disruptive and create new challenges.

It is therefore essential that public sector managers and leaders understand this changing technological landscape so that opportunities can be seized and challenges mitigated, in order to deliver services effectively.

This module will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the range of roles digital technology can play in the public policy process and in the management of public services. The module identifies the motivation to adopt digital technologies in the delivery of public services; highlighting the potential cost and efficiency savings. It also showcases innovative methodologies that can be used towards these ends, and provides the opportunity to reflect on how these may be implemented in your workplace. The module also focuses on the growing power and influence of social media in shaping public consultation and engagement. The module will also introduce you to the core concepts of e-government and digital era governance and critically reflect on the nature, values and threats offered by digital data. Drawing on a range of national and international case studies from across sectors, the module identifies how and where digital technologies are disrupting practices of government, their consequences and how these may be overcome.  

The module will be delivered on campus at the University of Birmingham. You will be provided with prior reading and exercises that will inform your face to face learning, which will include problem-led and scenario-based exercises.

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Distinguish and apply key frameworks for conceptualising digital-era public policy.
  • Recognise and critically discuss the value of open and big data for public service.
  • Critically assess the motivation to implement digital technology in public service organisations.
  • Devise strategies for the implementation of digital engagement policies in public service.
  • Plan a digital innovation project in a public service organisation.