Posts tagged policy problem
Eligible for what? ParentsNext exemptions and the troubling tale of outsourced social security decision-making

Continuing her series of original posts on Australia's employment services system, Dr Simone Casey (@SimoneCasey) explores the implications of outsourced decision-making in social security through the lens of the ParentsNext program. Dr Casey is an affiliate of the RMIT Future Social Services Institute (@FutureSocialAU).

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Hope for the Honey Bee?

You may have noticed at your local common a place for wild flowers, attracting a mobile constellation of bees, butterflies, and a host of minibeasts. Honey bees mean different things to each of us: an excuse to reminisce on childhood crayoning, the producer of that delicious syrup we all enjoy as honey, or a symbol of order and harmony in nature. However, they also serve a critical environmental role as a major fruit and vegetable pollinator. In these days of economic and political uncertainty this may not be foremost in policy makers minds, however, bees are vital for our survival and are a living indicator of the health of our environment. In this post, Gino Abdul-Jabbar suggests with honey bees under threat that we need to direct our individual attention and garner collective policy support for the plight of the humble honey bee.

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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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How can retailers improve access and outcomes for consumers with cognitive disabilities?

In the wake of reports of service providers' poor conduct towards consumers with cognitive disabilities emerging from the Royal Commission into Banking, the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria and the Essential Services Commission, Dr Yvette Maker and Professor Jeannie Paterson from the University of Melbourne offer two sets of resources here to promote a ‘facilitative’ approach to contracting and consumer transactions for people who have difficulties (or perceived difficulties) with learning, concentrating on, processing, remembering, or communicating information, and/or with decision-making.This piece was originally published by the Consumer Policy Research Centre.

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Mitigating the child penalty: Policy problem or social norms?

The child penalty is a significant driver of the gender pay gap, which points to a solution through more progressive policies. Today’s analysis compares six OECD countries which reflect a range of progressive policies to support women into employment. The analysis highlights a powerful determinant of the gender pay gap external to policy solutions - social norms. This article originally appeared in VoxEU.org under the title “Child penalties across countries: Evidence and explanations”, and is authored by Henrik Klevin, Camille Landais, Johanna Posch, Andreas Steinhauer, and Josef Zeimüller.

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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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You don’t have to be stick thin to have an eating disorder

Imagine getting turned away for not having a broken-enough leg. There would be complete outrage, but yet for people with eating disorders this is happening on a day to day basis. People are turned away for not being “sick” enough. We know a healthy BMI is 18.5 or above but yet some places in the UK are turning people away if their BMI is about 14! In this post, Hope Virgo (the Author of Stand Tall Little Girl and Mental Health Campaigner) shares her experience and talks about her #DumpTheScales campaign.

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Whatever happened to a Law and Order State election?

Sensationalising youth crimes for political gain has been a mantra for politicians. Case in point, the recently conducted elections in Victoria where politicians of all stripes ensured gang violence was an election issue. But given that it is an election year for New South Wales, the lack of political and media voice surrounding law and order is deafening. Today’s blog contributor Dr. Elaine Fishwick (@elbowlass) tackles this issue (or lack thereof) locating it in larger worldwide trends and unravelling the present ‘policy moment’ we find ourselves in. Elaine is an academic scholar researching issues relating to human rights, social justice, access to justice, criminology, youth justice and public policy. 

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Increasing women’s workforce participation: An analysis of the Women’s Economic Security Statement

This week the Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer introduced the inaugural Women’s Economic Security Statement, saying “When women do well, their families do well, and our economy and nation prospers.” Arguments that link gender equality with family wellbeing and the national interest are gaining traction, but how well does the Statement and the supporting package of $109 million over four years actually support women’s economic participation and wellbeing? Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah) of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand (@GoodAdvocacy) unpack the details behind Pillar One – Workforce Participation.  

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The UK government’s terror strategy 'compromises the Mental Health Act and must be challenged'

Post 9/11 Islamophobia and the pathologisation of black people in the UK mental health context should be tackled as part of the ongoing Mental Health Act review, argue former psychiatrist Suman Fernando and researcher Tarek Younis in this post for re-published from Mental Health Today.

