Reflections from our conference

21 June 2017

Over 180 participants attended the fourth annual Evidence to Action conference (E2A) held on 19 June.  The conference included a great range of speakers and opportunities for networking among policy makers, service providers, researchers and funders.

Dr Sarah Morton, Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships in Edinburgh, talked about the issues, challenges and solutions in getting evidence into action. Sarah's engaging talk and depth of experience struck a chord with our local audience.

Sarah was followed by three diverse speakers about “on the ground” experiences of using evidence in Aotearoa.  Dr Monique Faleafa talked about her agency Le Va and “Aunty Dee”, an on-line tool aimed at helping young Pasifika to figure out solutions to their problems.  Professor Stuart McNaughton talked about the importance of implementing what we know works in ways that ensure it does work and Eru Lyndon spoke from both heart and head about what is happening in Tai Tokerau.

Karen Field, CEO of drummond street services in Melbourne, took the after-lunch shift with a dynamic address about what’s happening across the Tasman and the challenges of balancing the demands of funders and community needs. Karen takes an evidence-informed approach in all areas of her work.

Interactive sessions where participants talked about their own experiences of evidence and the challenges they faced in getting it used fed forward to the final panel discussion chaired by Superu CEO Clare Ward. Sarah Morton and Karen Field were joined on the panel by Jo-anne Wilkinson, deputy chair of the Superu Board and co-founder of the Dingle Foundation, and Paul O’Connell from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The day finished with a typically upbeat summary from Families Commissioner Len Cook.

There was general agreement on the need for continuing partnerships and collaboration, and to create a culture where evidence use is valued.  Overall, the day was full of lively debate and thoughtful discussions, and Superu is grateful to all the speakers, panelists and participants for their attendance and their contributions.

All the day’s presentations are online on the Superu website and videos of the speakers will be available soon.

Last update: 23 Jun 2017