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Inside research

Updated: Aug 4

Natalie Walker, 4 August 2020


Today we’re launching a new initiative at Inside Policy called Inside Research.


It may seem an odd time to be launching research projects when economic uncertainty and COVID-19 dance at our door, however as a team we felt it was the right time to provide insight into complex issues that need perspective and informed debate if are to actively redress them. As social policy advisors and specialists, we’re driven by a desire to change the world one policy at a time, and the events of 2020 have given us the impetus to apply our expertise to the challenges experienced by us, as well as our clients and the communities we serve.


So, a brief snapshot of two initial projects we’ll be sharing over the coming months:


Project 1: Black Lives Matter: Maintaining community safety without police and prisons

The first project lies close to our collective hearts: A rapid review of the current discourse / literature / thinking on the Black Live Matter movement to maintain community safety without police and prisons as we know them. Our aim here is to understand what abolition means and provide an overview of our findings that may help to inform public discussion and debate in Australia. This rapid review will identify the:

  1. leading organisations and thinkers both domestically and internationally in the abolition movement;

  2. main arguments for and against abolishing police in particular;

  3. communities, governments or locations from around the world that have abolished police.

For this project we adopted the principles of lean methodologies, working in a tight research sprint. We envisage that all work undertaken on this broad topic over a series of sprints will culminate in a policy paper for governments on how to reimagine policing and corrections to eliminate structural racism and ensure all citizens are safe.


Project 2: Virtual and Social Distance Interventions to Reduce Family / Domestic Violence


Our second project is Virtual and Social Distance Interventions to Reduce Family / Domestic Violence. As countries, cities and households went into lock-down to stop the spread of COVID-19, it was anticipated that we would see a rise in family and domestic violence. Recognising this, the Federal Government announced additional funding to increase support for family and domestic violence services in Australia. The types of family / domestic violence services and interventions that are effective, appropriate and efficient in an era of social distancing and virtual engagement is unknown.


To help governments understand this better, we undertook our own secondary research in this area, completing an extensive literature review. The aim of this research is to advise the

Department of Social Services, the National Indigenous Australians Agency, Attorney-General’s and other relevant government departments on where to focus its investment.


The scope for this project includes a holistic review of:

  1. Policy contexts, intervention types, and virtual and social distance methods, that are relevant to the COVID-19 response in Australia and the provision of services to victims and perpetrators of family and domestic violence.

  2. Secondary research focusing on literature that was published within the last 10 years, and where possible academic and peer-reviewed literature.

As to the outcome, we’re aiming to develop three core reports:

  1. Report 1 - policy context: a brief report on the past and current state of family and domestic violence trends, policy and investment in Australia, including details of the additional funding announcements in response to COVID-19.

  2. Report 2 – intervention types: update the four literature reviews previously undertaken by Inside Policy for the third action plan co-design project. These literature reviews were on the effectiveness of the following family violence intervention types:

  3. victim support services

  4. trauma-informed services for children

  5. intensive family-focused case management

  6. men’s behaviour change programs.

  7. Report 3 – virtual and social distant methods: a new literature review on effective and ineffective virtual and social distance methods for providing support to vulnerable populations.

We don’t have all the answers, but we do believe, as social policy advisors we can help inform the conversation and play a role in driving positive change. We look forward to sharing what we learn and invite you to join us as we seek to change the world, one policy at a time.


#policy #socialresearch #domesticviolence #blacklivesmatter #insidepolicy

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