What can academics learn from how civil society organisations and NGOs approach policy impact? Julia Himmrich (@juliahimmrich) argues that academics have a lot to gain from embracing the practices of long-term advocacy. Advocacy is about establishing relationships and creating a community of experts both in and outside of government who can give informed input on policies. Being more aware of the political aspects of research can help academics understand and re-evaluate their own arguments about the impact of research.
Stalking as a phenomenon has been noted in human behaviour for well over a century. References to obsessive behaviour and the need to retain intimacy with another person can be seen in the writing of Victorian author, Louise May Alcott, who wrote Little Women. In her novel, A Long Fatal Love Chase, a woman is chased across the seas for years by her estranged husband, until he mistakenly kills her whilst trying to murder her new partner. Holding her dead body in his arms, the ‘stalker’ then kills himself and as he does so he says “Mine first - mine last – mine even in the grave!” This obsession to the point of murder is not a sensational, fictitious idea but a behaviour which is worryingly still prevalent within our society in 2017. In this blog post Victoria Charleston, Policy Officer at Suzy Lamplugh Trust explores stalking and potential implications for policy.
As part of the recently-held Women's Policy Forum, Jesuit Social Services CEO Julie Edwards and GetUp!'s Human Rights Campaign Director Shen Narayanasamy engaged in a conversation that explored the intersection between policy change and campaigning. Jesuit Social Services’ Policy and Advocacy volunteer Jemima Hoffman recaps the presentation, in a blog that originally appeared on the Jesuit Social Services website.
The Federal Government is expanding its pilot of ParentsNext, a compliance-based program to assist young parents – mostly mothers – to become employment-ready. While in principle a program of this type is most welcome, the quiet way in which the Department of Employment is rolling this out and its lack of a strong evidence base is concerning.
In the context of Anti-Poverty Week this, it is critical to ask whether these types of policies are actually creating greater vulnerability to poverty, rather than supporting people out of it.
In this blog, Juanita McLaren (@defrostedlady) and Policy Whisperer Susan Maury (@SusanMaury), both of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, summarise some of the points contained in their submission on this program.
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.
Today, Jasmine Ozge, a PhD candidate at RMIT living with disability, discusses the conjectural nature of disability, why disability is a strength, and the benefits of an inclusive society.
Bars, gyms, the homes of friends and all the places that community life happens; it’s no secret they are often inaccessible for people with disabilities. The NDIS funds individual packages and community linkages to reduce this social exclusion. Jen Hargrave from Women with Disabilities Victoria says the fledgling scheme may need external architecture to increase social inclusion.
A growing number of organisations have explicitly supported the campaign for marriage equality in Australia. But as the debate has gathered momentum and a degree of heat in some quarters, some organisations have chosen to refrain from taking a public position, viewing the issue as one of personal conscience. In this adapted evidence review, Jason Rostant briefly outlines the public health case for health, community sector and other NGOs taking a public stance in support of marriage equality.
This week we'll be posting the audio and graphic recordings from last month's Power to Persuade symposium held at ANU in Canberra. Jessamy Gee from Think in Colour attended the symposium and produced wonderful visual representations of each session. The keynote speaker for the day was Professor Gillian Triggs, whose presentation featured in various national media publications. Listen to Prof Triggs and see her graphic recording here!
Between 1907 and 2005, Australian deaths by infectious disease declined markedly. Now, chronic and ‘lifestyle’ diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity-related disease, and chronic respiratory conditions are dominant and account for as much as 90% of all deaths in Australia. Geoff Browne explores health equity as a collective choice.
Research engagement and impact. Everyone’s talking about it. The United Kingdom’s 2014 Research Excellence Framework included it. As announced in the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Australian Government now wants to see it. Dr Pauline Zardo with the Queensland University of Technology explores the implications for practice.
In the UK in particular, but also in Australia, debate about mental health and mental illness are increasingly appearing on political agendas and appearing in the mainstream media. Whilst there is a concerted effort to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness, mental health and illness remain largely located in health focused policy debates. In the post below, Dr Sarah-Jane Fenton looks at why mental health is a topic pertinent to all contemporary public policy, and uses highlights from recent blog posts to show how embedding understanding of mental health issues should be central to all policy maker’s agendas.
NHS statistics released this week documented that eating disorders in men have increased by 70% in the UK, finding that these illnesses are rising at the same rate in young men as they are in young women. The media has been inundated with headlines discussing this rise in male eating disorders pointing towards causes such as social media and rise of body image pressures on men and boys within modern society as a way to understand this phenomenon. While there is no doubt that such issues may have an influence on such a sharp rise in men experiencing such illnesses, male eating disorders are not a new phenomenon, simply one that has been “underdiagnosed, undertreated, and misunderstood” (Strother, Lemberg & Tuberville, 2012). A study in 2007 estimated that up to 25% of individuals with eating disorders were male, with underdiagnoses being debated due to the low number of men within services.
Research into the reasons why people develop these illnesses have developed steadily in recent years with evidence suggesting that the similarities outweigh the differences between genders with regards to the core features and psychology of eating disorders. With treatment outcomes reported as equally successful for men as for women, Dr Una Foye asks the question remains why this “sudden” increase?
Collaboration remains the ‘go to’ or ‘gold-star’ strategy as governments, business and community look to connect people, break down silos, cross boundaries, build partnerships and generate collective impact. All of which leads to collaborative advantage. It is likely that this preference will continue well into the future. The allure of collaboration is seen as self-evident: by leveraging the synergies formed from working together, innovation is possible, new knowledge is built, and complex, intractable social and economic problems can be resolved. In addition to these social benefits are the expected cost savings to be had from working in more connected or integrated ways. Robyn Keast*, Michael Charles* and Piotr Modzelewski** discuss the cost of collaboration.
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.