Newsletter December 2023

This edition highlights how CEI is improving understanding of 'what works' to make lives better.

We are helping promising interventions expand their reach, investigating how technology is transforming education, finding better ways to capture urban resilience, and we have synthesised the latest thinking on implementation-ready policy. 

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Bridging the gap between policy and implementation in Wales

Policy implementation is challenging. Across most areas of government and across the world, there are numerous examples of how implementation barriers have caused policies to fall short of intended outcomes. 

To shed light on how policy development can be more mindful of what is required for effective implementation, the Wales Centre for Public Policy commissioned CEI to undertake an evidence synthesis.

The central recommendation is the need for implementation to be an integral consideration from the outset and throughout all phases of policy work.

Read this article (3 mins)

Knowledge exchange for better scaling with Movember

CEI is working with Australia-headquartered global men’s health charity Movember to evaluate Scaling What Works, an AUD$10+ million grant program to support the scale-up of 17 promising projects aiming to improve the mental health of men and boys in Australia, the UK and Canada.

The goal is not only to support and enable successful scaling – so more people can benefit from effective interventions – but to rigorously evaluate and share practical learnings. A global series of Knowledge Exchange activities, sharing expert views on topics such as "Emerging masculinities and mental health" and "Engaging men and boys", is key to both objectives. 

Read this article (2.5 mins)

Assessing edtech in Singapore for UNESCO

Digital technology has rapidly transformed learning and education in Southeast Asia over the past few years. There are about 400 million internet users in the region, but a lack of locally relevant evidence and a number of challenges and opportunities when digital technology is employed in education.

To help fill this gap, UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report team commissioned CEI to conduct a regional landscape study on education technology (“edtech”) in Singapore.

Four key trends emerged: government leadership and investment, a focus on personalised learning, digital citizenship training, and use of emerging technologies.

Read this article (2.5 mins)

Improving understanding of what works to support kinship care

Increasing numbers of children needing out-of-home care in the UK are being placed with family or friends in “kinship” or “connected” care arrangements. These arrangements can lead to better outcomes for children, but kinship carers often face additional challenges and may need different supports.

Foundations, the UK What Works Centre for Children and Families, has commissioned CEI and our partners to investigate which policies and programs might improve the experience of carers, as well as outcomes and benefits for children, and might address the inconsistent use of kinship care.

The aim is to turn the evidence review findings into accessible recommendations for delivering local services, through development of one of the first Practice Guides for child and family services.

Read this article (2 mins)

Developing an M&E framework to help build urban resilience

More and more people globally are living in cities, but with this comes the risk of acute shocks, such as natural disasters, and chronic stresses, such as high unemployment. 

The Resilience Cities Network (RCN) was founded to support cities in better anticipating, managing and responding to such shocks and stresses.

RCN recently commissioned CEI to refine its Theory of Change and develop a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework, to better support its team to tackle complex global challenges in urban resilience.

Read this article (2 mins)

Philanthropy that benefits

CEI Nordic Director, Arild Bjørndal, recently contributed an editorial to the Norwegian business media, on how philanthropic and corporate social responsibility funding can be of the greatest benefit to society.

"[If] foundations are to contribute to actual and lasting improvement, they must prioritise the challenges they want to help solve, and concern themselves with how to create change. They must come together in strategic partnerships that can spend more money per area, over time. They must partner with entities with coalface experience of the social problem at hand, and that can support quality implementation and the path to scaling."

Read this article (3 mins)

Highlights from EIS2023 

In October, CEI co-hosted the biennial global event, the Evidence and Implementation Summit (EIS) in Australia, with Monash University and the National University of Singapore Centre for Behavioural and Implementation Science Interventions (BISI).

We've pulled together some reflections – across key themes that emerged at the event, drawn from more than 150 presentations in person and more than a hundred pre-recorded. 

Catch up on sessions you missed via the EIS portal (available to delegates until Sept 2024) or purchase online access today. We are already looking forward to the next Summit in 2025!

Read EIS reflections (7 mins)

Publications and knowledge sharing

  • Youth Employment Toolkit
    This new online resource offers evidence-based guidance on policy and practice for improving youth employment outcomes. Dubbed a "world-first" by commissioners the Youth Futures Foundation, the toolkit was developed by CEI, the Institute for Employment Studies and Monash University.
  • Regional Early Childhood Development Landscape Study
    A comprehensive mapping of parenting and early childhood programs and interventions across Asia (focusing on China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore) developed with a consortium of donors convened by Asia Philanthropy Circle. This evidence is now being brought to bear on policy in Asia, with legislation introduced in The Philippines that draws on its recommendations.
  • Evaluation of the Permanency Support Program
    Report from a three-year evaluation for a major reform of the child protection and out-of-home care (OOHC) system in New South Wales (Australia) that focused on achieving permanent care arrangements for children within a two-year timeframe.
  • Participatory Grantmaking: Building the Evidence
    CEI was commissioned by Paul Ramsay Foundation to investigate whether and how participatory grantmaking works, bringing together existing evidence on whether this new approach achieves its goals, as well as making recommendations on building an evidence base.
  • Mental health services for care-experienced young people
    CEI was commissioned by Foundations (the What Works Centre for Children & Families) to review the evidence on effective mental health services for care-experienced young people.

End-of-year office closure

Please note that all CEI offices will be closed for an end-of-year break.

  • Australia, UK and Nordic offices
    Closed from Monday 25 December, reopening Thursday 4 January
  • Singapore office
    Closed from Monday 25 December, reopening Wednesday 3 January

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!