Professor Brian Head joined the Institute for Social Science Research in mid-2007 after holding senior roles in government, universities, and the non-government sector.

He is the author or editor of several books and numerous articles on public management, governance, social issues and environmental policy. His major interests are evidence-based policy, program evaluation, early intervention and prevention, collaboration and consultation, service delivery, accountability and leadership. He has undertaken several consultancies on program evaluation, policy review and, organisational performance, and good governance processes for governmental, academic and NGO bodies. He has strong interests in applied research across many areas of public policy and governance, and is committed to building closer links between the research and policy sectors.

He was an ARC Professorial Research Fellow (2014-16), currently a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, past President of the Australian Political Studies Association in 2013-14, and a member of the ARC College of Experts in 2012-14. He teaches the masters course Dynamics of Public Policy, and is an advisor for 12 PhD students.

His Google Scholar profile is available at: http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=6W3-66EAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=sra

Research Interests:

  • Evidence-based policy
  • Policy innovation
  • Complex wicked problems
  • Program evaluation
  • Organisational review
  • Early intervention and prevention
  • Social inclusion
  • Leadership strategies
  • Collaboration and consultation
  • Integrity and accountability
  • Service delivery innovation
  • Engaged research

Full Profile: Professor Brian Head at UQ Researchers

  • Publications

    BOOKS

    Head, B.W. and Crowley, K., (eds) 2015. Policy Analysis in Australia. Bristol: Policy Press.

    Head, B.W., Brown, A.J., and Connors, C., (eds) 2008. Promoting Integrity: Assessing and Improving Public Institutions. Aldershot UK: Ashgate.

    Bell, S. and Head, B.W., (eds) 1994. State, Economy and Public Policy in Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

    Head, B.W., and McCoy, E., (eds) 1991. Deregulation or Better Regulation? Melbourne: Macmillan.

    Head, B.W. and Patience, A., (eds) 1989. From Fraser to Hawke: Public Policy in the 1980s. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire.

    Head, B.W. and Walter, J., (eds) 1988. Intellectual movements and Australian Society. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

    Head, B.W., (ed) 1986. The Politics of Development in Australia. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

    Head, B.W., 1985. Ideology and Social Science. London: Martinus Nijhoff.

    Chapters in books (Selection)

    Head, B.W. 2017. 'Policy-relevant research: improving the value and impact of the social sciences', in H. Schaubl & I. Walker (eds), Social Science and Sustainability, Melbourne: CSIRO, pp. 199-209.

    Head, B.W. 2017. ‘Problem Definition and the Policy Process: Wicked Problems’, in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, eds B.G. Peters & others.

    Ross, H., Bellamy, J. & Head, B.W. 2016. ‘Collaboration challenges in addressing natural resource management problems: Australian regional case studies’, in R. Margerum & C. Robinson (eds), The Challenge of Collaboration in Environmental Governance. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 175-195.

    Head, B.W. and O'Flynn, J. 2015. ‘Australia: Building Policy Capacity for Managing Wicked Policy Problems’, in A. Massey & K. Johnston (eds), The International Handbook of Public Administration and Governance, Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar, pp. 341-368.

    Head, B.W. 2015. ‘Policy Analysis: Evidence Based Policy-making’, in J.D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edn, Vol 18. Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 281-287.

    Head, B.W. 2014. ‘Research and its Policy Relevance’, in R.J.Stimson (ed), Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Spatially Integrated Social Science, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 603-616.

    Head, B.W. 2014.  ‘The Collaboration Solution? Factors for Collaborative Success’, in J.O’Flynn, D.Blackman & J.Halligan (eds), Crossing Boundaries in Public Management and Policy. London: Routledge, pp. 142-157.

    Head, B.W. 2013. ‘Evidence-based policy-making for innovation’, in S.P. Osborne & L. Brown (eds), Handbook of Innovation in Public Services, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 143-156.

