Evidence and Management of the 7 Deadly Sins in Performance Management: Because People will be People

Kicking off an exciting week of posts from the Public Service Research Group at UNSW Canberra, today’s post from Professor Deborah Blackman (@debbiebl2), Dr Fiona Buick (@fibuick) and Professor Michael O’Donnell explores the ‘seven deadly sins’ of performance management that emerged in their recent research.

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Islamophobia: The elephant in the research

Research on marginalised communities has a history of being weaponised against those very communities, marginalising them even further. This weaponisation, and the fear of it, can silence discussion on important social issues. Here, Sandra Elhelw Wright reflects on how this plays out in the context of research on domestic violence in Australian Muslim communities. 

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Urgent action is needed to address financial exclusion

As the 2019 New South Wales State election is fast approaching (March 23, 2019), a policy think tank on financial inclusion has proposed an election platform paper with specific state level concerns and possibilities. Jenni Beetson-Mortimer (@BeetsonJenni) who heads up this coalition – NSW Financial Inclusion Network,  is our blog contributor today. Jenni is the CEO of Northern Rivers Community Gateway, a registered not-for-profit which provides welfare and community capacity building programs for disadvantaged individuals and communities across NSW and extending to the Far North Coast, New England and Mid North Coast of the state. Located at the forefront of service provision, Jenni bring her experiences, knowledges and collaborative scholarship to persuade NSW policy makers to act on the issue of financial inclusion.

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Banking Royal Commission and the silencing of Indigenous Australian voices

The release of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry earlier this month has not had the intended effect of allaying mistrust in the financial services sector in Australia. Despite the enormity of the report, nearly 1,000 pages with 24 entities and companies referred to civil and criminal proceedings, there is a consensus that the major financial corporations involved in the misconduct remain unscathed. In today’s post, Dr. Jonathon Louth examines the silences in this report, especially as it impacts the lives of Indigenous peoples living in rural and remote Australia. Based on his recent research with Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, he recommends expanding community and cultural literacies in the financial sector as one of the counter measures to tackle systematic dispossession and marginalisation of  vulnerable populations. This piece was originally published in The Conversation on 6 February 2019

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Young at ‘Art’: How community arts programs can promote thriving in young people

The recent release of the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2019 indicates that within the “community services” budget, federal spending on youth justice will be $842.4 million while the child protection services budget will reach $5.8 billion this year. What appears to be missing is significant funding on positive, community-based developmental programs for youth. In today’s post, social worker and professional dancer Anjelika Thwaites reports on the findings of her Honours thesis for Victoria University (and co-supervised by Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand) into the many benefits of investing in arts-based programs for young people.

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What can you do when policymakers ignore your evidence? Tips from the ‘how to’ literature from the science community

In this post, Paul Cairney and colleagues distil eight recommendations for promoting the use of evidence in policy making from 78 academic articles. But what if these recommendations are not enough? It’s OK, the authors also provide five additional resources to facilitate research impact in a policy context.

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Investing in a resilient generation

The University of Birmingham (UK) has launched a Policy Commission report calling for increased investment in the prevention of poor mental health. The report comes at a time when half of life-long mental health problems show their first signs by the age of 15, and three quarters by the age of 25, and evidence that the rates of mental health problems amongst young people are increasing. The Commission Report, therefore, identifies childhood and adolescence as a critical opportunity to prevent and promote better mental health. In this post, Karen Newbigging discusses the report and implications from this work.

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How could primary care services become more accessible and acceptable to vulnerable young people?

Mental health problems in young people are increasing. Suicide remains a leading cause of death in those aged 15-24 worldwide. The majority of mental health problems develop before the age of 25 but have their roots usually in childhood and teenage years. If left untreated, mental health problems can persist into adulthood with poorer prognosis and greater disability over the life course. In this blog post, Maria Michail, Jo Robinson, Tina Yutong Li, Sadhbh Byrne explore how primary care services can become more accessible and acceptable to vulnerable young people. This post has been co-produced with young people with lived experience of mental-ill health and highlights the importance of making primary care health services more accessible, acceptable and equitable for vulnerable young people.

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Inquiry into social impact investing for housing and homelessness in Australia

In his article for The Mandarin, David Donaldson reports on an inquiry into social impact investment (SII) for housing and homelessness, led by the Centre for Social for Impact. This inquiry, which was prepared for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, addresses three key questions:

  1. What is SII and how can it be applied to housing and homelessness policy in Australia?

  2. What are the actual, potential and perceived opportunities, risks and/or barriers of SII for housing and homelessness policy in Australia?

  3. How can SII be applied to housing policy in the Australian context?

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