Digital technologies and traditional advocacy: the case of Australian housing and homelessness peak bodies

Stream: Housing and homelessness
Date: Monday, 9 September 2019
Time: 1.30 pm – 3.10 pm


The Australian not-for-profit sector makes significant contributions to the economy and continuous reference is made to the instrumental role non-government organisations are increasingly playing in shaping policy as governments move away from delivering services. Peak bodies form part of these non-government organisations. They shape social policy through various advocacy and policy coordination strategies. However, the process and mechanisms through which peak bodies accomplish this remains poorly understood.

In this paper, I examine how housing and homelessness peak bodies utilise digital technologies to advance their advocacy agenda and shape public policy. The paper draws on empirical findings from semi-structured interviews with senior policy staff from 13 housing and homelessness peak bodies(umbrella organisations) operating across New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and at the national level. The interviews form part of a broader PhD study that is examining how Australian housing and homelessness peak bodies acquire and use knowledge to influence policy and the community sector. The qualitative study draws on primary and secondary data to explore how the idea of policy learning applies to non-state organisations like peak bodies.


Eugenia Marembo (Presenter), Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney
Eugenia is a current PhD student at the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW. Her study examines the role of Australian housing and homelessness peak bodies (umbrella organisations) in the policy process. She is interested in policy learning and how evidence is used to inform various aspects and actors in the policy process. Eugenia has policy and program evaluation experience from working in Government and has previously worked in a Non-profit organisation She holds a Masters in Policy and Applied Social Research from Macquarie University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from UNSW.