Separating the facts from their meaning

If you have followed this Blog for any length of time you will know of my commitment to evidence-informed policy and advocacy, so you won’t be surprised that I like to share resources and thinking which promote those positions. Bernard-Henri Levy’s recent article in Project Syndicate, Google, Fake News, and the Crisis of Truth, is… Continue reading Separating the facts from their meaning

Real world policy – 3 Free eBooks

Further to my previous post about public engagement in policy deliberations, public policy advocates will be well aware of the debate over whether ‘evidence-based policy’ (EBP) takes sufficient account of political realities. Most of us who have engaged in this activity realise that our messages need to be sensitive to the values of the stakeholders… Continue reading Real world policy – 3 Free eBooks

Evidence vs Democracy

Our friends at The Alliance for Useful Evidence have just published another thought-provoking paper promoting improved public engagement in policy debate and policy-making – using forms of ‘participatory democracy’ to counter the resistance of populist movements to evidence which should inform decision making. The paper, Evidence vs Democracy: How ‘mini-publics’ can traverse the gap between citizens, experts, and… Continue reading Evidence vs Democracy

Social progress – we must do better

The Social Progress Index for 2018, shows that Australia slipped from 6th (Tier 1) to 15th (Tier 2) place between 2017 and 2018. Our lowest component scores were for: Inclusiveness Access to Advanced Education Health and Wellness Personal Freedom and Choice Environmental Quality Australia’s highest component scores related to: Nutrition and Basic Medical Care Water… Continue reading Social progress – we must do better

Should we make a submission?

Not-for-profit organisations often have opportunities to make submissions in response to inquiries and reviews, and many spend considerable effort in preparing and lodging responses to these. The question of whether to make a submission may best be addressed by reference to a few principles, framed as simple questions. We can learn from the Tasmanian Government… Continue reading Should we make a submission?

Seeking (policy) truth in a post-truth world

Progressive thinkers have given us valuable insights into the concept of ‘relative truth’, but we sometimes need to be reminded that not all truths are relative.  Regrettably, certain forces have co-opted the recognition of relative truth to label all truth as a personal matter, so that we now find inconvenient truths are labelled as ‘your… Continue reading Seeking (policy) truth in a post-truth world

About ‘Taking care of the present’

This blog title was borrowed from a comment by one of the greatest change agents of the modern era, Mahatma (Mohandas Karamchand) Gandhi. He said: “I do not want to foresee the future.  I am concerned with taking care of the present“. His point of course, was that all we ever have to work in is… Continue reading About ‘Taking care of the present’