Our approach to poverty
Informed by people experiencing disadvantage, BSL’s unique approach uses research interdependently with programs and services to address the fundamental causes of poverty.
Addressing the fundamental causes of poverty
Using our strong focus on research in practice alongside our programs and services, we create evidence that informs design of innovative solutions for people of all ages. We also use this evidence to inform policymakers on making the right policy decisions to reduce poverty across Australia.
In addition to our research and evidence, our focus on partnerships is key to our success. We work together with people who experience disadvantage, and the organisations who assist them, to understand their lived experiences and amplify their voices to drive change.
We develop models by working with other organisations, both locally and nationally, to broaden our impact. We then scale up these models and influence the structures that are often at the cause of poverty.
Fixing the systems that keep people trapped in poverty is key
While life events can trigger someone being at risk of poverty, what traps them there are the systems in our society that are broken.
These systems affect all of us. They include education, healthcare, aged care, employment, and social security systems. BSL knows these systems can either help or further hinder people. We also know that these systems are created by humans … so these systems can be changed for the better by humans.
For example, we can change the social security system to raise allowances above the poverty line so people can stay afloat. We can create job pathways for disadvantaged youth. We can help refugees with support resources to help them navigate the job market.
All of these are examples of systems that can be fixed to help people avoid or free themselves from poverty.
That’s where our strength in research comes to the fore. We have the evidence to inform and influence partners and policymakers to make the necessary changes in these systems that will create wholesale impact across Australia for people experiencing disadvantage and poverty.
This is what we call creating ‘systems change’ – and it is key to how we make change that lasts.
Figure 1 – BSL looks at all layers of Australia’s society and how it works to create systems change.