    Wallington, T., Robinson, C. & Head, B.W. 2012. ‘Crisis, change and water institutions in south-east Queensland: strategies for an integrated approach’, in T.Measham and S.Lockie (eds) Risk and Social Theory in Environmental Management, Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, pp. 185–198.

    Head, B.W., 2010. ‘Evidence-based Policy: Principles and Requirements’, in Strengthening Evidence-based Policy in the Australian Federation, Roundtable Proceedings, Canberra: Productivity Commission, pp. 13-26.

    Spearritt, P. and Head, B.W., 2010. ‘Water Politics’, in B.Gleeson & W.Steele (eds), A Climate for Growth: Planning South-east Queensland. Brisbane: UQPress, pp. 88-107.

    Head, B.W., 2010. ‘From knowledge to knowledge-sharing? Towards better links between research, policy and practice’, in G.Bammer et al (eds) Knowledge Brokering, Canberra: ANU e-Press. pp. 109-123.

    Head, B.W., 2009. ‘From Government to Governance: explaining and assessing new approaches to NRM’, in M.B.Lane, C.Robinson & B.Taylor (eds), Contested Country: Local and Regional Natural Resource Management in Australia. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, pp. 15-28.

    Head, B.W., 2009. ‘Adaptation to Climate Change: the evolution of policy and program ideas in Australia’, in J.Martin, M.Rogers & C.Winter (eds), Climate Change in Regional Australia: social learning and adaptation. Ballarat: Victorian Universities Regional Press, pp.14-29.

    Head, B.W., and Stanley, F.J., 2009. ‘The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth’, in D.Bennett, S.Towns, E.Elliott & J.Merrick (eds), Challenges in Adolescent Health: An Australian Perspective. New York: Nova Publishers, pp. 265-273.

    Head. B.W., 2007. ‘The Public Service and Government Communication: pressures and dilemmas’, in S. Young (ed), Government Communication in Australia. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, pp. 36-50 and 299-300.

    Head, B.W., 2007. ‘Taking Subsidiarity Seriously: What Role for the States?’, in A.J.Brown & J.Bellamy (eds), Federalism and Regionalism in Australia. Canberra: ANU e-Press, pp.155-170.

    Head, B.W., 2005. ‘Regional NRM Planning Arrangements: Evaluating through the State Lens’, in J.Bellamy (ed), Regional NRM Planning: the challenges of evaluation. Brisbane: CSIRO, pp.19-26.

    Head, B.W., 2005. ‘Participation or Co-Governance? Challenges for Regional Natural Resource Management’, in R.Eversole and J.Martin (eds), Participation and Governance in Regional Development. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp.137-154.

    Head, B.W., Wanna, J and Williams, P., 2005. ‘Leaders and the Leadership Challenge’, in J.Wanna and P.Williams (eds), Yes Premier: Labor Leadership in Australia’s States and Territories. Sydney: UNSW Press, pp. 253-264.

    Head, B.W., 2005. ‘Governance’, in P. Saunders and J. Walter (eds), Ideas and Influence: Social Science and Public Policy in Australia. Sydney: UNSW Press, pp. 44-63.

    Head, B.W., 1997. ‘Corporatism’, in D. Woodward et al (eds), Government, Politics, Power and Policy in Australia, 6th edition. Melbourne: Longman, pp.333-355.

    Head, B.W., 1994. ‘State Governments and Australian Business’, in R. Stewart (ed), Government and Business Relations in Australia. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, pp. 67-85.

    Head, B.W., 1993. ‘Lindblom on Business Power and Public Policy’, in H. Redner (ed), An Heretical Heir of the Enlightenment: Politics, Policy and Science in the Work of Charles E. Lindblom. Boulder: Westview Press, pp. 267-282.

