Posts in Innovation
Men’s behaviour change programs: good news and lessons from the Pacific

A ground-breaking faith-based program in the Pacific seems to be having significant, and hopefully longer-term, impacts on men’s violence and abuse, with several important lessons for similar programs elsewhere, writes Miranda Forsyth, ANU Pacific Institute Convener and Associate Professor at ANU’s School of Regulation and Global Governance.   

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Multiple perspectives and policy innovation: The potential creativity of implementing policy across roles and sectors

Today’s post is by Chloe Duncan from the Public Service Research Group, UNSW Canberra, and it explores how the personal identity and experiences of policy practitioners and service providers can inform their practice in profound ways. Based on PhD research into the implementation of breastfeeding policy in Victoria, it suggests that the ability to draw on multiple perspectives, both professional and personal, can allow policy implementers to overcome significant challenges in their work by devising creative and innovative solutions to problems. 

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Childcare dreaming: a vision for early childhood care

Childcare policy is always fraught, because so many people want it to be better, but everyone has their own ideas about what is needed. Yarrow Andrew, who worked for 15 years in long day childcare as an educator, before beginning a research career investigating early childhood education gives us some ideas about how to reform the sector.

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Co-production and innovation - creating better solutions for future public service implementation

The Public Service Research Group at UNSW Canberra (PSRG) recently launched a timely Issues Paper on co-production and innovation by Dr Linda Dewey, Professor Deborah Blackman and Professor Helen Dickinson. The paper is the third in a series produced by PSRG offering contemporary research-based thinking about topical themes for public services and the public administration community. In today’s post, Dewey, Blackman and Dickinson call for more diverse approaches to evaluate whether co-production is either capable of, or actually delivering, anticipated innovation results.

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A Cooperative-led NDIS? The potential of member-run organisatations

Gillian McFee, from the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals writes about a quiet yet noticeable revolution shaping the NDIS landscape, which may increase choice and control for NDIS participants, their families and carers. It it the rise of the member-run organisations such as co-operatives. Repost from Disability Services Consulting.

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Before replacing a carer with a robot, we need to assess the pros and cons

In this article, republished from the Conversation today, Associate Professor Helen Dickson from the Public Service Research Group at UNSW and Dr Catherine Smith from the University of Melbourne discuss their recent research published today by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. The authors discuss the pros and cons of automation and say that the governments need to carefully plan for the inevitable expansion of new technologies to safeguard vulnerable people.

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To drive innovation, Australia must boost rather than curb investment in humanities and social science research

During the Senate Estimates on 25th October 2018, Labor Senator for Victoria, Kim Carr, revealed on Twitter that then minister for education and training, Simon Birmingham, rejected 11 funding grants recommended by the Australian Research Council (ARC) in 2017 and 2018. The grants, all for funding in the humanities, amounted to a combined total of A$4.2 million, including A$1.4m in discovery grants. The decision has been widely condemned in Australia and overseas as undermining confidence in Australia’s highly competitive and rigorous peer-review system.

In the post below, social science researcher and Power to Persuade moderator, Dr. Brigid Trenerry, summaries key reports in Australia and overseas and reflects on how the recent ministerial veto could harm innovation and technological change, where Australia must boost rather than curb investment in social science and humanities research.

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Flexible working: innovations and issues

Australia’s Fair Work Act 2009 provides employees in the national workplace relations system with a legal right to request flexible working arrangements. And while this practice is welcomed by employers, it may be more difficult to implement in practice. UNSW Canberra’s Public Service Research Group academics Dr Sue Williamson and Dr Meraiah Foley, as well as Central Queensland University’s Dr Linda Colley, explain some of the policy’s innovations and challenges experienced by employers when they assist employees in achieving balance between work and their personal lives.

This article was originally published on The Mandarin.

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Developing and recruiting the future public servant

Public service workforce reform has been on the minds of public administrators, especially in light of high profile reviews such as the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service. UNSW Canberra’s Public Service Research Group academics Professor Deborah Blackman, Dr Samantha Johnson, Associate Professor Helen Dickinson and Dr Linda Dewey delve into this issue in greater detail from a development and recruitment perspective. They suggest that there are four distinct elements in social learning that can serve as a framework for building workforce capability and supporting change within the public service.

A full version of their thoughts can be found in Reimagining the Future Public Service Workforce.

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Back-to-back MoGs induce ‘dysfunction’, warns APS review submission

Professor Deborah Blackman, Associate Professor Helen Dickinson, Dr Karen Gardner, Dr Fiona Buick, Dr Samantha Johnson and Dr Sue Olney from UNSW Canberra’s Public Service Research Group believe that machinery of government changes are often poorly planned, disruptive and costly. Their APS review submission outlines five priority areas for reform.

This article was originally published on The Mandarin.

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How do public sector innovation units work in practice?

Public sector innovation (PSI) units have spread rapidly across government departments in Australia and New Zealand in recent years, and an ANZSOG-funded research project is providing the first analysis of their structures and operations. The project's first report features results from a survey of 52 PSI units and teams, conducted this year by Dr Michael McGann, Professor Jenny Lewis, and Dr Emma Blomkamp, from Melbourne University’s Policy Lab.

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It’s time for Australia to think bigger on big data

In the new age of big data, firms are gathering comprehensive information about consumers - transaction and consumption data, browsing history, social network, or location data - that is increasingly tipping the scales in the firms' favour. In this post, Lauren Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Policy Research Centre,  reflects on the need to broaden our understanding of consumer data issues in Australia, beyond establishing a Consumer Data Right and the Review into Open Banking. This piece was originally published in The Mandarin.

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A Universal Basic Income may be a good idea, but... we will still need social security that works

The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) is gaining traction in Australia and around the globe. While a UBI has the potential to lift people and communities out of poverty, Michael Fletcher from the Aukland University of Technology warns us that it is not a panacea; government still needs to provide comprehensive services and tailored support. This policy analysis originally appeared on the New Zealand web site Briefing Papers, and can be viewed here.

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