What is SPARC?
Social Policy Action Research Centre
SPARC is committed to a multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach to social research, with researchers across the Crawford School working with other academics in the College of Asia and the Pacific, government and non-government organisations to increase understanding of the underlying causes of social problems as well as the environment within which social policy practitioners operate. Different disciplinary lenses will be applied to problem identification and framing and a sophisticated methodological mix employed to increase the richness of research findings.
SPARC is interested in broad themes and issues emerging from the field and while we want to influence the public agenda, we do not approach policy problems from a pre-set ideological position. We are interested in challenging commonly held or unquestioned assumptions and rethinking issues outside of existing ideological agendas or theoretical frames.
SPARC’s commitment to challenging old assumptions and exploring new approaches will also shape the way in which it engages with the region. In the past, definitions of social problems and solutions have emerged from research and policy debates conducted in the North and applied to countries in the South with little input from Southern academics and policy-makers. SPARC is interested in cross-fertilization of ideas, experience and research and will actively facilitate and engage policy learning and dialogue from South to North.