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Axford Forum

What Did We Learn Over There?

Public Policy in New Zealand Through American Eyes
A one-day forum convened on January 18, 2006

On January 18, 2006, the Center convened Ian Axford fellows and invited guests at UMBC for a one-day forum. Established in 1995, the Ian Axford Fellowships in Public Policy give outstanding American professionals opportunities to study, travel, and gain practical experience in public policy in New Zealand . Health care, the environment, taxes, ethnic diversity, and education are but a few of the topics that Axford fellows have investigated.

This was the first time that Axford fellows have come together. The agenda for the forum featured presentations by the three 2005 Axford fellows who have recently returned to the United States.

  • Dena Ringold of the World Bank examined how programs might be tailored to better address the range of disparities faced by indigenous peoples and other vulnerable populations, such as the 15 percent of New Zealanders who are also Maori.
  • Nick Johnson of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities studied New Zealand 's Working for Families program. He explored the relationship between fiscal and tax policy in meeting the needs of low-income populations while promoting efficient labor markets.
  • John O'Brien of the Center for Health Program Development and Management at UMBC investigated the complexities of measuring and rewarding performance in health care delivery systems.

The program was placed in context with remarks by Robert Reischauer, President of The Urban Institute and former chair of the Ian Axford Fellowships selection committee; Ian Hill, Deputy Chief of Mission at the New Zealand Embassy; Annette Dixon, the World Bank's Director of Strategy and Operations for Europe and the Central Asia Region; and Richard Teare, Senior Fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies. Discussion among forum participants generated fresh insights and novel approaches to public policy.

Click here for photos from the forum.

Reports by all of the Ian Axford Fellows in Public Policy are available here .