    Reports

    Van de Meene, S., Head, B.W. & Bettini, Y. (2016). Toward effective change in urban water policy: the role of collaborative governance and cross-scale integration. Project A3.1, Final Milestone Report. Melbourne: Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities. ISBN: 978-1-921912-41-2   https://watersensitivecities.org.au/content/toward-effective-change-urban-water-policy/

    Bettini, Y. & Head, B.W. 2016. WA Groundwater Replenishment Trial: A case study of creating the enabling environment for regulatory change. Project A3.1 Case Study Report. Melbourne: Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities. ISBN: 978-1-921912-34-4  http://watersensitivecities.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/A3.1_1_2016_GWRT_Case_Study_web1.pdf 

    Bettini, Y. & Head, B.W. 2016. Governance structures and strategies to support innovation and adaptability. Project A3.1 Milestone Report. Melbourne: Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities.  ISBN: 978-1-921912-36-8 https://watersensitivecities.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/A3.1.2.2016_Governance_structures_web.pdf.

    Ferguson, M. & Head, B.W. 2014. The Value and Character of Political Science: Report on the Members Survey, Australian Political Studies Association. http://www.auspsa.org.au/sites/default/files/apsa_survey_results_reportfinal.pdf

    Bettini, Y. & Head, B.W. 2014. ‘Next Practice’ Governance for Water Sensitive Cities. Project A3.1 Milestone Report. Melbourne: Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities. ISBN: 978-1-921912-32-0    http://watersensitivecities.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/A3.1_Next-practice-governance-for-water-sensitive-cities.pdf

    Head, B.W., 2013. How do government agencies use evidence? Stockholm: Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. 46 pages http://www.socialstyrelsen.se/Lists/Artikelkatalog/Attachments/19163/2013-6-38.pdf

    Bettini, Y. & Head, B.W. 2013. Specifying the Urban Water Governance Challenge. Project A3.1 Milestone Report. Melbourne: Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities.  ISBN: 978-1-921912-31-3     http://watersensitivecities.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/A3-1_Specifying-the-urban-water-governance-challenge.pdf

    Memmott, P., Reser, J., Head, B.W., Davidson, J., Nash, D., O’Rourke, T., Gamage, H., Suliman, S., Lowry, A. & Marshall, K., 2013. Aboriginal Responses to Climate Change in Arid Zone Australia: Regional Understandings and Capacity Building for Adaptation. Report for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.

    Phillips, R., Head, B.W. & Jones, A., 2012. Integrated Responses to Homelessness in Australia: an analysis of ‘joined up’ policy and practice. National Homelessness Research Partnership Report to FaHCSIA. Canberra: FaHCSIA. https://homelessnessclearinghouse.govspace.gov.au/files/2012/12/ISSR-FaHCSIA-NHRP-REPORT-1-2011-Project-Four-September-2011.pdf

    Uhlmann, V. & Head, B.W., 2011. Water Recycling: Recent History of Local Government Initiatives in Southeast Queensland. Urban Water Security Research Alliance, Technical Report No 45, Brisbane. http://www.urbanwateralliance.org.au/publications/UWSRA-tr45.pdf

    Journal Articles (Selection)

    Van Rensburg, W. & Head, B.W. 2017. ‘Climate change sceptical frames: The case of seven Australian sceptics’, Australian Journal of Politics & History, 63 (1), 112-128.

    Bellamy, J., Head, B.W. & Ross, H. 2017. ‘Crises and Institutional Change: Emergence of Cross-Border Water Governance in Lake Eyre Basin, Australia’, Society & Natural Resources, 30 (4), 404-420.

    Morgan, R., Bettini, Y., McCallum, T. & Head, B.W. 2017. ‘The interaction of risk allocation and governance arrangements in innovative urban stormwater and recycling projects’, Landscape & Urban Planning, 164: 37-48.

    Holmes, T.Q., Head, B.W., Possingham, H.P. & Garnett, S.T. (2017 in press). Strengths and vulnerabilities of Australian networks for conservation of threatened birds, Oryx: The International Journal of Conservation, online 8 November 2016. DOI: https://doi-org.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/10.1017/S0030605316000454

    Newman, J., Cherney, A. & Head, B.W. 2017. 'Policy Capacity and Evidence-Based Policy in the Public Service', Public Management Review, 19 (2), 157-174.

