CREATING AND USING EVIDENCE
A ground-breaking faith-based program in the Pacific seems to be having significant, and hopefully longer-term, impacts on men’s violence and abuse, with several important lessons for similar programs elsewhere, writes Miranda Forsyth, ANU Pacific Institute Convener and Associate Professor at ANU’s School of Regulation and Global Governance.
In today’s post Dr. Archana Voola, Research fellow at University of New South Wales, discusses the societal, community and individual levels factors playing a role in our everyday financial lives. The daily news media depicts stories about the debt crisis, housing un-affordability and sluggish wage growth. But what is actually happening behind these numbers? Who are the humans who make up the data? And what can we do about it? Archana uses her sociological imagination to uncover the icebergs in the financial seascape of Australia.
Recent research published by Melbourne Law School offers new insight into the contrasting circumstances of men and women in bankruptcy. In it, Lucinda O’Brien, Professor Ian Ramsay and Associate Professor Paul Ali, each from Melbourne Law School find that public data does not fully reflect the differences between men and women in the bankruptcy system, or the extent to which women’s bankruptcies are caused by gender-specific factors.
It’s a term widely used by politicians, educators, and the media in the UK to describe Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups – but we need to be wary of using ‘BAME’, especially within a public health context. Dr Sandhya Duggal draws on her doctoral research to reflect on some of the key issues associated with the term ‘BAME’, with reference to the Indian Punajabi community. Her work highlights two key recommendations – the importance of recognising heterogeneity and multi-generational differences – something ‘BAME’ fails to acknowledge.
The role of animals in supporting mental health and emotional wellbeing is probably not a modern phenomenon. Myers (1998) draws our attention to the book ‘De Canibus Britannicus’, written in the sixteenth century by Dr Cairs in which he advocated the therapeutic use of dogs and recommended that a person afflicted by illness should carry a small dog on their bosom to soak up the disease. In 1699 John Locke prescribed giving children small animals, including dogs, birds or even squirrels, to look after, in order to foster the development of ‘tender feelings and responsibility for others’ (Garforth, 1964, p.154). The assumption was that this would help children to control their innately ‘beast like’ characteristics (Myers, 1998). In the first of her two guest posts this week on Power to Persuade, Dr Alison Broad the Director of Primary Initial Teacher Education examines the question – can animal assisted therapies help to tackle the issues of wellbeing and mental health?
Maiy Azize explains the important lessons of Anglicare Australia ‘s recent study of attitudes towards welfare and poverty for how anti-poverty advocates can use language effectively. Boldly stating our support for all people in poverty, as well as focussing on their strength and resilience are two key recommendations.
Maiy Azize of Anglicare Australia explains how her recent study of social attitudes shows that Australians are surprisingly empathetic towards people in poverty - and how anti-poverty advocates can campaign and win.
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.
Scholars have, for decades, suggested that organisational amnesia can negatively impact the effectiveness of government agencies. So why do they forget? Maria Katsonis has summarised the findings of Alastair Stark (University of Queensland) for why public institutions may be unable - or unwilling - to access and/or use past experiences to help deliver better public outcomes.
In this post, Zoe Callis, Ami Seivwright, and Paul Flatau of the Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia write about the practice of outcome measurement in Western Australia, including its facilitators and barriers. This media release provides a snapshot of the major findings, but readers are encouraged to peruse the entire series. Their research suggests that while efforts to measure social outcomes has increased in the last year, the actual practice has decreased. The main barrier? Funding. But, there are others…