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AI for better governance

Solutions for complex public problems

About the program

Complex problems are challenging to solve. As the world becomes more interconnected, and public problems get trickier to address, those responsible need data and tools to make effective decisions and implement enduring change.

That's where Artificial Intelligence can help.

We're working to help decision-makers tackle complex public problems by using AI in innovative and new ways. We're building AI tools that analyse data and generate actionable insights, so decision-makers can make evidence-informed decisions and support the achievement of sustainable development. At the same time, we'll be undertaking social and policy research to ensure our AI solutions meet the needs of decision-makers.

By developing AI approaches that shift monitoring from low technology, human-resource intensive, data collection to a faster, more comprehensive, accurate, predictive and transformative system, we aim to address the limitations of conventional approaches. These solutions will provide:

  • Shorter timeframes between data collection, analysis, and availability.
  • More accurate, consistent and complete data to inform decision-making.
  • Capacity to (dis)aggregate or transpose data to different scales or geographies.
  • Advanced data analytics (enabling reduced complexity and forecasting).
  • Improved AI design and interface functionality through deep understanding of the decision-making environments where AI-enabled evidence may be used.

We apply the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an organising framework to inform the outcomes of our work. The SDGs cover many aspects of public decision portfolios including economic, social and environmental areas. Our long-term vision is to build AI tools that can monitor and support forecasting and analytics across all policy areas within Australia and elsewhere.

This program is a partnership between the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash IT Monash Data Futures Institute, and the Better Governance and Policy Initiative.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Complex global problems, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, natural disasters, sustainable economic development or climate change, need an integrated framework to address them. The Sustainable Development Goals launched in 2015 are designed to help us solve these challenges in an integrated way. On a regional, national and local level, however, the complexities of integrated development across such diverse portfolios can be challenging for decision-makers to engage with.

At Monash, we're working to create AI tools that help public decision-makers unpack these complexities, increase understanding of how policy portfolios can benefit from engaging with the SDGs, and design new solutions for where they work: bringing global targets and innovation to contexts where it matters most.

Tell us what you need

Throughout this work we will be engaging with public decision-makers to continually refine our understanding of what's needed, to ensure we build a suite of tools that have tangible value.

If you're a public decision-maker, we'd love to hear from you.

We are running an online survey and interviews to understand: the role of data; areas of priority policy focus; and what functionalities will aid decision-makers to achieve strategic policy or organisational goals. We will also be holding a workshop to discuss the findings, and provide opportunities for decision-makers to provide feedback and engage with AI prototypes.

If you'd like to get involved or learn more about the program, please contact us at

Are you a philanthropist or funder?

With your financial support, we can create AI solutions that will help governments around the world make more informed decisions towards sustainable development.

Contact us for a confidential conversation.
Professor Rob Raven
Professor of Sustainability Transitions, Deputy Director (Research)
Monash Sustainable Development Institute
P: +61 3 9905 9294
Professor Geoff Webb
Research Director
Monash Data Futures Institute
Professor Michael Mintrom
Director, Better Governance and Policy
Faculty of Arts
Professor Rob Skinner
Professor of Water Sensitive Cities
Monash Sustainable Development Institute
Professor Ann Nicholson
Interim Dean
Faculty of IT
P: +61 3 9905 5146
Dr Mitzi Bolton
Research Fellow & Chief Investigator
Monash Sustainable Development Institute