September 2018 Newsletter
A message from our Executive Director
The Centre for Evidence and Implementation is in the final phases of preparing to co-host the 2018 Global Evidence and Implementation Summit – it is only 4 weeks away!
GEIS 2018 will take place in Melbourne, Australia from the 22nd – 24th of October and is the combination of two prominent conferences: the 4th Australasian Implementation Conference and the What Works Global Summit 2018. The theme of the summit is ‘Evidence, synthesis and implementation: creating impact for stronger communities around the world’ – something CEI’s team is incredibly passionate about.
Understanding what works
Funders and implementing agencies need to understand what works to make informed decisions that can benefit the lives of children, families and communities.
“Evidence and Gap Maps” are just one of the various products CEI creates to ensure decision-makers have the information they need to pursue initiatives that work. CEI has worked – and is currently working - on a number of Evidence and Gap Maps for State Governments across a range of policy areas.
Achieving scale and sustainability
Effective programs and practices can only achieve their full potential if they reach the entire population for which they are intended.
Trials will often show that interventions are effective on a small scale, but then they are rarely scaled up into public policy. From outside government this can be maddening. If we know the answer to a question, why won’t the policy be scaled? From the inside of government, being told that we already know the answer and just need to get on with it can be equally frustrating.
Methods for impact and implementation evaluation and synthesis
The need to assess the impact of programs and practices has been increasingly emphasised over the past decades, and there is a growing understanding that good evaluation practice includes assessments of the quality of the implementation with which programs and practices are embedded into real-world settings.
A good example of this is CEI’s current work with The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
CEI has previously worked with DHHS to build a menu of evidence-based programs across various family welfare areas, and DHHS has funded a number of different non-government organisations to implement these programs.
Using evidence for better policy, programs and practice
The translation and use of evidence for the development of policies, programs and practices requires multiple skills. It depends on an understanding of not only the science itself, but also the context in which it will be used, including a broad range of diverse stakeholders.
Our new Director - Matt Tyler – brings a strong understanding of this to the CEI team.
Matt is a leading authority on service delivery design and implementation, particularly within child welfare, criminal justice, homelessness, mental health, and Indigenous affairs. He recently returned to Australia after 3 years in the United States where he worked for Harvard’s Government Performance Lab at Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families.
National and global cooperation partnerships
Significant, long-term and widespread impact requires strong partnerships across governments, the private sector, academia and civil society.
CEI’s global collaborations have further expanded through a new project in Kenya, on which CEI is partnering with the University of Washington’s implementation science team and ACE Africa.