Policy Brief – synthesising evidence to inform decision making

Kym Peake, Prof. Kathryn North and Prof. Frank Oberklaid launching edition 27 of Policy Brief on 30 November 2017.

Kym Peake, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services today launched the latest edition of the Centre for Community Child Health’s publication series Policy Brief, a resource to support the use of evidence by policy makers.

The Policy Brief series aims to stimulate informed discussion about issues that affect children’s health, development and wellbeing. Each issue draws on current research and evidence-informed practice and explores:

  • why the issue is important
  • what the research tells us
  • the implications of the research
  • considerations for policy and practice.

Latest edition – Using Evidence in Policy and Programs

Improving the health and wellbeing of children and families requires a holistic approach. An approach that is evidence-informed, rather the evidence-based, is more likely to deliver effective outcomes, particularly for vulnerable families.

The latest edition of Policy Brief – Using Evidence in Policy and Programs – outlines an evidence-informed decision-making framework to enable practitioners to achieve better outcomes for children and families.

The Policy Brief explores the concept of evidence-informed practice involving three components: evidence-based programs; evidence-based processes, and client and professional values and beliefs.

Evidence-informed practice offers a holistic approach to addressing complex policy issues.

Considerations for policy and practice

This Policy Brief details a number of key considerations for policy and practice:
  • Continuing to solely (or predominantly) rely on evidence-based programs as a means for addressing complex policy issues is likely to lead to modest benefits at best and fails to benefit certain cohorts altogether, particularly the most vulnerable.
  • To achieve better outcomes for children and families, services must use an evidence-informed practice approach that involves three key components equally: evidence-based programs, evidence-based processes, and client and professional values and beliefs.
  • In practice, blending these three sources of information requires an evidence-informed decision-making framework.
  • A framework can be used by an individual practitioner or team working with a client or family, an agency working with groups of parents or families, a network of services working with a community, or even a government department working with service networks.

Read the full edition.

View all editions of Policy Brief and access the reference lists at rch.org.au/ccch/policybrief

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