Posts tagged evidence-based policy
The political arithmetic of social policy: A reflection on the Power to Persuade symposium 2019

Featuring the topic “The use and abuse of evidence in social policy” the 2019 Power to Persuade symposium was held last Thursday. The symposium showcased a range of expert speakers and panellists from government, the community sector and the research community. Below Professor Paul Smyth, one of the symposium panellists and a Power to Persuade Social Policy Whisperer provides his insights into this years symposium.

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Welfare 'activation' policies are counterproductive

Continuing her series of original posts on Australia's employment services system, Simone Casey (@SimoneCasey) of the RMIT Future Social Services Institute (@FutureSocialAU) discusses harm caused by the Targeted Compliance Framework (TCF) for income support on people in living in precarious financial situations. Her previous posts explore issues related to welfare conditionalityParentsNextmutual obligation; 'work first' activation of jobseekers; the growing presence of automation in Australia's welfare system and Work for the Dole.

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“You need to know what to do if you feel uncomfortable”: Why school-based sex education is important for all ages

While Victoria’s Respectful Relationships curriculum has had its critics, many believe primary prevention methods are the best way to move the dial on community attitudes to gender violence. In today’s policy analysis piece, Katrina Marson (@katrinaellen72) reviews the research in this area and reports on best practice with primary school-aged children in the U.K.

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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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Caught up in CDP’s punitive web: what remote women have to win (or lose) on May 18

Few Australians experience more pain from government policy than Indigenous populations, and too often it is Indigenous women who bear the brunt. In today’s federal election piece, Zoe Staines (@Zoettes) of The University of Queensland places a gender lens over the troubling Welfare to Work remote community incarnation known as the Community Development Programme, and explains how it differentially disadvantages women.

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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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Learning from feminist approaches to evidence based policy: The case of the Conflict Tactics Scale

The Women’s Policy Action Tank was established to place a gender lens over policies, many of which purport to be gender-neutral, because many policies are never subject to such a specific interrogation of gender blindness and effects. In today’s insightful piece, Lisa Carson (@LisaC_Research) of the Public Service Research Group at UNSW provides an overview of her co-authored piece (with Eleanor Malbon (@Ellie_Malbon) of the Public Service Research Group at UNSW & Sophie Yates (@MsSophieRae) of ANZSOG and UNSW), which provides a practical example of why analysing data and forming policy must be approached from the vantage point of those who are disenfranchised. Specifically, they argue that framing data, interpretation and application within the context of robust feminist theory allows for a more nuanced and complex analysis of policy impacts by taking on the flawed data analysis employed by men’s rights groups.  You can read their full open access article here.

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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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Navigating the path to financial security: Restoring safety for family violence victim/survivors

A new model of service delivery developed by WEstjustice in partnership with McAuley Community Services for Women is improving the financial security of family violence victim/survivors. In this post Stephanie Tonkin of WEstjustice discusses the extraordinary results being achieved through the Restoring Financial Safety project and recommendations for future policy action.

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Straightjacketing evaluation outcomes to conform with political agendas – an examination of the Cashless Debit Card Trial

The Cashless Debit Card Symposium was held at both the University of Melbourne and the Alfred Deakin Institute on Thursday, the 1st of February 2018. The Power to Persuade is running a series of blogs drawn from the presentations made on the day. In this piece, Susan Tilley of Uniting Communities shares the findings of a discourse analysis of the ORIMA evaluations of the Cashless Debit Card Trials (CDCT), reporting that the evaluations are deeply imbued with government ideology.     

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One-way, mutually constitutive, or two autonomous spheres: what is the relationship between research and policy?

Academics are increasingly exhorted to ensure their research has policy “impact”. But is this ambition predicated on an overly simplistic understanding of the policy process? Christina Boswell and Katherine Smith set out four different approaches to theorising the relationship between knowledge and policy and consider what each of these suggests about approaches to incentivising and measuring research impact.

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The hidden costs of research assessment exercises: the curious case of Australia

Research assessment exercises provide the government and wider public with assurance of the quality of university research, with the guiding principles being accountability, transparency, and openness. But is there the same accountability and openness when it comes to the public cost of these large-scale exercises? 

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Using “low-end” evidence in social policy: Case from Guangzhou, China

Governments value evidence-based policy; but are policy makers using all possible evidence to inform their decisions? Dr. Anna N. LiPostdoctoral Fellow at UNSW Canberra argues that "soft, qualitative, practice-based evidence can be used to better inform decision making by providing frontline, implementation information, which can increase the chance of policy success.

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Paul Cairney's 5-step strategy to make evidence count

Dr. Paul Cairney is Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Stirling in the UK and he has a message for us about how to make our evidence count. Paul is the author of The Politics of Evidence Based Policy Making (2016), which has already achieved cult status for politics enthusiasts worldwide. Read some of his insights in this week's blog post, originally posted on Paul's own blog.

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