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.

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We are creating new inequities around PrEP HIV Prevention

When the debate about public funding for PrEP started up, I was concerned that it would go down the same path as PEP — with a set pool of funding, left to state/territory governments to administer, with de facto rationing based on sexual risk, and only available from a set number of locations. So my own position on PrEP was that it needed to be funded via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and not rationed.

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Citizens are happier in countries where the government intervenes more frequently in the economy

What types of public policy promote greater happiness among citizens? Many governments justify pro-market policies on the basis of offering their citizens ‘choice and control’. Today’s post by Patrick FlavinAlexander C. Pacek and Benjamin Radcliff presents results from an analysis of survey data across 21 industrialised democracies between 1981 and 2007. They find that in countries where governments intervene more frequently in the economy, insulating citizens from market fluctuations, there is a higher degree of self-reported happiness among citizens. While the authors note that these findings cannot strictly be taken as evidence that social democratic policies are better in a normative sense overall, the results suggest that more research is needed on the impact of a country’s political context on the happiness of its citizens. This article was originally published on the LSE EUROPP - European Politics and Policy – blog.

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Can we have a pro-community welfare state without the big society bullshit?

In this blog Simon Duffy explores the question of how to narrow the gap between public services (the official welfare state) and the community. He asks whether it is possible for use to develop a pro-community welfare state, one which works in harmony with its citizens, not against them.

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Reform and the (not so) new role of stewardship

Australian reform discussions have of late focused around some seemingly new language and ideas concerned with stewardship and commissioning.  This is being touted as a fundamental change in what government does, but what does this actually mean and will it really lead to significant reform? Helen Dickinson asks these questions and more in our latest post.

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