Non-use or misuse of evidence brings huge costs to citizens, by crowding out valuable alternatives as well as increasing the cost that citizens incur in order to get the best they can from services that could have been better designed.
In social services, institutions and politicians appear more likely to have a strong aversion to evaluation and continuous improvement practices that make transparent the imperfection inherent in their decisions and complicate managing political risk.
In the absence of comparable information from New Zealand, there is no doubt that the evidence, findings and reflections uncovered by the Australian Royal Commission should have a profound effect on thinking about child abuse here.
Child abuse has long been a hidden issue which has affected our ability to respond.
The Australian Royal Commission has released its report into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. The Families Commissioner looks at the lessons we can learn.
Whenever getting it wrong can adversely affect citizens as well as benefiting them when getting it right, there needs to be transparency and validation of a standard comparable to that well used in official statistics.
Superu has been just one of several developments of recent years aimed at lifting the evidence base for social services.
The 2016/17 year was one of two quite distinct parts. In the first part, the broad programme of Superu continued to advance apace during the first nine months of the year. Then, since April 2017, we have been in the process of disestablishment.
Social services involve interactions with people that can be fraught and complex: they are often based on partial knowledge of conditions and may involve many partners and inadequate responses. The quality of social services delivery is a vital and undervalued consideration in the selection of social policy choice. Continue reading
Some thoughts on what we need from our social services sector, the limitations imposed upon it and how using evidence and improving numeracy can help