An analysis of the features of successful written submissions to government inquiries

Adam Delaine, Megan Ferguson, Rachel Bacon, Katherine Cullerton

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Objective: Government inquiries present a policy window for advocates to influence policy. Evidence on how to write influential submissions, however, is sparse. We aimed to identify features of successful written submissions to the Parliament of Australia's Inquiry into Food Pricing and Food Security in Remote Indigenous Communities (Inquiry). Method: A scoping review was conducted to identify influential features of written submissions to government inquiries. A content analysis of a sub-sample of government Inquiry submissions and their recommendations was then coded for influential features. The frequency of submission recommendations incorporated into the final Inquiry report was recorded, as was their link to influential features. Results: Thirty features were identified. Results from 21 submissions indicate that when writing a submission to a government inquiry, advocates should: (1) ensure their submission is clear and concise; (2) convey the authority of both the writer and supporting evidence; and (3) where possible, align submission recommendations with the government agenda. Conclusions: We encourage future research to test the framework of influential features on other inquiry topics and in other countries to increase the reliability of results. Implications for Public Health: This study consolidates and presents a list of features that advocates can consider incorporating when writing a submission to a government inquiry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100133
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2024


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