Improving the effectiveness of social services

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

Looking back to look ahead – prospects for the next generation

The challenge of social investment against a backdrop of demographic, social and political change in New Zealand.

Our early lives shape much of our life course, and the way we then go on to influence later generations. Families and community play significant parts in this, as does the state, particularly through health, housing, education, justice and income support policies, but also through employment and tax policies and facilitation of social services. Continue reading

The power of moving evidence into action

Superu’s annual Evidence to Action conference in mid-June gave me plenty of food for thought. My end-of-conference summary, which is reproduced below, was informed by the speakers – Dr Sarah Morton of What Works Scotland, Karen Field from drummond street services in Melbourne, Prof Stuart McNaughton, the Chief Education Science Advisor, Dr Monique Faleafa of Le Va and MSD’s Regional Commissioner in Northland Eru Lyndon. Continue reading

Using what we know to get the best results

What makes us who we are? How can we know what it takes to ensure that every child gets the best start in life? How can we help policy developers make the best decisions for the wellbeing of Kiwi kids? Our answer is simple but, at the same time, complex: we study them. And we do it over a long period of time.

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It’s still not OK

The reported abusive behaviour of members of the Chiefs rugby team towards the lone woman who they invited to their year-end party as an entertainer, and the knee-jerk follow up reaction by New Zealand Rugby, highlights the importance of the “It’s Not OK!” and other campaigns against harm in families. Continue reading