Articles on Public policy

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Of 1082 Indigenous specific. programs identified in the report, 92% have never been evaluated to see if they are achieving their objectives. AAP/Dan Peled

How to get a better bang for the taxpayers’ buck in all sectors, not only Indigenous programs

A new report highlights how little we know about what works and what doesn't when it comes to publicly-funded Indigenous programs. It's a similar story in other policy areas – but we can do better.
Jumping to conclusions. Does GDP mislead us? Antoine Gady/Flickr

The science of happiness can trump GDP as a guide for policy

Our feelings of self-worth and contentment are no longer the preserve of writers and artists. Science has made measurement of our well-being a viable alternative to the banalities of economic output.
Research shows that elevated rail, like this design for Moreland station, has many advantages. Evelyn Hartojo, Melbourne School of Design

The ‘sky rail’ saga: can big new transport projects ever run smoothly?

Elevated rail to remove level crossings, done properly, has many benefits – and the alternatives are more disruptive and costly. But announcing projects with little consultation is asking for trouble.
Common Core is being debated on social media on an unprecedented scale. The #Commoncore Project.

Twitter takes center stage in Common Core debate

Social media is being actively used in the public debate on Common Core, with an unprecedented 35,000 to 40,000 tweets each month.
Safe injection facilities (SIFs) offer clean syringes, bandages and antiseptics to drug users. SIFs reduce overdose deaths and limit the spread of disease. Andy Clark/Reuters

Safe injection facilities: more than just a place to shoot drugs

Not only can they improve public health and decrease treatment costs, but they can also address one of the root causes of addiction: loneliness.
Having a ball: How politicians can make smiley happy people. seanbjack

How to shape economic policy when we move beyond GDP

The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems – the problems of…
Subjecting job seekers to bogus personality tests, as the UK did, was a misuse of behavioural insights. Lucky Business/Shutterstock

The promise and perils of giving the public a policy ‘nudge’

Do you consider yourself a rational person? For the most part, you probably are. If something hurts, you’ll stop doing it. If you like something, you’ll buy more of it, but you’ll rethink your decision…
A Whitehall CFO would interfere with the work at No. 10. Bob Jenkin

The last thing Whitehall needs is a Chief Financial Officer

The coalition’s latest wheeze is to create a new government Chief Financial Officer, similar to the position found in big corporations. This plan, concocted by Treasury minister Danny Alexander and Cabinet…

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