Utopia unrealised: an evaluation of a consultancy to develop a national framework for police education and training to enhance frontline response to illicit drug problems in Australia

Conway, Jane Frances (2004) Utopia unrealised: an evaluation of a consultancy to develop a national framework for police education and training to enhance frontline response to illicit drug problems in Australia. [Thesis (PhD/Research)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This dissertation presents an evaluation of a funded consultancy that was intended to bring about change in the education and training of police in Australia in response to illicit drugs. Sponsored by what was at the time known as the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, the ultimate goal of the consultancy was a national framework for police education and training to enhance frontline police response to illicit drug problems. The research used a case study design. Guba and Stufflebeam’s (1970) Context, Input, Process, and Product (CIPP) model was used to organise the presentation of a rich description of the design, development and implementation of the consultancy. Application of this framework enabled illumination of a number of issues related to social policy, change and innovation, and quality improvement processes. The study explores the role of education and training in organisational change and concludes that the potential of external consultancy activity to effect meaningful change in police education, training and practice is limited by a number of factors. Key findings of the study are that while a number of consultancy processes could have been enhanced, the primary determinants of the extent to which a change in police education and training will enhance frontline practice are contextual and conceptual factors. The study reveals that the response of frontline police to illicit drug use is influenced by multivariate factors. The findings of this study suggest that while frontline police are keen to provide solutions to a range of practice issues in response to illicit drug problems, they desire concrete strategies that are well defined and supported by management, consistent with policy and within the law. However, the complexity of police activity in response to illicit drugs; the dissonance between the conceptual frameworks of police and health agencies; and, resistance to what is perceived as externally initiated change in police practice, education and training; were found to be powerful inhibitors of an utopian attempt to enhance frontline police response to illicit drug problems. Using the metaphor of board games, the study concludes that the development of an education and training framework will be of little value in achieving enhanced frontline practice in response to illicit drug problems unless the criteria for enhanced response are made more explicit and seen to be congruent with both the conceptualisation and operationalisation of police roles and functions. Moreover, the study questions the mechanisms through which changes in policy are conceived, implemented and evaluated and highlights a need for greater congruence between evaluation frameworks and the nature of change.


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Education (EdD) thesis. Transferred from ADT 24/11/2006.
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:42
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: utopia, education, training, drug problems, context input process product (CIPP)
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society > 1602 Criminology > 160201 Causes and Prevention of Crime
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/1418

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