GDS Index

New Zealand's government department strategies under the microscope

About

Welcome to the GDS Index homepage.

The GDS Index aims to illustrate how New Zealand might strengthen government department strategies (GDSs) to be more effective, responsive, measurable, comparable and durable through public consultation, engagement and ownership. If government departments make the content of GDSs more useful, these strategies’ users will be better able to assess their quality and, where appropriate, to work with government to deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

Current Work Programme

This research contributes to the McGuinness Institute’s StrategyNZ project. This in turn supports the Project 2058 work programme. Read more about the Project 2058 Methodology.

PublicationTitleStatus
Working Paper 2022/01 Methodology for the 2021 Government Department Strategies IndexIn progress (expected publication: May 2022)
Working Paper 2022/02Complete Lists of Government Department Strategies between 1 July 1994 and 31 December 2021In progress (expected publication: May 2022)
Working Paper 2022/03Scoring Tables Collating and Ranking Government Department Strategies in Operation as at 31 December 2021In progress (expected publication: May 2022)
Working Paper 2022/04Analysis of Government Department Strategies between 1 July 1994 and 31 December 2021
In progress (expected publication: May 2022)
Working Paper 2022/05Best Practice: Guidance for policy analysts preparing government department strategy documentsIn progress (expected publication: May 2022)
2021 GDS Index Handbook2021 Government Department Strategies Index Handbook – He Puna Rautaki
In progress (expected publication: May 2022)

In late 2021, the Institute began working to create the latest GDS Index. The two blue buttons to the right are the final tables of GDSs as at 31 December 2021 (in operation and archived). We are now in the process of scoring each GDS, with the aim of presenting the results in a webinar in early June 2022. If you are interested in attending, please register and see our event flyer. If you have any questions, please email us at GDSwebinar@mcguinnessinstitute.org

Thank you for your interest,

Wendy McGuinness (23 May 2022)

 

How are the GDSs scored?

 

The GDS Index ranks each of the GDSs in terms of essential information. The Index does not rate the strategy as such; it rates the strategy document’s provision of essential information and clarity of communication, so readers can then assess the strategic approach for themselves. Each GDS is reviewed against the Scorecard (see above) to determine how well it articulates each of six elements. The Institute regularly updates the GDS Index so that information can be measured, analysed and tracked over time.

2018 GDS Index
On 2 May 2019 the Institute published the 2018 GDS Index. For the first time the Institute also published the Government Department Strategies Handbook – He Puna Rautaki (see below). At the 2019 launch Wendy McGuinness discussed why government department strategies are important corporate documents, the process the Institute took when conducting the research, and the obstacles and challenges experienced. This work is intended to contribute to a broader discussion about how to build strategic capability in the public service. See Wendy’s presentation slide show from the launch.

The Institute found 148 GDSs in operation as at 31 December 2018 and rated each of these against the Scorecard. PDFs and their final scores can be found in Table 1 below. The highest-scoring GDS on the 2018 GDS Index was A Biosecurity Science Strategy for New Zealand (October 2007), published by the Ministry for Primary Industries. See the table of the archived GDSs.

 2014 and 2015 Index
The 2014 GDS Index, 2015 GDS Index and 2018 GDS Index can be found below. Of the 413 GDSs that have appeared on the GDS Index, 265 have been archived (see the archived table). The remaining 148 GDSs are operational.

Webinar: 2021 GDS Index launch

Date: Thursday 9 June 2022
Time: 1–2pm
Format: Webinar

GDS Index Tables

Definition of a Government Department Strategy

GDS Index definition

Scorecard

The Scorecard is used to assess the content of a GDS document and whether this content is sufficient for a reader to assess the quality of the strategy. It is not used to assess the quality of the strategy.

GDS Index Scorecard

2021 GDS publications

To be published June 2022.

GDS Index Handbook

Working Paper GDS Index Methodology

Methodology

GDS Index Handbook Image

Lists of GDSs

Scoring

Analysis

Working Paper GDS Index Methodology

Best Practice

Past publications

Working Paper GDS Index Methodology

Methodology

GDS Index Handbook Image

Working Paper 2021/02 – List of Government Department Strategies as at 31 December 2020

GDS Index Handbook Image

2018 GDS Index

Working Paper GDS Index Methodology

Working Paper 2021/02a – Analysis of Climate Change in Government Department Strategies as at 31 December 2020

Publications for each GDS Index