Posts tagged data and evidence for advocacy
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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It’s about time: Time Use Survey returns to make unpaid work visible

According to the recently released Women's Economic Security Statement, increasing women’s workforce participation is an economic and social priority in Australia. To that end, the $109 million package, built around three pillars - workforce participation; earning potential; and financial independence - focuses on practical measures to effect positive change. We recently looked at the Statement's potential impacts on pillar 1 - workforce participation. In today’s analysis, Helen Dalley-Fisher and Hannah Gissane (@HannahGissane) of the Equality Rights Alliance Australia (@ERAAustralia) drill down to one of the specific measures announced in the package - the reinstatement of the Time Use Survey, and how it functions to make unpaid work visible to policy-makers. This piece was originally published by the Broad Agenda.

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Research Engagement and Impact: The rhetoric, the evidence, and the practice

Research engagement and impact. Everyone’s talking about it. The United Kingdom’s 2014 Research Excellence Framework included it. As announced in the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Australian Government now wants to see it. Dr Pauline Zardo with the Queensland University of Technology explores the implications for practice. 

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Awareness raising of Male eating disorders in the UK

NHS statistics released this week documented that eating disorders in men have increased by 70% in the UK, finding that these illnesses are rising at the same rate in young men as they are in young women. The media has been inundated with headlines discussing this rise in male eating disorders pointing towards causes such as social media and rise of body image pressures on men and boys within modern society as a way to understand this phenomenon. While there is no doubt that such issues may have an influence on such a sharp rise in men experiencing such illnesses, male eating disorders are not a new phenomenon, simply one that has been “underdiagnosed, undertreated, and misunderstood” (Strother, Lemberg & Tuberville, 2012). A study in 2007 estimated that up to 25% of individuals with eating disorders were male, with underdiagnoses being debated due to the low number of men within services.

Research into the reasons why people develop these illnesses have developed steadily in recent years with evidence suggesting that the similarities outweigh the differences between genders with regards to the core features and psychology of eating disorders. With treatment outcomes reported as equally successful for men as for women, Dr Una Foye asks the question remains why this “sudden” increase?

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When data science meets social sciences: the benefits of the data revolution are clear but careful reflection is needed

Social sciences can undoubtedly benefit from developments in computational tools for data collection and analysis, as well as the growing accessibility and availability of data sources. However, Marta Stelmaszak and Philipp Hukal flag the importance of continued careful reflection when using new forms of data and methods in this sphere, particularly reflection on and investigation of the mechanisms that generate and manipulate information up to the point of collection. It is this reflection and investigation, they argue, that sets social science apart from data science. This post was originally published on the LSE Impact Blog as part of its digital methodologies series. 

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Are women and care professions leading a new type of union politics?

Recent effective election campaigns by nurses and teachers may point the way to new industrial campaigning on issues that is led by women and will shift beyond the traditional union-Labor party dynamic, writes Ben Spies-Butcher in the post below.

It was originally published at the POP Politics Blog and is republished here with permission.

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Women's Policy Action Tank: women receive half the level of support through superannuation tax concessions than their male counterparts

It has been widely publicized that women’s superannuation accrual is significantly below their male counterparts' and often inadequate to support women in their retirement years.  This policy analysis identifies the current weaknesses in the legal structure and provides practical suggestions for rectifying the inequities. 

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From the frying pan into the fire: the risks for "hidden" children with disability in out of home care data, support

Children with disability may make up the majority of those in out of home care, yet they are barely visible in public debate and policy development, writes Dr Jess Cadwallader from People with Disability Australia. In fact, she says the recent National Standards for Out of Home Care contain zero guidance in relation to disability. She argues that a critical starting point to providing proper care for them is to at least collect basic and crucial data.

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Can debates on immigration be ‘evidence-based’? And should they be?

Discussion around immigration and asylum seekers in Australia has become increasingly populist and emotive and too often devalues evidence-based decision making. This piece by Professor Christina Boswell, originally published on her blog, explores how the immigration debate in the UK has evolved over time and how to develop a more nuanced and realistic conversation based on evidence and experience.

