Posts tagged Policy making
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.

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New wave conditionality and social supervision

In today's post, Dr Simone Casey (@simonecasey) discusses the ethics and efficacy of recent developments in welfare conditionality in Australia. This continues her series of posts examining topical issues in Australia's employment services system - ParentsNext; mutual obligation; 'work first' activation of jobseekers; and the growing presence of automation in Australia's welfare system. Dr Casey is an Associate of the RMIT Future Social Services Institute.

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Will the Coalition’s approach to gender equality actually improve women’s lives?

The Coalition’s purported ‘woman problem’ haunted this year’s federal election campaign, despite the party’s ultimate electoral success. Sue Williamson (@SWilliamsonUNSW) from the Public Service Research Group, UNSW Canberra argues the Coalition adopts a neoliberal or individualised approach to gender equality – while some positive initiatives have been introduced, these do not address the systemic issues that cause women’s disadvantage. (Reposted from The Conversation)

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Can Animal Assisted Therapies Help to Tackle Issues of Wellbeing and Mental Health?

The role of animals in supporting mental health and emotional wellbeing is probably not a modern phenomenon. Myers (1998) draws our attention to the book ‘De Canibus Britannicus’, written in the sixteenth century by Dr Cairs in which he advocated the therapeutic use of dogs and recommended that a person afflicted by illness should carry a small dog on their bosom to soak up the disease. In 1699 John Locke prescribed giving children small animals, including dogs, birds or even squirrels, to look after, in order to foster the development of ‘tender feelings and responsibility for others’ (Garforth, 1964, p.154).  The assumption was that this would help children to control their innately ‘beast like’ characteristics (Myers, 1998). In the first of her two guest posts this week on Power to Persuade, Dr Alison Broad the Director of Primary Initial Teacher Education examines the question – can animal assisted therapies help to tackle the issues of wellbeing and mental health?

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Time to work and time to care: Policy levers to enable gender equality

It can be argued that time is the crucial element in securing gender equality. Women work longer hours than men, but most of these hours are unpaid. Meanwhile, men spend increasingly long hours at work, resulting in promotions and pay rises unrelated to productivity or competence. In today’s federal election series, Sara Charlesworth of RMIT (@RMITCPOW) shares an overview of the Australian Work + Family Roundtable’s election benchmarks, which provides an evidence-based framework for addressing the root causes of inequalities.

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From the United Nations to the classroom: where is Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Australia?

The University of Queensland’s Romy Listo reports on the United Nations 63rd Commission on the Status of Women held 11-23 March in New York. She draws attention to the commitment on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) which is supported by Australian delegates. Despite support for these commitments by the Federal Government, in practice the actual implementation of CSE by Australian states and territories does not meet the inclusive and expansive ideals being championed. Investment and strategies are needed to bring the right to CSE into Australian classrooms.

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Using cognitive science research to redesign policy decision making systems

Climate change is back on the political agenda and public support for action on climate change is at its highest level since 2007. But can we expect our political institutions to be able to respond in the time and scale needed given their past failures? Rather than merely policy reform do we need to reform the system of government itself? In today’s post Celia Green and Andrew Joyce discuss how cognitive science research could be used in the redesign of our political institutions to enable better decision making processes.

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Different problems, same solutions: Using a social determinants of health approach to work cross-disciplinary and cross-sectorally

Bridging the evidence-policy gap is a recognised challenge for researchers and policy makers alike. In today’s blog post Hannah Badland, a Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, talks about the value of inter-sectoral partnerships to solve complex problems. Using the example of a new global framework, The New Urban Agenda, she discusses how agendas that draw on cross-sectoral collaborations can help advance policy action in complex policy areas such as the social determinants of health.

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How the Sustainable Development Goals can help change the way we evaluate Federal Budgets and election platforms

Election season is on us again, and Twitter feeds and daily news updates are full of potential elected leaders making policy promises and giving warnings about how the opposing parties won’t be able to bring us the Australia we need.

But how do we know what the Australia we need is? Depending on political leaning and personal values, this is going to vary from voter to voter. But when deciding on which policies to support, it can be useful to try and have a framework by which to evaluate platforms and the societies they are wishing to create. Megan Weier suggests that, if we want an Australia in which there is a ‘fair go for all’ (the classic Australian dream), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a useful benchmark to look to.

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Universal Basic Income could be an opportunity to re-think our relationship with work

Social policy influences our perceptions of the world. It determines which and how we address human needs and challenges. With a Federal election around the corner in Australia, this post looks at Universal Basic Income – one of the three main policies of a U.S. 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate – and asks: could it be an opportunity to reconsider what work means to us? This post was written by UNSW Scientia PhD scholar and Power to Persuade moderator Axelle Marjolin.

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