CREATING AND USING EVIDENCE
Housing First is an approach to address homelessness that prioritises providing permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness. Here Professor Sarah Johnsen from Heriot Watt University in the UK reflects on what it is about Housing First that fosters such positive housing (and other) outcomes.
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.
Research assessment exercises provide the government and wider public with assurance of the quality of university research, with the guiding principles being accountability, transparency, and openness. But is there the same accountability and openness when it comes to the public cost of these large-scale exercises?
Governments value evidence-based policy; but are policy makers using all possible evidence to inform their decisions? Dr. Anna N. Li, Postdoctoral 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.
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.
Economist Nicholas Gruen looks at problems with various attempts to measure wellbeing and the struggle to get from noble principles to practical outcomes. This is a repost from the Mandarin of a part three of Nicholas Gruen’s essay series about the difficulty of translating policy into outcomes. Read part one, on wellbeing frameworks, and part two on commonsense hacks government could use to bolster Australians’ wellbeing.
While it is widely acknowledged that the Internet has many positive aspects, it may be used by some individuals to engage in illegal behaviour. Durkin (1997) suggested four different ways in which the Internet may be misused by individuals who have a sexual interest in children: (a) exchanging child sexual abuse material; (b) identifying potential victims for sexual abuse in the physical world; (c) engaging in inappropriate sexual communication; and (d) corresponding with like-minded individuals. The ‘engagement in appropriate sexual communication’ involves offenders accessing Internet communication platforms (ICPs) to approach children and initiate conversations with them, which may develop into interactions in which offenders incite them to engage in sexually explicit talk and/or activities. As part of such interactions, offenders may request sexual images and exposure via webcam. This is commonly referred to as ‘online sexual grooming’. The following blog post explores the cutting edge research of Dr Juliane Kloess at the University of Birmingham, and looks at what we know about offenders, and what can be done to support young people around awareness of the risks of online abuse.
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.
'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.
Last week’s Power to Persuade symposium led to fascinating discussion about how evidence feeds into public policy and the impact of post-truth political culture. Stephen Easton writes that policymakers have always seen multiple truths, and not everyone believes the widely-understood term describes a genuinely new phenomenon. This article originally appeared in The Mandarin.