The academic-practitioner divide in public management: and how to bridge it

In this post, Professor Jenny Stewart and Dr Fiona Buick from the Public Service Research Group reflect on the ever-present divide between academics and practitioners in public policy. They present a number of strategies to bridge the gap and provide the foundation for academics to undertake research that generates outcomes for both researchers and policymakers.

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A guide to setting up a What Works evidence centre and surmounting its challenges

The use of evidence in public policy decision-making is not new, though fully embedding the practice across the public sector has been challenging. On the eve of a trip to Australia to share the learnings from the UK What Works centres with interested government and philanthropic audiences, Jonathan Breckon (Director of The Alliance for Useful Evidence) joined with Dr Robyn Mildon (Executive Director of The Centre for Evidence and Implementation) to outline some common issues for anybody setting up a new evidence centre – and ideas on how to surmount them.

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Public schools actually outperform private schools, and with less money

Public funding of private schools has been a contentious issue in Australia. While those in favour of private schools receiving government funding sometimes claim that students studying in private institutions receive better education outcomes, analysis from Southern Cross University‘s David Zyngier and Monash University’s Pennie White seems to disagree.

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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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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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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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An evidence-informed framework for high-value program procurement by Primary Health Networks

Models of commissioning health and social services have been implemented across Australia and internationally. Thirty-one Primary Health Networks (PHNs) across Australia have responsibility for the commissioning of services across a geographical catchment, involving a phased process of needs assessment and insight; planning and delivery; and monitoring and evaluation. Professor Jon Karnon, Professor Gill Harvey, Professor Suzanne Robinson, Jade Hart and Kenneth Lo explore the considerations for what evidence-informed procurement means in practice, and current efforts underway to develop a framework to optimise high-value program procurement.

A summary of this research will be presented at a symposium at the Primary Health Care Research Conference, to be held at the Pullman Melbourne on the Park from 1-3 August 2018.

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