Today’s post is by Chloe Duncan from the Public Service Research Group, UNSW Canberra, and it explores how the personal identity and experiences of policy practitioners and service providers can inform their practice in profound ways. Based on PhD research into the implementation of breastfeeding policy in Victoria, it suggests that the ability to draw on multiple perspectives, both professional and personal, can allow policy implementers to overcome significant challenges in their work by devising creative and innovative solutions to problems.Read More
Calls for management of the NDIS market are increasing rapidly as the scheme progresses. There have been a number of high-profile calls for better market stewardship for the many NDIS markets and sub-markets nationally, most recently the market readiness report from the Joint-Standing Committee on the NDIS. Social researchers Gemma Carey and Eleanor Malbon highlight how the NDIA can detect market deficiencies and what strategies it can use to address them.Read More
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.Read More
Public sector innovation (PSI) units have spread rapidly across government departments in Australia and New Zealand in recent years, and an ANZSOG-funded research project is providing the first analysis of their structures and operations. The project's first report features results from a survey of 52 PSI units and teams, conducted this year by Dr Michael McGann, Professor Jenny Lewis, and Dr Emma Blomkamp, from Melbourne University’s Policy Lab.Read More
In his article for The Mandarin, David Donaldson reports on an inquiry into social impact investment (SII) for housing and homelessness, led by the Centre for Social for Impact. This inquiry, which was prepared for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, addresses three key questions:
What is SII and how can it be applied to housing and homelessness policy in Australia?
What are the actual, potential and perceived opportunities, risks and/or barriers of SII for housing and homelessness policy in Australia?
How can SII be applied to housing policy in the Australian context?
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.Read More
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.Read More
'Naive optimism' and mistaken beliefs about improved efficiency and cost savings are major drivers of the adoption of government ‘one stop shops’, a recently published review paper has found. Misplaced expectations about cost savings don’t just influence decisions but can be damaging, as governments pre-emptively cut budgets and leave new projects without enough money, argues Dr Cosmo Howard in ANZSOG's open access Evidence Base journal.Read More
Australia offers an interesting analogue for England in thinking about how mental health treatment and illness prevention might develop. Inevitably there are limitations on what can be learnt and what can be transferred, but there are lessons. In the post below, Professor Paul Burstow looks at what Australia's approach to mental health can teach the English.Read More
Scholars of public policy often seek to explain how particular policy ideas catch on. What is it that makes some ideas fly, and others flop? For social policy advocates, this is a crucial question. In this post, ANZSOG researcher Jo Luetjens suggests that understanding the role of the policy entrepreneur, and the strategies they use to create change, can help move us toward more effective advocacy strategies.Read More
Implementation of almost any policy now requires actions and engagement across multiple organisational domains with government, public, private and community partners. In today's post, Gemma Carey, Helen Dickinson and Sue Olney look to feminist theory for new ideas on how policy actors can navigate and influence the dynamic and increasingly complex policy implementation environment.Read More
Distrust between government and citizens goes both ways, but deliberative democracy offers opportunities in this age of individualism. The convenors of SA’s citizens’ juries, Emily Jenke and Emma Lawson consider how government can recover the trust of citizens.Read More
There are so many policies that intersect at the level of the family, which either enable or create barriers to active workforce participation while also ensuring family needs are met. Today’s Scorecard summarises what the major issues are for families, gender equity in the workforce, an ageing population, and carer duties. This synopsis is backed by a comprehensive document created by the Work + Family Policy Roundtable, comprised of over 30 academics from 16 research institutions. This analysis was first published in The Sydney Morning Herald on 30 May, 2016.Read More
Continuing our theme of gender equality, childcare and relevant policy levers, this post reports on research that looks at the decisions Australian couples make about work and childcare after having their first child. George Argyrous (ANZSOG), Lyn Craig (UNSW) and Sara Rahman (ANZSOG) studied time-use data to see what impact earnings, gender role attitudes and other factors had on who went back to work, how much each partner worked, and who looked after the child. Unsurprisingly, they found a fairly traditional picture of work and home life!Read More
In this post, Asit Biswas and Julian Kirchherr outline how and why academic entrepreneurship is a key part of impact in the modern university. The ‘social policy entrepreneur’ fits squarely in that picture. However, Asit and Julian argue, we need a shift in incentives to unleash the creative potential of scholars for the overall benefit of society.
In many ways, 'evidence-based policymaking' is the bureaucrat's new black. But what, really, does it mean? Where does it fit in the broader policymaking process? And how 'realistic' do we need to be to use it in practice? Below, Paul Cairney explores these issues in the UK context. This post originally appeared on his personal blog and is accompanied by a longer lecture on the subject (listen) Paul is a Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Stirling, you can follow him on twitter at @Cairneypaul.Read More
Luke Craven (@Luke Craven) from the University of Sydney, and a new moderator with Power to Persuade, considers what political theory can offer to our understanding of social policy. In particular, he argues that political theorists are uniquely placed to understand the ideas and values that underpin evidence-based policy.Read More
It is edited by by Brian Head, right, Professor of Policy Analysis at the University of Queensland and Kate Crowley, Associate Professor of Public Policy at the University of Tasmania, and recently launched by ANU public policy professor Andrew Podger. See his speech here, via The Mandarin, and the editors' blog post: Policy analysis in Australia: complexities, arenas, and challenges.Read More