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What is Australia doing for Children and Families? The Voluntary National Review of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, Australia joined 193 other Leaders and Ministers in endorsing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While non-binding, Australia was an active participant in their negotiation and the government reports on progress voluntarily. In today’s post, Policy Whisperer Kay Cook (@KayCookPhD) summarises the government’s analysis of their progress to end poverty (SDG 1) and achieve gender equality (SDG 5), followed by a critique produced by the Academics Stand against Poverty network Oceania chapter. Anti-Poverty Week is an apt time to reflect on how the government frames the intersection of gender and poverty, and what needs to change in order to see real progress.

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Investing in a resilient generation

The University of Birmingham (UK) has launched a Policy Commission report calling for increased investment in the prevention of poor mental health. The report comes at a time when half of life-long mental health problems show their first signs by the age of 15, and three quarters by the age of 25, and evidence that the rates of mental health problems amongst young people are increasing. The Commission Report, therefore, identifies childhood and adolescence as a critical opportunity to prevent and promote better mental health. In this post, Karen Newbigging discusses the report and implications from this work.

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How could primary care services become more accessible and acceptable to vulnerable young people?

Mental health problems in young people are increasing. Suicide remains a leading cause of death in those aged 15-24 worldwide. The majority of mental health problems develop before the age of 25 but have their roots usually in childhood and teenage years. If left untreated, mental health problems can persist into adulthood with poorer prognosis and greater disability over the life course. In this blog post, Maria Michail, Jo Robinson, Tina Yutong Li, Sadhbh Byrne explore how primary care services can become more accessible and acceptable to vulnerable young people. This post has been co-produced with young people with lived experience of mental-ill health and highlights the importance of making primary care health services more accessible, acceptable and equitable for vulnerable young people.

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The un-intended consequences of the bizarre incentives catalysing the referral of mental health patients as radicalisation threats

One has to stretch the imagination to conceive that a new policy might result in health professionals in Britain considering whether to refer patients with mental health needs as radicalisation threats in order to gain quicker access to necessary support and services. In this post, Dr Chris Allen examines the un-intended consequences of the bizarre incentives catalysing the referral of mental health patients as radicalisation threats.

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New counter-terror rules give UK GPs bizarre incentives to refer mental health patients as radicalisation threat

Mental health trusts in England are now to play a vital role in processing the huge number of citizens referred under the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, known as Prevent. A new policy announced in November by the Home Office means urgent psychiatric care will now be provided by mental health trusts to those people with psychological problems who are referred to Prevent. But this will remove them from a pipeline of support under a programme called Channel, aimed at those suspected of radicalising. In this blog re-posted from The Conversation, Charlotte Heath-Kelly and Erzsebet Strausz debate GPs bizarre incentives to refer mental health patients as radicalisation threat.

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Improving Mental Health Support for Children in the Care of the UK State

There are complex policy and practice issues as well as tensions in where responsibility lies in relation to mental health needs of children in the care of the state in the UK.  Collaboration across many organisations and leadership from key individuals in the system are essential for the needs of these most vulnerable children to be better met. There is a moral imperative and a financial incentive to getting this right. Alison O’Sullivan explores the role of corporate parenting at a time of increased focus on meeting the mental health needs of children in the UK, making the case for improved mental health support for children in the care of the state as an important part of the solution. 

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The politics of the problem: How to use Carol Bacchi's work

In 1991 Carol Bacchi comprehensively introduced poststructuralism and social constructionism to policy studies with her book Women, Policy and Politics: The Construction of Policy Problems. It detailed an approach called ‘What’s the problem represented to be?’ and offers a different way of conceptualizing and understanding policy. Whilst usual approaches tend to treat policy as axiomatic or self-evident, Bacchi’s challenges the privileging of all forms of expertise and knowledge. For Bacchi, approaches to policy studies are ‘inherently political’ and  need to be treated as such.

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