Special issue: Gender, power and use of evidence in policy

Building on work that Gemma Carey and myself have previously done on the role for feminist theory in public policy, for this special issue we had the great privilege to work with Eva Cox on a special issue of the Australian Journal of Public Administration.  Titled gender, power and use of evidence in policy, we sought to bring a gender analysis and/or feminist lens to a diverse range of policy and public administration literature, ‘slanting’ how we perceive and understand them.

In 2015, Gemma and I curated an online special issue for the Australian Journal of Public Administration in which we surveyed research published in the journal archive relating to issues of gender and feminism. We found that two major silences exist in public administration concerning gender. The first is the place of women and gender equity within public service workforces. The second silence is the role that feminist theories could play in tackling contemporary public management challenges.  We argued that there are particular contributions that feminist theories could make in relation to topics such as collaboration, boundary-spanning and skill requirements for future public sector workers. From this work, we conceived a special issue dedicated to addressing these silences.

In 2016 we put out a call for papers to address this space. We challenged authors to not just consider gender in their work but also adopt and explore how a feminist approach might enhance work in their various domains of policy work. While feminist policy is not a new idea, we believe this collection provides a much-needed foray into the practical application of feminism across a breadth of policy work.  Reflecting a parallel process, we took a feminist approach to putting together this special issue. Rather than the traditional blind peer review process, all three editors reviewed each paper multiple times – working with authors to craft their research. The aim of this was to usurp the traditional authoritarian review process with a more constructive and collaborative practice. In doing so, we provided a robust peer-review process that paralleled the theoretical approaches reflective in the work included in this special issue.

The special issue includes any array of great papers including:

Ultimately we recognise that this is a long-term project. Like policy itself, change is often frustrating incremental when it comes to both the way we think about women and more broadly altering the paradigms in which we operate.

Advertisements

The NDIS and its impact on service providers

A few years back I was lucky enough to be part of  team who were funded to do some work exploring the impact that the NDIS is having on service providers.  The work was funded by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government and reported a little bit ago, but now the journal articles from this project are starting to emerge.

The first is in Health and Social Care in the Community and the abstract appears below:

As governments worldwide turn to personalised budgets and market‐based solutions for the distribution of care services, the care sector is challenged to adapt to new ways of working. The Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an example of a personalised funding scheme that began full implementation in July 2016. It is presented as providing greater choice and control for people with lifelong disability in Australia. It is argued that the changes to the disability care sector that result from the NDIS will have profound impacts for the care sector and also the quality of care and well‐being of individuals with a disability. Once established, the NDIS will join similar schemes in the UK and Europe as one of the most extensive public service markets in the world in terms of numbers of clients, geographical spread, and potential for service innovation. This paper reports on a network analysis of service provider adaptation in two locations—providing early insight into the implementation challenges facing the NDIS and the reconstruction of the disability service market. It demonstrates that organisations are facing challenges in adapting to the new market context and seek advice about adaptation from a stratified set of sources.

You can find the full article here.