In this issue

Autumn 2010: Engaging in Public Policy

From the Editor

6. Autumn 2010: Engaging in Public Policy

Welcome to the sixth issue of Knowledge Connect.  This issue considers the causes of major public policy failings in both the short and long term.  With the failure of the UN Copenhagen Conference on climate change to the failings of humanitarian relief there is now a renewed call for policymakers to re-orient their response. New Yorker writer George Packer pleads for longer-term recovery rather than band-aid solutions for to natural disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti, while Alyssa Battistoni makes a case for spending money on prevention. This would require voters to support funds to invest in, maintain, or fix vulnerable infrastructure before a disaster strikes.

Next, we find articles about social inclusion. The Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly features research showing the degree of women’s empowerment in a society relates to the strength of its nonprofit sector. ‘The Big Conversation’ asks Australians to reflect on their values as a way to kick-start more inclusive policy discussions about the nation’s future. Sheela Patel, an advocate for slum dwellers in India, complains that the social sector has contracted a “log-frame virus” which cripples those trying to shake-up inequitable social systems.

In the book review of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William Kamkwamba tells his story of constructing a windmill from junkyard parts to power his family’s need for light and crop irrigation. William is a powerful example of how talent to address social challenges exists across society.

Links are provided to the full articles so that you can investigate and comment on those that interest you.

Editor, Knowledge Connect

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