The Institute has developed the concept of a strategy wheel in order to clearly show the relationships between strategic instruments and the institutions implementing them. The wheel shows how within the public policy system there are three components which work together – institutions, instruments, and information systems.

Often, a policy area will have a core, generalised strategy which anchors other more specific or localised strategies. Often these ‘core’ strategies set out principles or high level goals. Similarly, there is often a legislative instrument (such as an Act, or a set of regulations) that forms the basis for the content of other strategic instruments such as GDSs. The strategy wheel shows this hierarchical relationship, as each ring of the circle indicates the connection between differing ‘levels’ of instrument.

Institutions (such as government departments) implementing similar strategic instruments often fall in the same sector, however sometimes they are in radically different sectors. The strategy wheel shows the connection between central government institutions and sectors by demonstrating the instruments that they are implementing. The strategy wheel clearly communicates which departments are implementing which strategic instruments.

Examples of two strategy wheels are found below:

1) Government department strategies (GDSs) relating to civil defence emergency management instruments (May 2015)

20150417 Strategy wheels


2) Government department strategies (GDSs) relating to ocean policy (March 2015)

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For more examples of our use of strategy wheels please see Report 10: One Ocean, Principles for the Stewardship of a healthy and productive ocean (2015) at page 4.