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Clearing House


What is the Alliance Clearing House
Why do we need this Clearing House
Clearing House Feasibility Study
Key recommendations
Information to be included in the Clearing House
Models for the Clearing House
Roundtable Workshop
Next steps


What is the Alliance Clearing House?

The Clearing House is the ARACY's key strategy for making links between research and its practical application.

The Clearing House Feasibility Study, funded by the Telstra Community Development Fund,  are available in the:
Phase 1 Report (PDF) and
Phase 2 Report (PDF).

Why do we need this Clearing House?

Public policy and the range of human services offered across the public and private sectors have a need for more accessible sources of reliable evidence relevant for an Australian context. Much research is inconclusive, fragmented, offering conflicting outcomes.  Sometimes, by its nature, it is too dense to be easily applied to practice.

On the other hand, researchers are frustrated that public policy debate often ignores known facts. The Clearing House, in conjunction with the ARACY's Communication Strategy, will make research more accessible to those with an involvement in policy making and service delivery.                        
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Clearing House Feasibility Study

The Clearinghouse Feasibility Study was conducted in two phases.

Phase 1: The first phase confirmed strong stakeholder support for a knowledge management mechanism which included the capacity to categorise, review and summarise the body of knowledge relevant to the health, development and wellbeing of Australian children and youth.
Phase 1 report (PDF)

Phase 2: In the second phase, the study team investigated the operation of a range of innovative initiatives in Australia and overseas and, in particular, how knowledge could best be disseminated to influence and inform evidence-based decision-making in policies and service practices.

The Phase 2 report makes recommendations on an operational model for the proposed “Clearinghouse/ knowledge transfer system”, the functions of the “Clearinghouse” and strategies for effective knowledge-transfer, and a timeframe and resourcing requirements for its progressive implementation.
Phase 2 report (PDF)

Key Recommendations

1. The proposed Clearinghouse should initially be established as “a project” in a credible institution (decided by tender) with a start-up staff of six (as a minimum) and a first year operational budget of $395,000, rising to $445,000 in year two.
A representative Advisory Panel be established in the early stages to assist in building strategic direction.
A three year timeframe is recommended to bring the Clearinghouse to full capacity with some “quick wins” built into the work program that will deliver useful information to stakeholders.
Dissemination of findings should be targeted to the specific needs of different target groups and include opportunities for active engagement with stakeholders at all stages.

The Clearinghouse Feasibility Study was undertaken by:

Project Coordinator

Dr Faline Howes
Cochrane Collaboration

Project Co-Manager

Associate Professor Elizabeth Waters
Centre for Community Child Health

Project Co-Manager

Professor Helen Roberts
City University London

Professor Terry Klassen
Alberta Research Centre for Child Health Evidence

Professor Trevor Sheldon
University of York

Ms Jaleh McCormack
City University London

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Information to be included in the Clearing House

The Clearing House focus will be derived from ARACY's research agenda being developed through the Research Directions Project.  It is envisaged at this stage that the Clearing House will have broad parameters of information about the impact of all social, economic and health investments and social interventions regarding children and young people.

Models for the Clearing House

ARACY's vision for a Clearing House builds from existing models and proposes a cooperative working arrangement with them. The emphasis on an interdisciplinary approach and the focus on effective Australian interventions are seen as the distinguishing features of our model.

In Australia the clearinghouses operated by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, and the Australian Clearing House for Youth Studies (operated under the auspices of School of Education, University of Tasmania), relate closely to the objectives of ARACY. It is the intention of ARACY to map the capacities of existing clearinghouses very precisely and negotiate relationships to avoid duplication or wastage of effort.

Role of the Alliance

The feasibility study has clarified the needs and requirements of our stakeholders and recommended models of of implementation.  From the results of this study, ARACY will seek funding and negotiate a suitable auspicing arrangement for the new resource. Through our Communication Strategy ARACY will also ensure widespread dissemination of information about the Clearing House.

Clearing House Roundtable Workshop

2004 August 17: A workshop was held on 17 August 2004 to consider the Clearing House Phase 2 Report.  Below are the presentations made on the day and the outcomes of the workshop which were presented in the form of a 'talk book'. (PDF 4 Mb)

Overview, Prof Fiona Stanley (PDF  323 Kb)
Feasibility Study, Dr Elizabeth Waters (PDF  379 Kb)
What works for Children? Ms Di McNeish (PDF 1.4 Mb)

Workshop Outcomes (PDF 4 Mb)

Next steps:

  • Through ARACY's Research Directions Project identify priorities for systematic reviews and meta-evaluations.
  • Secure funding for initial systematic reviews or meta-evaluations. These are likely to be conducted by Alliance members, or by new collaborations created for the purpose of addressing the Alliance research agenda.
  • Complete Business Plan and secure funding to implement Clearing House consistent with outcomes of feasibility study.


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