Newsletter September 2021

The CEI team are honoured to contribute to work that creates impact, especially in such challenging times. We are particularly proud to share news of the launch of two Singapore-based, evidence focused centres at the National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. CEI is a partner in both the Centre for Holistic Initiatives for Learning and Development (CHILD), recently launched, and the Centre for Behavioural and Implementation Science Interventions (BISI), which will launch in September.
Additional highlights include the growth of our common elements portfolio, our work to strengthen research uptake capacity in low- and middle-income countries, and reports published for UNICEF and the Australian Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Further details of these and other projects are shared in this month’s newsletter.

Centre for Holistic Initiatives for Learning & Development (CHILD) is launched in Singapore – watch the inaugural webinar

Made possible by a generous endowed gift from the Lien Foundation, CHILD was established within the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in partnership with CEI and A*STAR’s Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS). CHILD is the first centre of its kind in Southeast Asia to leverage extensive advances in the evidence base to inform policy and practice that will give all children the best start in life. CEI’s Executive Director Dr Robyn Mildon is the interim Co-Director of CHILD.


The centre’s launch featured the first webinar in the CHILD Evidence to Policy and Practice Webinar Series, featuring NUS A/Prof Evelyn Law, who spoke on the impact of passive screen time viewing on brain development during early childhood. Additional speakers included Prof Philip Fisher, Director of the Centre for Translational Neuroscience, University of Oregon; Ms Vivienne Ng, Chief Psychologist at the Ministry of Social and Family Development, Singapore; and Prof Donna Cross of the University of Western Australia and Program Head of Development and Education at Telethon Kids Institute. CHILD Co-Directors Prof Yung Seng Lee and A/Prof Robyn Mildon, CEI’s Executive Director, hosted and moderated the session. 

CHILD Webinar Series


Join us for the September 7 launch of the Centre for Behavioural and Implementation Science Interventions (BISI)

The Centre for Behavioural and Implementation Science Interventions (BISI) was established within the NUS School of Medicine with the aim of improving population health and well-being by accelerating the implementation of evidence in public policy and practice through the use of behavioural and implementation science. CEI, the Behavioural Insights Team and the University of Southern California Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) are BISI strategic partners and CEI’s Executive Director Dr Robyn Mildon is Co-Director at the centre.


BISI is hosting a new webinar series on 'Innovations in Behavioural and Implementation Science for Healthcare,’ and the inaugural webinar, 'Behavioural and Implementation Science – Shaping and Sustaining the Future of Health,' will be held September 7th at 5-6pm AEST/ 3-4pm SGT/ 8-9am BST. Join us to engage with leading sector experts from around the globe as they discuss the epic public health challenges posed by the pandemic and consider what role evidence informed policy and practice can play in shaping post pandemic healthcare.

BISI Sep 2021 Webinar


Synthesising evidence to inform understanding of the contexts and risk factors for violence and abuse of people with disability

One of the keystones of the work of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (DRC) is to address the gap in our understanding about the contexts in which violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation occur against people with disabilities, as well as identifying the risk factors for abuse and pinpointing factors for intervention. CEI, along with Monash University, partnered with the DRC on this critical work by conducting a rapid evidence review of the published literature. The full report has just been released.


Improving research uptake in low- and middle-income countries to address violence against women and violence against children

Violence against women and violence against children are critical issues that require urgent, evidence-informed action, yet low research uptake is common. CEI has been commissioned by the South Africa-based Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) to co-develop, pilot, and together deliver an online training course and accompanying guide for researchers seeking to understand, address, and stop violence against women and violence against children in low- and middle- income countries.


Scoping a common elements approach with Public Health England to improve outcomes for young children

CEI is working with Public Health England (PHE) to assess the feasibility of introducing a common elements approach within their work to support parents of young children aged 0-2. A common elements approach supports and accelerates the uptake of evidence-informed practice, improving the delivery and quality of programs and services. To support PHE we will draw on our extensive common elements experience in early childhood development in Singapore, and Australian family service settings.


Sharing resources to support organisations with implementation 

CEI Directors and implementation scientists Dr Melinda Polimeni and Dr Jessica Hateley-Browne have collaborated with the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) to produce two videos that aim to support organisations in the implementation of their programs. The two instructional videos are based on the CEI authored publication 'Implementation in Action: A Guide to Implementing Evidence-Informed Programs and Practices.'


Evaluating the NSW Future Directions Strategy to inform housing policy

CEI, on behalf of a consortium, is project managing a complex, high-quality evaluation of the Future Directions strategy, a major reform to the social housing system in NSW. It aims to provide more social housing; more opportunities, support, and incentives to avoid and/or leave social housing; and a better social housing experience.  The consortium is using an effectiveness-implementation hybrid study for this evaluation, with a dual focus on assessing effectiveness and implementation. The evaluation protocol has recently been published in the University of Edinburgh’s open access journal Social Science Protocols.


Events, News and Publications

Executive Director Dr Robyn Mildon contributed to a Singaporean Civil Service College Symposium: Transiting to the New Normal - Evidence & Insights to Address COVID-19 & Post-COVID-19 Challenges last month.

A presentation Dr Mildon gave to Mental Health Victoria’s Preparing for Reform symposium in June is now available here.

Senior Advisor David Taylor ran the Australian Evaluation Society webinar Tech tools and apps to support your evaluation work in July.

Managing Director Mary Abdo joined Alberto Lidji on the UK Do One Better! podcast to discuss approaches and perspectives on evidence-informed philanthropy. You can listen in here.

Our report for UNICEF in Serbia is now available online.

Senior Advisor Dr Ellie Ott will lead two symposiums and deliver three presentations at the upcoming EuSARF 2021 Perspective of the Child Conference in Zurich, Switzerland, September 1-3.  EuSARF is the XVI European Scientific Association on Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents.

Two new reports that CEI has undertaken for What Works for Children’s Social Care in the UK were published in the last month:

The CHILD launch in Singapore was picked up by several media outlets

Our 2021 joiners so far

CEI’s multidisciplinary team has grown considerably since the beginning of the year. 
Please join us in welcoming:

CEI New Joiners 2021