About BSL’s Research and Policy Centre
We provide knowledge for action to address poverty.
On this page, learn more about our ways of working, our values, history, and find our contact information.
We conduct research into topics of poverty and inequality that impact people’s lives at every stage.
BSL’s Research and Policy Centre explores the ways Australians are all impacted by poverty and inequality. We especially focus our work on those who are most vulnerable. We use this evidence to advocate for systems change that will improve people’s lives.
What do we mean by systems change?
This means we explore how education, healthcare, aged care, employment and social security systems and politics can either help or further hinder people.
Using this research as an evidence base, we then recommend policy, regulation and funding changes as well as improvements to service systems. In this way, our research is practical, meaning that what we learn is used to change systems for the better.
Three ideas drive our research and policy efforts
- Poverty and economic inequality is not inevitable. It is the consequence of decisions made by governments, businesses, communities and individuals.
- Inequality does not just affect the unlucky minority. It is a barrier to wealth generation and social cohesion that affects the whole country. Therefore, when we invest in the potential of those who are most disadvantaged, everyone benefits in the long run.
- Fostering the skills and capabilities of individuals and communities is vital to achieving a fairer society.
How we work
We work to end poverty by building a knowledge base, analysing our programs and influencing policymakers.
We listen to people’s experiences of inequality and disadvantage.
We research the social and economic issues that affect them.
We evaluate services and propose policies to contribute to a more equitable and inclusive society.
We connect people to the research and knowledge that supports systems change.
We promote the common good, equity and fairness in Australian society and the dignity of all people.
We are committed to the development of knowledge and evidence that is:
- accessible to diverse audiences
- independent but not neutral, as we stand with and for people and places experiencing poverty, inequity and social exclusion
As the largest and oldest social policy research centre in a non-government welfare organisation in Australia, underpinned by a strong partnership with the University of Melbourne, we are well placed for this work. BSL has had a research capacity since 1943 when the first research officer was appointed. For more, view the and explore the BSL .
The Research and Policy Centre is underpinned by a longstanding collaborative relationship between two leading organisations - BSL and the University of Melbourne. The RPC also works with a variety of government departments, universities, large NGOs and smaller community service providers to undertake research and policy projects.