Common ground in Australia: an object lesson in evidence hierarchies and policy transfer

Parsell, Cameron, Fitzpatrick, Suzanne and Busch-Geertsema, Volker (2014) Common ground in Australia: an object lesson in evidence hierarchies and policy transfer. Housing Studies, 29 1: 69-87. doi:10.1080/02673037.2013.824558

Author Parsell, Cameron
Fitzpatrick, Suzanne
Busch-Geertsema, Volker
Title Common ground in Australia: an object lesson in evidence hierarchies and policy transfer
Journal name Housing Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0267-3037
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/02673037.2013.824558
Volume 29
Issue 1
Start page 69
End page 87
Total pages 19
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Developed in New York City in 1990, the Common Ground model of supportive housing has recently been embraced in Australia as a high-profile solution to chronic homelessness. Combining on-site support services with a congregate housing form accommodating ex-homeless people and low-income adults, Common Ground is presented as an innovative model which permanently ends homelessness, enhances wellbeing, and strengthens communities. This article critically examines the process of transferring the model into Australia's social housing sector, drawing on the perspectives of the high-level stakeholders closely involved. It argues that, despite official commitments to evidence-based policy, the ‘advocacy coalition’ driving this international policy transfer employed a ‘knowledge hierarchy’ wherein professional intuition and personal experience were afforded a higher status than formal evaluative evidence. The article provides an example of the contested nature of what ‘counts as evidence’ in housing and homelessness policy, and considers what role academic research – as well as other knowledge sources – should play in the policy development process.
Keyword Common ground
International policy transfer
Evidence hierarchies
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 07 Aug 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2014 Collection
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 16 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 30 Jan 2014, 19:34:24 EST by Dr Cameron Parsell on behalf of ISSR - Research Groups