    Newman, J. & Head, B.W. 2017. 'The National Context of Wicked Problems: Comparing Policies on Gun Violence in the US, Canada, and Australia', Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 19 (1), 40-53.

    Binks, A., Kenway, S., Lant, P. & Head, B.W. 2016. ‘Understanding Australian household water-related energy use and identifying physical and human characteristics of major end uses’, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol 135, pp. 892-906.  

    Whiteford, H., Meurk, C., Carstensen, G., Hall, W., Hill, P. & Head, B.W. 2016. ‘How did Youth Mental Health make it onto Australia’s 2011 Federal Policy Agenda?’ Sage Open, 6 (4), October-December, pp. 1-12.  DOI: 10.1177/2158244016680855

    Head, B.W., Ross, H. & Bellamy, J. 2016. ‘Managing wicked natural resource problems: the collaborative challenge at regional scales in Australia’, Landscape & Urban Planning, 154, 81-92.

    Head, B.W. & Xiang, W-N. 2016. ‘Why is an APT approach to wicked problems important?’ Landscape &Urban Planning, 154, 4-7.

    Head, B.W. & Xiang, W-N. 2016. [Editorial] ‘Working with wicked problems in socio-ecological systems: More awareness, greater acceptance, and better adaptation’, Landscape &Urban Planning, 154, 1-3.

    Head, B.W. 2016. ‘Toward more 'evidence-informed' policy-making?’ Public Administration Review, 76 (3), 472-484.

    Isett, K., Head, B.W. & VanLandingham, G. 2016. ‘Caveat Emptor: What do we know about public administration evidence and how do we know it?’ Public Administration Review, 76 (1), 20-23.

    Newman, J., Cherney, A. & Head, B.W. 2016. ‘Do Policy makers use academic research? Re-examining the “two communities” theory of research utilization’. Public Administration Review, 76 (1), 24-32.

    Muerck, C., Leung, J., Hall, W., Head, B.W. & Whiteford, H. 2016. ‘Establishing and governing e-mental health care in Australia: A systematic review of challenges and a call for policy-focussed research’, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(1):e10.

    Grace, F., Meurk, C., Head, B.W., Hall, W., Carstensen, G., Harris, M. & Whiteford, H. 2015. ‘An analysis of policy levers used to implement mental health reform in Australia 1992-2012’, BMC Health Services Research, 15: 479.    

    Muerck, C., Whiteford, H., Head, B.W., Hall, W. & Carah, N. 2015. ‘Media and evidence-informed policy development: the case of mental health in Australia’, Contemporary Social Science, 15 (2), 160-170.

    Newman, J. & Head, B.W. 2015. ‘Categories of failure in climate change mitigation policy in Australia’, Public Policy & Administration, 30 (3-4), 342-358.

    Head, B.W. & Alford, J., 2015. ‘Wicked Problems: implications for public policy and management’, Administration and Society, 47 (6), 711-739.  [online from 28 March 2013]

    Head, B.W., 2015. 'Relationships between Policy Academics and Public Servants: Learning at a Distance?'. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 74 (1), 5-12.

    Newman, J. & Head, B.W., 2015. ‘Beyond the Two Communities: A Reply to Mead’s “Why government often ignores research” ’, Policy Sciences, 48 (3), 383-393.

    Cherney, A., Head, B.W., Povey, J., Boreham, P. & Ferguson, M. 2015. ‘The utilisation of social science research - the perspectives of academic researchers in Australia’, Journal of Sociology, 51 (2), 252-270.   

    Cherney, A., Head, B.W., Povey, J., Ferguson, M. & Boreham, P. 2015. ‘Use of academic social research by public officials: exploring preferences and constraints that impact on research use’, Evidence & Policy, 11 (2), 169-188.

