This is the first in a series of research papers from CEDA on addressing entrenched disadvantage. We are tackling this subject because ensuring that our social compact remains reliable, robust and relevant for those who need it most is a key priority for CEDA.

In 2015, CEDA released a policy paper examining issues associated with the economics of disadvantage. This earlier work, and the limited progress on practical solutions at scale since, has led CEDA to undertake further work on this important topic.

In recognition of the complexity and stubbornness of the problem, we are examining the policy challenges associated with entrenched disadvantage through a series of papers. This will allow us to test and build ideas, before exploring their efficacy and strategies for effective implementation.

This first paper seeks to identify areas where disadvantage might be disrupted, and to use this as a starting point for a more systematic approach to addressing the problem.

A key priority is to encourage governments and other providers to seize the opportunities now available through connecting and using data, and to work together in a concerted effort to use integrated data to better enable prevention and early intervention.

The ideas outlined in this paper are intended to spark further discussion, analysis and refinement. We want to encourage longer term change, but also use current experience and learnings to motivate more immediate responses.

Leveraging our cross-sectoral membership and connections to a wide range of stakeholders, CEDA is determined to bring a collaborative approach to one of Australia’s most intractable challenges – a challenge that is critical to the future shape of our economy and society.

Main recommendations:

  • Mobilise data to help those at risk
  • Improve the navigation of services and supports
  • Invest in a stronger safety net
  • Evidence-based monitoring and implementation of new approaches.
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