How should academics interact with policy makers? Lessons on building a long-term advocacy strategy

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.

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Using “low-end” evidence in social policy: Case from Guangzhou, China

Governments value evidence-based policy; but are policy makers using all possible evidence to inform their decisions? Dr. Anna N. LiPostdoctoral Fellow at UNSW Canberra argues that "soft, qualitative, practice-based evidence can be used to better inform decision making by providing frontline, implementation information, which can increase the chance of policy success.

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Random drug testing won’t help unemployed people find a job or overcome addiction

The Australian Government announced in its 2017 budget that it would trial random drug-testing of recipients of the Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance in three locations from January 2018. Evidence suggests this approach will neither help people overcome addiction or find a job. Drawing on her recent article in the Australian Journal of Public Administration, Dr Sue Olney from the Public Service Research Group at UNSW Canberra explains why this is bad policy.

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