    Olsson, L. & Head, B.W., 2015. 'Urban water governance in times of multiple stressors: an editorial'. Ecology and Society, 20(1): 27. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-07300-200127

    Head, B.W., 2014. ‘Managing urban water crises: adaptive policy responses to drought and flood in Southeast Queensland’, Ecology and Society, 19 (2), 33. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-06414-190233

    Head, B.W., 2014. ‘Evidence, Uncertainty and Wicked Problems in Australian Climate Change Decision-making’, Environment and Planning C: Government & Policy, 32 (4), 663-679.

    Head, B.W., 2014. ‘Public administration and the promise of evidence-based policy: experience in and beyond Australia’, Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 36 (1), 48-59.

    Colley, L.K. & Head, B.W., 2014. 'Privatisation and new public management: Asset sales and Commissions of Audit in Queensland, 1990–2013', Australian Journal of Political Science, 49 (3), 391-407.

    Head, B.W., Ferguson, M., Cherney, A. & Boreham, P., 2014. ‘Are policy-makers interested in social research? Exploring the sources and uses of valued information among public servants in Australia’. Policy & Society, 33 (2), 89-101.

    Uhlmann, V., Rifkin, W., Everingham, J-A., Head, B.W. & May, K., 2014. ‘Prioritising indicators of cumulative socio-economic impacts to characterise rapid development of onshore gas resources’, Extractive Industries and Society, 1 (2), 189-199.

    Head, B.W. 2013. ‘Evidence-based policymaking: speaking truth to power?’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 72 (4), 397-403.

    Cherney, A., Head, B.W., Boreham, P., Povey, J., & Ferguson, M., 2013. ‘Research Utilization in the Social Sciences: A Comparison of Five Academic Disciplines in Australia’, Science Communication, 35 (6), 780-809.

    Cloete, S., Horberry, T. & Head, B.W., 2013. ‘Urban water system safety: A human factors investigation’. Water Journal (AWA), 40 (8), 56-61.

    Colley, L.K. & Head, B.W., 2013. ‘Changing Patterns of Privatization: Ideology, Economic Necessity, or Political Opportunism?’ International Journal of Public Administration, 36 (12,) 865-875.

    Parsell, C., Jones, A. & Head, B.W., 2013. ‘Policies and programmes to end homelessness in Australia: Learning from international practice’, International Journal of Social Welfare, 22 (2), 186-194.

    Ziviani, J., Darlington, Y., Feeney, R., Meredith, P. & Head, B.W., 2013. ‘Children with disabilities in out-of-home care: Perspectives on organisational collaborations’, Children and Youth Services Review, 35 (5), 797-805.

    Head, B.W., 2012. ‘The Contribution of Integrity Agencies to Good Governance’, Policy Studies, 33 (1), 7-20.

    Fielding, K.S. and Head, B.W., 2012. ‘Determinants of Young Australians’ Environmental Actions’, Environmental Education & Research, 18 (2), 171-186.

    Fielding, K.S., Head, B.W., Laffan, W., Western, M. and Hoegh-Guldberg, O., 2012. ‘Australian politicians’ beliefs about climate change: political partisanship and political ideology’, Environmental Politics, 21 (5), 712-733.

    Cherney, A., Povey, J., Head, B.W., Boreham, P. and Ferguson, M., 2012. ‘What influences the utilisation of educational research by policy-makers and practitioners? The perspectives of academic educational researchers’, International Journal of Educational Research, 56, 23-34.

    Cherney, A., Head, B.W., Boreham, P., Povey, J. and Ferguson, M., 2012. ‘Perspectives of academic social scientists on knowledge transfer and research collaborations: a cross sectional survey of Australian academics’, Evidence & Policy, 8 (4), 433-453.

    Head, B.W., 2011. ‘Governance for Sustainable Regions: can government meet the innovation policy challenge?’ Regional Science Policy and Practice, 3 (3), 219-230.