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The girl effect, or why being smart just isn't enough

The highly-publicised gender pay gap matters for reasons of equity and fairness, but also because women are disproportionately disadvantaged as a consequence.  Research and Policy Specialist Susan Maury, from Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, unpacks some of the reasons for gendered disparities as well as some actions that can be taken to mitigate them. 

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Letting the data tell a story on violence against women

ANROWS has released a new report detailing the extent of violence against women in Australia. Below, Dr Peta Cox provides an overview. We urge you to read the full report at

For a summary of the report and infographics for download, go to:

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The story of Dr Nigel Gray vs Big Tobacco: a masterclass in advocacy

Veteran tobacco control researcher Professor David Hill paid homage at the recent 2015 Oceanic Tobacco Control conference in Perth to his former colleague Dr Nigel Gray, regarded by many as the 'father of tobacco control globally as well as in Australia".

Here are excerpts from his tribute speech - it's a #Longread but provides so many great insights into research and advocacy.

Dr Nigel Gray with former Labor Health Minister Nicola Roxon

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Which parenting policy incentives increase gender equity at home? Insights from Europe

Leave entitlements for fathers can increase paternal involvement in housework and childcare but their longer-term impact on the gender division of labour in the home is contested. In this post, Pia Schober from the German Institute for Economic Research discusses policy movements concerning paternity leave in Europe and their outcomes in improving paternal involvement in household and care labour.

This item was originally posted on Policy Network.

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Making our Neighbourhood work: Exploring a new perspective in public housing

In this post, Alex Baumann, from University of Western Sydney, examines how programs aimed at 'empowering' or 'engaging' public housing tenants and other service users too often ignore the experience and perspective of the people they are intended to support, and how the failure of poorly designed or implemented programs is unfairly blamed on service users

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Environmental advocacy: what's the risk if tax status changes?

The advocacy work undertaken by civil society bodies including environmental organisations to create benefit for the whole society has long been recognisedin the charitable status given for taxation purposes. However, this status is periodically contested and in the current era is potentially facing new threats from the Inquiry commissioned by the Minister for the Environment. St Vincent de Paul’s Research and Legal Officer Rik Sutherland outlines the debate, and argues for the continuation of charitable status for environmental advocacy organisations.

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The cost of youth homelessness in Australia

In this blog, Dr Monica Thielking, Research Fellow at Swinburne University, takes us through the recently released report, The Costs of Youth Homelessness in Australia: Snapshot Report 1: The Australian Youth Homelessness Experience. This ground-breaking study offers profound insights into the experience of young people in Australia who are homeless and presents clear challenges for policy makers.

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The economics of abuse

Family violence is headline news in Victoria these days. The Victorian Labor Government has established a much-needed Royal Commission into the support system, including a review of the justice system, government, service organisations, police, corrections, and child protection, with the aim of decreasing instances, improving victim support, and ensuring perpetrators are held to account. Susan Maury, Policy and Research Specialist with Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, argues that, as the least-understood form of family violence, economic abuse needs to receive significant attention.

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Using International legal processes to influence government policy

Strategic participation in international legal processes can be extremely valuable for NGOs undertaking policy and law reform work. The Universal Periodic Review, a process of the United Nations Human Rights Council, is one method by which Australia’s human rights record is assessed on the international stage. Internationally and in Australia, the UPR is proving to be a useful mechanism for NGOs to engage with governments on issues of human rights and related law and policy. Anna Lyons, Senior Lawyer at Justice Connect Homeless Law  explains.

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Social Policy Whisperer: Harnessing the economy to the Good Society - a policy strategy for the church and community activists 2015

This is an excerpt from a talk given last night to Social Policy Connections AGM by Dr Paul Smyth (full paper will shortly be available on the SPC website ). It is a call to action for faith-based organisations and advocates, to come out unequivocally and assertively with the message that the Good Society is created in spaces and through narratives that the weakening PaleoLiberal rationale cannot reach or answer.

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