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Professor Michael Howlett delivered the second seminar for the “Collaborative Research Postgraduate Students' Seminar Series”

The second seminar of “Collaborative Research Postgraduate Students' Seminar Series” was held successfully on 13 March 2024, which is co-organised by the School of Graduate Studies, Lingnan University and the Education University of Hong Kong. The event featured an insightful talk by Professor Michael Howlett of Simon Fraser University, Canada. Prof. Howlett captivated the audience with his presentation on “Competences, Capabilities and the Policy Capacities of Government: Blending Skill and Resources to Avoid Policy Failures”.  


In his presentation, Prof. Howlett indicated that the 3P’s of the causes of failure: Processes, Programmes, and Political, and highlighted the critical role of the policy capacity of policy actors. “Policy capacity is at heart a function of three competences or skills which affect the ability of governments to develop and craft effective policies. Prof. Howlett indicated that capacity is the blending of competences and capabilities in his framework. Competences refers to the skills of policy formulators and actors, including analytical, managerial and political aspects. The capabilities usually refer to the resources in individual, organizational, and systematical level.” Prof. Howlett therefore forwarded a 3x3 matrix model of policy capacity to design and implement knowledge-based policies.  


Prof. Howlett emphasized the need for a nuanced understanding of these skills and resources and the importance of effective management to reduce the likelihood of policy failure and increase the chances of policy success. His insights drew on his extensive experience and research in the field of public policy analysis, offering attendees a deeper understanding of the complexities involved in policy development and implementation. 


The next two seminars of the “Collaborative Research Postgraduate Students' Seminar Series” will be delivered by Prof. XiaoHu Wang of City University of Hong Kong. For more information, please visit