Enhancing collective efficacy and agency as a strategy to enhance the policy and social impact of social science research

Presented by Professor Matt Sanders

The social sciences have much to contribute to the wellbeing of children and families but we need better ways of sharing that knowledge to produce policy and social impact. This seminar focuses on the major challenges faced by social and behavioural scientists when their research findings relevant to solving major problems seem to have little or no impact on either policy or practice. This has been a challenge in the area of parenting and family intervention research but it also occurs in many other areas as well.

In this presentation, Matt will use the recently formed Parenting and Family Research Alliance (PAFRA) as an example of how social scientists can work more collectively and collaboratively to undertake transformational policy advocacy that produces meaningful change. PAFRA was established in 2020 with Life Course Centre funding support and Matt will discuss its growth and evolution and how it has tackled some entrenched systemic barriers. A theory of change underpinning the collective approach will be discussed along with specific strategies to promote collective efficacy and agency. Matt will highlight key outcomes including developing a strategic plan, policy relevant intiatives and action-oriented working groups in areas such as funding, submissions, advising government, and training of early careers researchers, and the International Congress on Evidence-based Parenting Support in 2023.

Matt Sanders is a Chief Investigator in the Life Course Centre, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre at The University of Queensland. He is a global leader in the field of evidence-based parenting intervention, the founder of the Triple P Postive Parenting program, which is in use across 58 countries and has more than 140,000 practitioners trained to deliver it to more than seven million families worldwide, and is one of The University of Queensland’s Innovation Champions.

Date & Time

Wed, 27 July, 2022

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (AEDT)






Life Course Centre