Research Design

 

This study seeks to understand the experiences of individuals and communities who are directly affected by compulsory income management policies in Australia and New Zealand. It also explores how these policies have been developed and implemented.

The study is comparative in nature, comparing and contrasting the Australian and New Zealand programs, and placing them in international context.

Associate Professor Louise Humpage discusses the rationale for our comparative study design.

The project is being undertaken in three overlapping stages, all of which have now commenced.

STAGE ONE: DISCURSIVE CONTEXTS AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT

In Stage One, we are interrogating discourse around compulsory income management, and seeking to understand the dynamic relationship between the public sphere and social policy practice. This stage involves:

  • A systematic discourse analysis of parliamentary debates and media coverage concerning compulsory income management in Australia and New Zealand; and

  • Interviews with a range of actors from the policy community – for example, politicians, policy makers and welfare bodies – to build a picture of the policy process that has informed different iterations of income management.


STAGE TWO: REGULATORY CONTEXTS AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE

In Stage Two, we are examining the regulatory contexts of compulsory income management, specifically in the day-to-day governance of policy administration and its socio-legal dimensions. This stage involves:

  • Analysis of relevant legislation, legislative instruments, common law doctrines and case law in Australia and New Zealand; and

  • Detailed consideration of access to justice and complaints and appeal processes in both countries.


STAGE THREE: LIVED EXPERIENCES

In Stage Three, our aim is to capture the lived experience of compulsory income management, particularly in relation to the citizens and frontline welfare workers whose voices have been largely missing from the political and policy debate. This stage involves:

  • Interviews with welfare recipients at selected sites in Australia and New Zealand; and

  • Interviews with frontline welfare workers and other local stakeholders at the same sites.

If you are interested in being interviewed for the study, please visit our recruitment page for details.