    Head, B.W. and Redmond, G., 2011. ‘Making prevention work in human services for children and youth’, Australian Review of Public Affairs, 10 (1), 5-22.

    Cherney, A. and Head, B.W., 2011. ‘Supporting the Knowledge to Action Process: a systems-thinking approach’, Evidence & Policy, 7 (4), 471-488.

    Head, B.W., 2011. ‘Australian experience: civic engagement as symbol and substance’, Public Administration and Development . 31 (2), 102-112.

    Head , B.W., 2011. ‘Why not ask them? Mapping and promoting youth participation’, Children and Youth Services Review, 33 (4), 541-547.

    Ziviani, J., Feeney, R., Darlington, Y., & Head, B.W., 2011. ‘From policy to practice: a program logic approach to describing early intervention services for children with physical disability’. Evaluation and Program Planning, 34 (1), 60-68.

    Head, B.W., 2010. ‘Reconsidering Evidence-based Policy: key issues and challenges’, Policy and Society: an interdisciplinary journal of policy research, 29 (2), 77-94.

    Head, B.W., 2010. ‘Water Policy – Evidence, Learning and the Governance of Uncertainty’, Policy and Society: an interdisciplinary journal of policy research, 29 (2), 171-180.

    Head, B.W., 2010. ‘How can the public sector resolve complex issues? Strategies for steering, administering and coping’, Asia Pacific Journal of Business Administration, 2 (1), 8-16.

    Head, B.W., 2010. ‘Public Management Research: towards relevance’, Public Management Review , 12 (5), 571-585.

    Carroll, P. and Head, B.W., 2010. ‘Regulatory Reform and the Management of Intergovernmental Relations in Australia’, Australian Journal of Political Science, 45 (3), 407-424.

    Cherney, A. and Head, B.W., 2010. ‘Challenges for Implementing Evidence-based Policy and Practice’, Australian Journal of Social Issues, 45 (4), 509-526.

    Wright, J.G. and Head, B.W., 2009. 'Reconsidering Regulation and Governance Theory: a learning approach', Law and Policy, 31 (2), 192-216.

    Head, B.W., 2008. 'Wicked Problems in Public Policy', Public Policy, 3 (2), 101-118.

    Head, B.W., 2008. 'Assessing Network-based Collaborations: Effectiveness for Whom?' Public Management Review, 10 (6), 733-749.

    Head, B.W., 2008. ‘Three Lenses of Evidence-based Policy’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 67 (1), 1-11.

    Head, B.W., 2007. ‘Community Engagement: participation on whose terms?’ Australian Journal of Political Science, 42 (3), 441-454.

    Head, B.W., and Stanley, F.J., 2007. ‘Evidence-based advocacy’, International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 19 (3), 255-262.

    Ryan, N., Head, B.W., Keast, R. and Brown, K., 2006. ‘Engaging Indigenous Communities: Towards a Policy Framework for Indigenous Community Justice Programs’, Social Policy and Administration, 40 (3), 304-321.

    Brown, A.J. and Head, B.W., 2005. ‘Institutional Capacity and Choice in Australia’s Integrity Systems’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 64 (2), 84-95.

    Brown, A.J. and Head, B.W., 2005. ‘Assessing Integrity Systems’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 64 (2), 42-47.

    Head, B.W., and Ryan, N. 2004. ‘Can Co-Governance Work? Regional Natural Resource Management in Queensland, Australia’, Society and Economy, 26 (2-3), 361-382.

    Head, B.W., and Ryan, N. 2003. ‘Working with Non-Government Organisations: a Sustainable Development Perspective’, Asian Journal of Public Administration, 25 (1), 31-56.

     

Staff Details

Phone: 
+61 7 3346 7450
Position: 
  • Professor
  • ARC Professorial Research Fellow
Qualifications: 
  • BA (Hons), Monash
  • MA, Monash
  • PhD, London