People based policy making

Insights into the process politicians go through when changing policies and laws that effect peoples lives.

The effects on the public made from political change e.g Superannuation – most recent policy change, one that will affect not only me but my parents (they will be 62/63 in 20 years.)

Designing policies at a government level is dependant on the person and the party of the politician and will effect what policies they push and create it will be directly related to their own and their parties interests and goals.

Jacinda’s policy accounts: Children’s policy, justice policy, arts policy, social auckland policy

Children’s policy – Top 5 of what people think are a priority

What we bring with us is experiences. Identify where the issues lie (IDEOLOGY). Part of this can be personal experiences and how they sit with you, was it something that you thought needed to be changed or improved. Something that sits as a higher prority to you compared to others or society currently.

VALUES – IDEOLOGY – PERSONAL EXPERIENCE > Problem ‘Situation’

Jacinda’s approach is simply – Fairness – simplicity of a child’s view, focusing on the child and trying to do something for that child. Start by viewing the situation as simply as possible, children don’t have food, clothes or essential? Lets find a way to provide these things for them.

Jacinda lived in 3 places before she was 10. Hamilton till 4, Murupara till 8 and then Morrinsville she saw different people and different states of living across the country. This built a large range of perspectives of people and how they viewed New Zealand and what was important to these communities.

WHO VOTES? – Ultimately it is a popularity contest, whoever has the most votes and the most people actively agreeing with them will have the power to crate and change policies despite if it is the right or fair policy . People in Morrinsville vote, Murupara don’t, yet laws and policies effect everyone, sometimes the lower class is effected by policy change the most like people that live in places like Murupara.

The way people see the world is the way they vote. “They want to receive explanations before accepting decisions. They are not subjects but agents of democracy and, in this sense, participatory processes become crucial both to have a democratic process, and to avoid opposition phenomena as “not in my backyard”. That is why policy makers now more than ever are expected to be accountable and policy-making “evidence-based” rather than based on unsupported opinions difficult to argue.” (Marchi, Lucertini & Tsoukiàs. 2016.)

THE FACTS

  • 295000 children living in poverty (28%)
  • 150000 notifications to child, youth ad family every year
  • 57000 family violence based notification
  • high suicide rates amongst young people

WHAT IS POVERTY? WHAT IS POVERTY IN NEW ZEALAND?

28% OF NZ CHILDREN LIVE IN POVERTY (LIVE BELOW 60% OF THE AVERAGE PARENTS/HOUSEHOLDS INCOME)

= 295,000 CHILDREN

Children who had witnessed violence at home develop brains differently which cause them to be more focused on a fight or flight aspect of survival instead of focusing on things like education, emotional stability, social development etc.

The facts that change everything

  • Children are most likely to persistently be in poverty from 0 – 4 years
  • Brain development is critical from 0 – 3
  • Witnessing family violence can be as bad as being the direct victim of it
  • You are more likely to be the perpetrator of violence. If you experienced at yourself.

1991 – Welfare and family benefit budget were cut, which directly influenced child poverty rates in New Zealand. Working for families came a later on and helped with child poverty.

Witnessing family violence can be as bad for a child’s brain development as being apart or a victim of family violence.

What do we do? Solutions and politics

Child poverty and child abuse are directional proportional

  • links between child poverty and child well being
  • child poverty and parental responsibility

Policy change and design influences improvement or the lack of in this area. Children don’t get to vote or actively have involvement in decisions that will affect them.


HANDS OFF AND HANDS ON POLITICS  – RIGHT AND LEFT WINGS – 2 DIFFERENT OUTLOOKS ON LIFE AND HOW TO APPROACH SITUATIONS

” How do you do what you know is right without comprising your own values and own instincts? How do you sell your ideas and policy to all hands off and hands on people? Without selling the idea and concreting the policy no change can occur. Needing people to agree with you/ vote with you is essential for change in politics. ” Jacinda Arden

There are several variables involved in successful policy design. You have someone like Jacinda who is using her own views and experiences to create a concept idea of a policy, that involves facts and evidence from New Zealand people and areas. Involvement from her political party (labour), debate to the opposition political parties to try make them understand the same importance and necessity of the policy she sees. Then finally the persuasion to the New Zealand public that this is an essential change and improvement that needs to occur and a priority. This doesn’t necessarily involve how change will be enforced or how much it may cost or where is it will be targeting.

Designing policies is “the integration of experience, judgement and expertise with the best available external evidence from systematic research” (Davies 2004).

Prototyping – focus on trying to create something with people that you are working with. Asking the client (the people that are being affected) what is working and what isn’t and how can the situation and issue be improved. This can be where you find evidence of what is currently happening and a area that may need to change. Continuously checking what is working and what is not. E.g Are Social workers or front line community processors being too judgemental or not helpful/informative? Changing them out? Pushing for improvement.

Changing peoples views

STORIES – People are moved by the stories of others. Painting a picture allows people who may not have seen or had personal experiences with child poverty (or other social issues) as they can see all the details and crucial errors that someone is experiencing and families are experiences.


People First

Frontline workers – Plunket nurses, social workers, teachers etc. Having more power for those who have a direct relationship with those who need it. Have them make the call on how much or how little help or attention is needed as they are the ones who are directly connected and servicing people within their communities.

Government wants to spend 1 billion on new prisons. Developing the right policies can change and solve the issue before people get to the point where they need to go to prison. Investing in people will mean that they live a life that does not involve prison. If people aren’t in prison do we need new prisons? Prevention

This is similar to the argument – If there is not enough jobs around, is it someones fault to be on welfare in between jobs? or because they have become redundant? The balance of control between employer, employees and society issues.

Participating in societies. Designing society can be relevant to the happiness of society.

  • Parks, Skate areas, etc.

Living wage –  based on where you live and how much it costs to live efficiently and happily in the area you live.

The cost of living in Auckland is more then the cost of living in other ares like Northland, Hamilton etc

Example – Teachers are paid a set amount. So teachers in Auckland are getting the same as teachers in Whangarei. Yet living in Auckland is much different and much more expensive compared to Whangarei. In some cases rural teachers are paid more as an incentive to get good teachers to rural ares. Yet many of the best schools are within Auckland, more schools and jobs are in Auckland, ensuring that great teachers are spread through New Zealand and not just major cities. This is based on a conversation I had with a friend who recently moved to Whangarei to by an Intermediate teacher because the cost of living in Auckland was not allowing her to progress in lifestyle.


GENERATIONAL SHIFT

My generation has a totally different outlook on society, prioritises things differently and holds values differently then generations before. We also face different issues compared to other generations. Our children generation will also have a different outlook and set of issues and solutions. Every generation will have alternate things that occur and take place, there may always be outstanding issues like poverty but their may be different ways to solve it and different ways that creating the same issue.


References

Davies, P. T. (2004). Is evidence-based government possible? Jerry Lee Lecture: http://www.nationalschool. gov.uk/policyhub/downloads/JerryLeeLecture1202041

Marchi, G., Lucertini, G., & Tsoukiàs, A. (2016). From evidence-based policy making to policy analytics. Annals Of Operations Research, 236(1), 15-38. doi:10.1007/s10479-014-1578-6

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