Newsletter September 2023

This edition highlights CEI's work in building cultures for evidence use.

Mapping Asia's early childhood landscape for local donors, and developing the world's first youth employment toolkit are two recent landmark projects – alongside important program evaluation that enables better policy development and targeted action to improve lives.

Evidence and Implementation Summit 2023
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200+ presentations, 10 international speakers, 70+ hours of professional development

EIS 2023 brings together global experts to share the latest thinking on the synthesis, generation, translation and implementation of evidence for better policy and practice.

It's an insightful gathering of ideas for leaders and learners working across research, policy and action – with current registrants hailing from nearly 30 countries. Don’t miss this global event!

EIS2023 is co-hosted by CEI, Monash University, and the Centre for Behavioural and Implementation Science Interventions (BISI) at the National University of Singapore.

View the full program

Evaluating a child protection reform in New South Wales (NSW)

Researchers at CEI, Monash University, the Melbourne Institute and the Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre Australia (CIRCA), have completed a three-year evaluation of NSW's Permanency Support Program (PSP, Australia). 

PSP was introduced in October 2017 as a major reform for the NSW child protection and out-of-home care system, focused on achieving permanent care arrangements for children within a two-year timeframe.

The program did influence a service shift toward permanency, as well as showing some limited improvement in outcomes for children, however, the evaluation found significant implementation challenges and that the program did not demonstrate the larger positive impact intended. 

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Building the world’s first Youth Employment Toolkit

More than one in 10 young people in the UK are not in education, employment or training (NEET) – a statistic that has barely shifted in more than a decade, and risks setting up this cohort for significant lifelong disadvantage.

To tackle this pervasive issue with evidence-based action, Youth Futures Foundation commissioned CEI and our partners to synthesise the evidence on youth employment interventions, and develop an online Youth Employment Toolkit aimed at policymakers, employers and practitioners. 

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Mapping early childhood policies and programs across Asia

CEI has conducted a comprehensive mapping of early childhood programs and policies across Asia, focusing on China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore.

This landmark study explored the interventions, strengths and gaps in each geography and across the region – highlighting opportunities for action by donors, policymakers and practitioners.

The study was made possible through a large funder collaborative led by the Asia Philanthropy Circle and the NUS Centre for Holistic Initiatives for Learning and Development (CHILD), with an Advisory Group of 11 funder organisations. 

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Enhancing healthcare for children in regional Victoria 

In a child’s life, everything is connected. So, a nurse working within a primary school in a regional community may be making positive impact not only on students’ health, but on their school attendance, their mental health and their parents’ wellbeing.

CEI is excited to be part of an evolving story of implementation, scaling and quality improvement in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley (Australia) – the Community Health Nurse in Schools program, in place since 2017.

A collaboration between local and state government, the program employs community health nurses part-time in local primary schools.

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Enhancing support for caregivers in Singapore

People caring for family members with special needs can face significant challenges – including social, economic and psychological stress – which may affect their ability to provide the best possible support for their loved ones.

'Project 3i' is a three-pronged initiative delivered by CaringSG, which aims to connect, enable and empower caregivers to find timely and appropriate support. CEI has recently delivered evaluation findings on the initiative, examining early indications of caregiver outcomes, establishing tools for monitoring and evaluation over time, and investigating implementation factors that may play a role in overall effectiveness. 

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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.
  • The Importance of Caregiver Sensitivity for Children’s Development
    The Centre for Holistic Initiatives for Learning and Development (CHILD) at the National University of Singapore, in which CEI is a research partner, has published an evidence insight the positive impacts of caregiver sensitivity and factors hindering our ability to engage in sensitive caregiving behaviours.
  • Participatory Grantmaking: Building the Evidence
    CEI was commissioned by Paul Ramsay Foundationto 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.
  • Foster Carer Recruitment and Retention in England
    CEI was commissioned by the Fostering Network to create the most comprehensive picture of foster carer retention and recruitment in England to date.
  • Care Criminalisation of Children with Disability in Child Protection Systems
    Researchers at Monash University, the University of Western Sydney and CEI have delivered this report commissioned by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
  • Reviews on Mental Health Services for Care-Experienced Young People
    Researchers at CEI and Monash University were commissioned to review the evidence about effective mental health services for care-experienced young people.