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The Forum > Article Comments > A framework for growing social and economic impact in place > Comments

A framework for growing social and economic impact in place : Comments

By Ingrid Burkett, published 13/7/2012

We need to also understand the economic impacts of social services, including how money flows into and around such services

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Excellent work by Ingrid Burkett at the Centre for Social Impact. The CSI Reports on Place-based Impact Investment should be of great interest to all levels of government, business and not for profit sectors in Australia, across the Asia Pacific and around the the globe. They can help key stakeholders to develop pathways for migration out of poverty and into sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

AusAid should take a close look at the reports as well. They can increase its social and economic impact by addressing unmet needs and the Millennium Development Goals.

The EU and the UN can also learn something valuable from Australia.
Posted by Macedonian advocacy, Friday, 13 July 2012 9:36:04 AM
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I am disappointed that this important topic attracts so few comments.

I'll add my tuppeny ha'porth.

There is a well-established link between access to public transport and unemployment. Put bluntly, very often poor people can't get to the jobs. Urban sprawl and the decentralisation of jobs has exacerbated this. It's not just a case of building another rail link from the city to the suburbs; you need to be able to get from one suburb to another.

I don't pretend to know the answers but I think our urban transport model is all wrong. For example, in Melbourne we don't need bigger trains. We need smaller more frequent trains. Imagine if your longest wait for a train was a mere five minutes!

We don't need more toll free roads. We need more toll roads. In fact all major arteries should be tolled on the principle of user-pays. This would encourage the use of multi-passenger vehicles.

Tolls should depend on demand for that particular road and time of day. They should also be based on the chassis area of the vehicle. There is a huge difference between driving an SUV along St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, during the morning rush hour and driving a Hyundai Getz on the same road at midnight.

We could also copy the Israeli "sherut" or share tax system.

(See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Share_taxi)

Share taxis revolutionised public transport in South Arica. Unfortunately lack of regulation led to occasional taxi wars and I mean literal shooting wars.

Why not allow private citizens to charge for picking up passengers while going to work? Yes I understand there are risks involved but licences could be issued to drivers based on a police background check.
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Friday, 13 July 2012 2:43:36 PM
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While place certainly has a role to play in the persistence of economic disadvantage, one might reasonably question whether place is a cause of unemployment or a symptom? We know from our statistics that poorly educated parents give rise to poorly educated children; that children with both parents persistently out of work are likely to be persistently out of work themselves in later life. It seems eminently logical that in this case, such people are likely to gravitate to suburbs and areas of low value real estate, marked by poor public amenities and lack of public transport, for the simple fact that they cannot afford to live elsewhere. Once in such an environment, where the patterns of behaviour established by their parents are no longer exceptional but now common place, these patterns then become re-enforced in the minds of the children.
Promoting investment and business ownership in these poor ghettos is nobly intended, but our statistics will also tell us that a poorly educated owner of a business is much more likely to fail. As a result, government investment in establishing businesses in these areas is likely to become a sinkhole of wasted funding.
The answer to these issues is the promotion of education as a way out of poverty- and to that end it would seem that governments and society need to demonise that poverty. Which is not the same as demonising the poor, although such a subtle message is likely to be missed by most. I would contend that instead of targeting this message at the broader community, or even to the children themselves, the key would be to target the parents. 'You have lived with poverty all your life; do you really want the same for your children?' A generation of wasted educational initiatives targeting the poor, regardless of ethnic background, tells us that without parental support, such initiatives are doomed to fail.
Whether we have the subtlety of mind to utilise such a strategy- that remains to be seen
Posted by bren122, Saturday, 14 July 2012 4:13:17 PM
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