Policy Forum: one step, one year and one world

Policy Forum celebrates its first anniversary

Quentin Grafton, Tom Kompas

PHOTO: Daniel Dionne

Uncategorized | Australia, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, The Pacific, The World

25 November 2015

Policy Forum provides a platform to analyse, discuss and debate the region’s public policy challenges, write Quentin Grafton and Tom Kompas, with Martyn Pearce, Gillian Lord, Tessia Deng, Kelly Hayward and Yanhong Ouyang.

It is one year since Policy Forum opened its doors for contributions and began reaching out to Asia and the Pacific, and the rest of the world. Our goal then, and unchanged since, is to respond to regional and global public policy challenges by the free, frank and open exchange of ideas, based on evidence.

In the past 12 months we have published, on average an article per day – some weeks as many as 15 articles. Our audience includes people from every country in Asia and the Pacific, and almost every country in the world. We’ve published hundreds of different authors, and our articles have been read many hundreds of thousands of times. Additionally, our articles have been republished by media outlets around the world, and widely shared, liked and commented on via our very active and engaged social media channels.

Our contributions are written with a broad audience in mind and are intended to provoke discussion, dialogue and debate. All our content is freely available for republishing under a Creative Commons licence.

Policy Forum meets a critical regional and global need for public policy analysis that was not previously delivered by other websites. We have met this need because we are not a news organisation or a profit-making venture where the ‘business’ is news for news sake, to hit the headlines, or to simply write on the hot topic of the moment.

Public policy is not an abstract concept; it’s something that directly affects almost every part of everybody’s life – from critical decisions on health funding to putting food and water on our tables and all points in-between. We want our policymakers to make these critical decisions that impact our lives based on the best evidence. We see our role as to communicate insights that help people make sense of the world around them, and over the long run, to improve people’s lives by helping individuals, businesses and organisations make better decisions.

There are a number of key things that set us apart. Firstly, our articles are written in an accessible style. Second, our regional focus (the entire Asia and the Pacific), but with articles from all over the world that are of global significance. Third, our broad range of topics that include: development; food and water; trade; science & technology; government & governance; economics & finance; and social policy, among others. Fourth, our high-quality contributors who come from universities, think tanks, government, and politics (including former Prime Ministers) from around the region, and the world. Fifth, our easy-to-read-and-navigate structure that makes reading hassle free and visually appealing. And finally, our approach, which is to work with our now hundreds of contributors to deliver thoughtful and evidence-based insights that are not necessarily about the ‘news of the day’.

Policy Forum is also linked to a professional, non-partisan and non-profit society. The Asia and the Pacific Policy Society is a community of scholars, policymakers, researchers, students and the policy-engaged public. Society membership is for people engaged in public policy at any level or with an interest in public policy. Our members include some of the most senior people working in public policy in the region, but is open to anyone.

The Society has its own peer-reviewed academic journal, Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies which is open access so that all its articles are free to read and download. The journal released its first papers in early 2014 and, to date, it has published six issues. A synthesis of some of the journal’s key articles are made available on Policy Forum.

The Policy Forum editorial team is based at Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University and includes: Professor Tom Kompas (Publisher and President of the Asia and the Pacific Policy Society); Professor Quentin Grafton (Editor-in-Chief); Martyn Pearce (Editor); Gillian Lord (Deputy Editor); along with Kelly Hayward, Yanhong Ouyang, and Tessia Deng (the Editorial team).  Collectively, we come from five different countries, speak six different languages and have decades of experience in media, communications, research, teaching, public service, consulting, and publishing. We bring this diversity, and with it a global-outward-looking focus, to all of what we do at Policy Forum.

The world needs a lens to see what is hidden behind the headlines. It requires a trusted place that helps people to ‘connect the dots’ in an increasingly complex world. Above all, it needs you, our audience, to take the steps from an understanding of what is happening in our region, and globally, to make better decisions and, thereby, make our world a better place. This is a journey of global importance. It is a path that we at Policy Forum, with our audience, are on: one step at a time.

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