IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Mutual Learning About Health System Performance in Australia's Intergovernmental Health Committee System?


  • Amanda Smullen


Since the early 1990s Australia, through the Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Council, began the process of developing a national health system performance framework. This includes service delivery measures for hospitals and has been used as a template for national data collections in mental health services. National performance frameworks have since become part of promoting greater integration of policy making and service delivery across Commonwealth and State jurisdictional health functions. The key focus of this paper is upon inter-governmental processes and routines to develop Australian national performance regimes in the realms of health and mental health care services. It presents initial findings from 26 elite interviews working across the inter-governmental interface, including some data about experiences of service managers. The report provides two contributions to the existing literature on Australia’s federal health system and more specifically health governance. Firstly, it presents a literature review of studies and theoretical concepts that have been deployed to examine cross jurisdictional processes of decision making. There is particular attention for the European literature on inter-governmental committee systems. Secondly, the paper presents initial findings from an explorative study of Australia’s inter-governmental machinery in the realms of health and mental health care services. This explorative study was based upon an initial 26 elite interviews from respondents working (or having worked in) Australia’s inter-governmental machinery, including some respondents from representatives of relevant Commonwealth semi-autonomous bodies. The researcher also observed two inter-governmental committee proceedings although reported data here draws only from interviews. These findings provide a first insight into the inner workings of Australia’s inter-governmental health machinery. It is argued that there has been evidence of mutual learning from Australia’s National Health Performance initiatives, and, exchanges and recommendations for future research to further investigate and pinpoint the causal processes through which mutual learning occurs are provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Amanda Smullen, 2017. "Mutual Learning About Health System Performance in Australia's Intergovernmental Health Committee System?," Crawford School Research Papers 1706, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:crwfrp:1706

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Australia; Health System;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:een:crwfrp:1706. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Stern). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.