Posts in Service Delivery
Changing the global approach to youth mental health

In the past, the greatest health challenge for young people was to survive childhood. Thankfully, in most of the world this is no longer the case. However, the big health issue now for young people is mental health. Consulting with experts and stakeholders around the world, the Global Youth Mental Health Framework project will provide guidance for funders about the costs of investing, and the costs of not investing, in youth mental health. It also aims to produce a youth mental health care framework that is responsive to local needs, and a toolkit to help communities all over the world advocate for youth mental health services. On International Youth Day, Eóin Killackey outlined a new undertaking to make youth mental health a global priority.

Read More
Tracking the Financial Icebergs in Australia.

In today’s post Dr. Archana Voola, Research fellow at University of New South Wales, discusses the societal, community and individual levels factors playing a role in our everyday financial lives. The daily news media depicts stories about the debt crisis, housing un-affordability and sluggish wage growth. But what is actually happening behind these numbers? Who are the humans who make up the data? And what can we do about it? Archana uses her sociological imagination to uncover the icebergs in the financial seascape of Australia.

Read More
What do Aboriginal Australians want from their aged care system? Community connection is number one

Older Aboriginal Australians are considered one of the most vulnerable populations in the country as they are at greater risks for multiple chronic diseases while being less able to access culturally appropriate care.

In this post from The Conversation, Neuroscience Research Australia’s Tony Broe believes that an effective Indigenous aged care model must facilitate greater family and community involvement to improve the health outcomes of older Aboriginal Australians.

Read More
Adopting large-scale personalisation in the NDIS

The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has be challenging, with the scheme experiencing delays in budget allocation as well as the design and review of individual plans. But how can this be avoided for a service that, to be fit-for-purpose, requires a significant amount of client engagement and service personalisation?

In this article from The Mandarin, BIS Oxford Economics’s Flavio Souza explains why he believes adopting innovative approaches to client segmentation may be the answer.

Read More
Why Indigenous values matter for all public servants and all communities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples occupy a unique position as the first sovereign peoples of Australia. And while governments have been striving to improve their relationships with as well as their abilities to represent and provide services to Indigenous Australians, there is still a long way to go.

In this post, the Australia and New Zealand School of Government’s (ANZSOG) Aurora Milroy discusses why Indigenous values and culture should be embedded in the Australian Public Service (APS), and outlines practical solutions for helping the Commonwealth begin to reset its relationship with Indigenous peoples.

Read More
Report finds every $1 Australia spends on preschool will return $2, but this won’t just magically happen

Is Australia getting good return on investment in early childhood education? A report conducted by PwC for the Front Project finds that Australia is getting $2 back for every $1 spent on preschool.

While this statistic is important, Jen Jackson of Victorian University’s Mitchell Institute argues that we need to examine and invest in the complex chain of events that in order for the country to reap the two-for-one return.

This article was originally published in The Conversation.

Read More
Looking after loved ones with mental illness puts carers at risk themselves. They need more support

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System - the first of its kind in Australia - is looking into ‘[accelerating] improvements in access to mental health services, service navigation and models of care.’ One element of the mental health care system, which is often overlooked, is help for informal carers that support those who have mental illness.

In this article originally published in The Conversation, the University of Newcastle’s Jaelea Skehan and Sally Fitzpatrick explain the emotional labour involved in caring, the case for preventing their psychological distress, and the policy setting that government needs to enhance carers’ wellbeing and prevent the onset of mental health issues of their own.

Read More
Putting value creation back into public value

While value creation has long been discussed in the private sector, the concept of value creation by the public sector is largely absent. Until recently there has been no clear role for the public sector to create value itself – the term ‘public value’ does not even exist in economics. However a new paper by Mariana Mazzucato and Josh Ryan-Collins at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose proposes ways that public value can be created using a theory of collective public value creation. This article orginally appeared in The Mandarin and is authored by Maria Katsonis.

Read More
Feminist theory and Australia’s care and support sector

Australian policymakers will need to take critical action in response to the care crisis revealed by coverage of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the lead up to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Laura Davy (@LauraKDavy) from the Public Service Research Group, UNSW Canberra, discusses how feminist ethics and feminist economics can inform workforce investment strategies into the future.

Read More
Automating Inequality – the Australian way

In recent weeks, Dr Simone Casey (@simonecasey) has examined issues in Australia's employment services system in a series of posts covering the ParentsNext program; mutual obligation; and 'work first' activation of jobseekers. This week, she tackles the growing influence of algorithms and increasing automation in Australia's welfare system, drawing on Virginia Eubanks' book Automating Inequality. Dr Casey is an Associate of the RMIT Future Social Services Institute.

Read More
Private prisons: Are they really cheaper, better and more accountable?

Victoria has recently committed to spending a whole lot more on prisons and corrections to accommodate its growing prison population. As Deirdre O’Neill, Valarie Sands and Graeme Hodge of Monash University report, Victoria relies more heavily on privatised prisons than anywhere else in the country, but lack of transparency makes it frustratingly difficult to tell whether privatisation has delivered on its promises of cheaper, better and more accountable. This post is based on their recent article in the Australian Journal of Public Administration.

Read More
Does tree-shaking work? Evidence based policy and welfare conditionality

This article from Dr Simone Casey explores why Australia’s Mutual Obligation requirements are so demanding and whether this is based on evidence about what works. It asks why critical research evidence has not received more attention from Australia ‘s activation policy makers. She argues that lack of engagement with critical social research is a limitation which hampers social justice efforts and reflects disregard for social suffering, and says there is plenty of room for stronger engagement with participatory policy design approaches. Dr Casey is an Associate of the RMIT Future Social Services Institute.

Read More