Tag Archives: Public Policy

Governmentalities of volunteering: A study of regional Western Australia

By David Pick, Kirsten Holmes and Martin Brueckner, Voluntas, September 2010 This is a fascinating article which examines the applicability of the concept of governmentality to the volunteer sector. Governmentality can be understood in terms referred to by Foucault (1991) as ‘the conduct of conduct’; specifically it is about controlling or guiding the relationship between individuals and social institutions and communities. In light of Australia’s considerable dependence on the work of volunteers, particularly in rural … Continue reading

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Recent approaches to measuring social impact in the third sector: an overview

by Gianni Zappalà & Mark Lyons, CSI BP No.6, 2009. Summary by Gianni Zappalà. There is a growing interest in the measurement of social impact. In some countries, there are moves towards making the use of some form of social impact measurement framework or model compulsory for those Third Sector organisations that receive government funding. Three such social impact measurement approaches are gaining traction in Australia: Social Accounting and Audit (SAA); Logic Models such as … Continue reading

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Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector

Draft research report, The Australian Government Productivity Commission; 14 October 2009. This commissioned study by the Australian Government has an ambitious ambit. It seeks to measure Third Sector contributions to Australian society at the aggregate, organisational, and program level. In doing so, the Productivity Commission states that it aims to enhance organisational performance, transparency for stakeholders, and related public policy. Chapter Three reveals the Commission’s evaluation approach. The Commission employs the theory of change model … Continue reading

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A Practical Guide for Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation Questions

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Evaluation Series, by Hallie Preskill, Ph.D., and Nathalie Jones, October 2009. The finding of this report should come as no surprise: successful evaluation projects depend upon meaningfully engaging stakeholders early and often in framing the project’s questions. Happily, this guide shines a light on the important practical question of how to engage them. The authors note that to achieve meaningful evaluation results, organisations should solicit stakeholder buy-in from the start. ‘Stakeholders’ … Continue reading

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A Guide to Social Return on Investment

published by The Office of the Third Sector, United Kingdom; 2009. How to measure organisational impact in the Third Sector is a long held conundrum. Now, however, there is a new pressure that confers an aura of urgency to the issue: the social marketplace. Advocates of the social marketplace understand the need for a universally recognised unit of measure for social returns. Given the lack of agreement in the sector, the UK government has stepped … Continue reading

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Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading

by Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky; Harvard Business School Press, 2002 Leadership on the Line is oft-cited by tenured leaders as a favoured text, perhaps because the book offers a highly empathetic perspective. Heifetz and Linsky argue that leadership is a dangerous undertaking. They encourage those who want to “step forward, make a difference, take the heat, and survive to delight in the fruits of your labor.” This book helps leaders face and mitigate … Continue reading

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Autumn 2010: Engaging in Public Policy

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 … Continue reading

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Strength Through Flexibility

by Kim Jonker, The Stanford Social Innovation Review; Winter 2010. This case study follows the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) as it seeks to change the culture of the classroom across a continent with several thousand distinct ethnic groups and cultural norms. It’s well known that educating girls is one of the most effective development interventions to lift whole communities out of poverty. In the early 1990s only half of Africa’s school age girls … Continue reading

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The Big Conversation

A status report by Sandy Blackburn-Wright, Emerging Leaders for Social Change; 2010. The Big Conversation – an initiative of the Emerging Leaders for Social Change – was established in response to a void in the 2009 discussions surrounding the Global Financial Crisis. Leaders were debating the efficacy of the stimulus package, regulatory reform and other measures seemingly without reference to the values that had led us to the situation in the first place. Many believe … Continue reading

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An Ounce of Advocacy

by Alyssa Battistoni, The Stanford Social Innovation Review; Winter 2010. Though it is painful to read an ‘I told you so’ article published in the face of mass suffering, Battistoni’s piece was prepared in advance of the recent earthquake. Her article, in fact, presages many harsh truths rediscovered amidst early recovery efforts in Haiti. Namely, had there been more effort put into disaster preparedness, building code enforcement, or warning systems, the extent of the devastation … Continue reading

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