ANU Research Project

ANU Research Project

Through the Innovation Connections Programme of the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Sciences, contentgroup will work with the Australian National University to develop the evidence base to underpin its current “content communication” method and to develop value co-creation toolkits for content communication projects in the public sector.

Amitesh Kumar is a research associate on the Content Communication research project – a collaboration between the Australian National University and contentgroup. Amitesh describes his role in this project, and how he will bring theoretical underpinnings and knowledge into practice.


Nicolas Riquelme describes the process that will inform the Content Communication research project – a collaboration between the Australian National University and contentgroup. Nicolas is a research associate on this world-first project.



Value co-creation is an innovative paradigm for service delivery (Vargo and Lusch 2008). Its two core premises are that value creation is the primary focus for all service exchanges; and different parties co-create value for themselves and each other through their resource integration and interactions. This paradigm has been widely applied to advance knowledge and practices in different contexts (e.g., professional services and service innovation).

Value co-creation in the context of content communication involves three major participants, namely

  • the government
  • the targeting stakeholders/citizens and (if applicable)
  • the content communication professionals

Each of these would have their own sets of values that they want to realize through the content communication project (see Fig. 1, Value Triangle in the content communication in the public sector). A strong dependence may exist among these three sets of value. For example, government’s value (e.g., raising awareness of a government initiative) will not be realised unless the stakeholders/citizens’ value (e.g., benefits from the public services) are properly communicated; the content communication professionals’ value (e.g., successful projects for the government clients) may not be realized unless both the government’s and the stakeholders/citizens’ values are realized.

Thus, effective content communication projects that can facilitate government-citizen communication need to create value for these three major parties. The toolkits developed at the end of this research will lay out the process, tools/templates, examples and measures to streamline content communication project practices from value co-creation perspective, spaning the entire project life (see Fig. 2).

The purpose of the tool kits is to impart the techniques and tools of successful content communication in order to strengthen the communication capability of governments at a sub-national, national and global level.


Fig. 1 Value Triangle in Content Communication Projects


Fig. 2. Content Communication Project Phases

The development principles of the toolkits

  • Evidence-based and experienced-shaped. The evidence based for the method and the associated toolkits will be developed based on an integration of state-of-art research from relevant disciplines, such as public administration (e.g., public engagement and open government) and project management (e.g., government project benefit realization management). This process will also be shaped by the solid industry experience, case studies and expertise.
  • Citizen-centered. The toolkits will focus on finding effective approaches to devolve influence to stakeholders/citizens to improve their responsiveness to the government initiatives, build social capital and trust in government.
  • Sustainable. The toolkits will be developed following a rigorous research approach. During the development process, the draft toolkits will be pilot experimented. Feedback on the toolkits will also be solicited from academic and industry experts. Lessons learned and experts’ inputs will then inform the refinement of the toolkit to ensure its relevance, practicability and sustainability.
  • Adaptive. Recognizing that a “one-size-fits-all” approach does not work for most communication problems; thus, toolkits will be developed with the flexibility to be tailored to different contexts and resource constraints.

Read more about our method


[su_heading size=”25″]Podcast[/su_heading]
Ying-Yi Chih on the power of Content Communication:


[su_quote]I think communication is not just about the message itself, it’s actually implies the way to influence people’s behaviour. You can only change or influence someone’s behaviour when you convince them for something. I think that’s the power that lies in communication.[/su_quote]

[su_quote]I think we will all agree stakeholder communication, the government stakeholder communication, the level of (compliance) is increasing because of the availability of multiple communication channels and also the fast growing technology. The government needs to have a more structured way to deal with this kind of communication problem. It’s not like we are developing a universal set of guidelines so they can copy from one project to the other, but it’s more like they need to have a structured methodology they can start with and they can tailor that to different content. I think that’s the value of the toolkit we are trying to develop. It will lay out the process to help government better communicate with the stakeholder from a value co-creations point of view. I like to think about the value co-creation as a very innovative concept that emphasises the values behind the individual’s behaviour.[/su_quote]


[su_heading size=”25″]About the team[/su_heading]

[su_tabs horizontal=”yes”][su_tab title=” Dr. Ying-Yi Chih”]

Chief Project Investigator

Dr. Ying-Yi Chih is a Senior Lecturer in Project Management in the Research School of Management at The Australian National University. She holds a PhD degree in Engineering and Project management from the University of California at Berkeley in USA.

Her research interest focuses on two main domains with a common focus on project performance. The first one examines the value co-creation processes in government and public-private partnership projects. The second stream focuses on the behavioural and performance management of project participants from a social-psychological perspective.

Prior to her academic career, she worked as a project management consultant assisting Taiwanese government agencies to conduct feasibility studies and develop plans for several public projects. Her research has been published in top journals such as International Journal of Project management, Journal of Management in Engineering and, California Management Review.

[/su_tab] [su_tab title=” Nicolas Riquelme”]

Research Associate

Engineer by profession, Masters of Project Management for fun, and leader by choice.

From the driest desert in the world, leading projects in the European Southern Observatory; to the capital of Chile, managing teams in Procter&Gamble; Nicolas always gives his 100%, unless he is donating blood.

He thrives in intellectually curious environments and in diverse teams. Consultant is his second name and it is what he loves the most because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know. Actually, his second name is Alejandro, do not be fooled by this Bio.

[/su_tab] [su_tab title=” Amitesh Kumar”]

Research Associate

Amitesh Kumar has over 10 years of professional experience in the field of semiconductor and renewable energy businesses. The majority of his professional experience was in Japan, as well as a significant time in Solomon Islands.

He has just successfully completed a Master’s of Project Management degree from the renowned Australian National University. Amitesh has been around constant innovation in both industry and cutting-edge research at ANU. He is truly excited to embark on the Innovation Connections project as it creates a platform where he will be able to exercise his professional experience and theoretical knowledge gained from ANU.

Moreover, Amitesh looks forward to creating value through a project which can revolutionise the way public sector communicates to citizens.[/su_tab]

[su_tab title=”David Pembroke”]

CEO and Founder, contentgroup

David Pembroke is the CEO and founder of contentgroup, a government and public sector content communications agency based in Canberra, Australia.

He has a commerce degree (marketing major) from one of Australia’s leading business schools (University of New South Wales) and worked in product management for the American multinational 3M. He changed careers to work in media where he spent a decade as a radio current affairs and sports reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

He was the communications director of the Australian Rugby Team when they won the Rugby World Cup in 1999 and is a member of the Australian Olympic media team.

contentgroup was founded in 1997 and offers consulting, content production, training and research services. David hosts InTransition, a weekly podcast which examines the practice of content communication in government and the public sector.[/su_tab][/su_tabs]



Vargo, S. L., & Lusch, R. F. (2008). Service-dominant logic: continuing the evolution. Journal of the Academy of marketing Science, 36(1), 1-10.

Patanakul, P., Kwak, Y. H., Zwikael, O., & Liu, M. (2016). What impacts the performance of large-scale government projects? International Journal of Project Management, 34(3), 452-466.

Shergold, P. (2015). Learning from Failure: Why Large Government Policy Initiatives Have Gone So Badly Wrong in the Past and How the Chances of Success in the Future Can be Improved.


Read more about our method


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