Article excerpt

Issue 29 addresses a broad range of social sector topics, including health, education, child protection, and welfare benefits, as well as overarching issues of knowledge, research and evaluation.

Health impact assessment is a major theme of this issue, drawing on several papers based on presentations to the conference held in Wellington earlier this year. The paper by Louise Signal, Barbara Langford, Rob Quigley and Martin Ward is about embedding health impact assessment at the policy level. It is supported by two case studies of policy-level health impact assessment: one, by Anna Stevenson, Karen Banwell and Ramon Pink, is about the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy; and the other, by Robert Quigley and Shyrel Burt, is on urban planning in Avondale, a suburb of Auckland City. A review of the conference by Louise Thornley rounds off this set of papers.

In keeping with the theme of assessing the impact of policy, Kirsten Hanna, Ian Hassall and Emma Davies argue for the value of incorporating child impact assessment into the policy process. They discuss overseas experience with child impact reporting and make some comparisons with health impact assessment with respect to participation issues and implementation.

The theme of Maori knowledge is represented by two papers in this issue. Helen Moewaka Barnes discusses the problems inherent in dichotomising western and Maori knowledge. Her paper looks at the role that our institutions should be playing in supporting the engagement of Maori in innovation and the way such engagement may challenge the power dynamics within these institutions. The paper by Rhys Jones, Sue Crengle and Tim McCreanor provides a case study of kaupapa Maori research on men's health, and demonstrates the way in which traditional Maori values and concepts shaped the research.

Three papers present the findings of a programme of research around Sickness and Invalid's Benefits carried out by the Centre for Social Research and Evaluation (CSRE) in the Ministry of Social Development. …