HC Coombs Partnerships

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

DIBP-ANU Collaborative Research Programme

In April 2013, The Australian National University and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection established a Collaborative Research Programme on the International Movement of People. The Crawford School of Public Policy manages the collaborative projects and other research activities on behalf of the Australian National University as a whole.

The Collaborative Research Programme aims to strengthen the evidence-base on irregular migration through commissioning research projects which provide insights into the drivers, determinants, and decision-making of irregular migrants. As such, the initiative supports the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s broader Irregular Migration Research Programme http://www.immi.gov.au/media/research/irregular-migration-research/ which seeks to address the knowledge gaps in irregular migration research, with particular attention given to placing Australia’s experience in broader global and migration contexts. The research is framed in an open, inquiring manner that is objective and non-partisan and designed to help inform the Australian Government’s policy and operational deliberations.

The first round of the Collaborative Research Programme was advertised in May 2013, resulting in six research projects being commissioned:

  • The Process of Sri Lankan Migration to Australia focusing on Irregular Migrants seeking Asylum – Prof Graeme Hugo (The University of Adelaide)

  • Determinants of Applications for Asylum – Professor Tim Hatton (The University of Essex/The Australian National University)

  • Drivers of irregular and regular migration from Sri Lanka: evidence from a large survey – Dr Dinuk Jayasuriya (International Research and Evaluation Services/ The Australian National University)

  • Information Consumption and Decision Making of Irregular Maritime Arrivals – Professor Sharon Pickering (Monash University)

  • The root causes of movement: Understanding the Determinants and Processes of Irregular Migration from Afghanistan – Dr Melissa Siegel (Maastricht University, The Netherlands)

  • Decision making factors and experiences of irregular Afghan migrants in the Netherlands – Dr Melissa Siegel (Maastricht University, The Netherlands).

A second round of the Collaborative Research Programme was advertised in September 2014. Successful applicants will be listed here in due course.

The Partnership

The partnership arrangement between The Australian National University and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is a new form of government-academic collaboration that seeks to strengthen ties between policymakers and migration experts (both academics and practitioners). This is a genuine partnership characterised by constructive collaboration. Crawford School of Public Policy, with its strong international networks and an established reputation for working constructively with the Australian Government on policy relevant research, is able to enhance public policy formulation through cooperation between Australian policy practitioners and domestic and international academics working in the field of irregular migration.
As part of the partnership arrangement, and in support of the Collaborative Research Programme, The Australian National University and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection co-host several activities:

  • Research Workshops provide a means to disseminate research findings to policymakers across several Australian Government Departments.

  • Public lectures and forums to foster a more informed public debate on migration issues relevant both within the Australian and global contexts. Recent activities have included:

­> A public forum (November 2013) on Global migration: Future prospects and challenges, with panellists including Professor Stephen Castles, University of Sydney; Mr Gervais Appave (International Organization for Migration); Dr Khalid Koser (Geneva Centre for Security Policy); Ms Kathleen Newland (Migration Policy Institute); and Professor Richard Bedford (University of Waikato).
­> A public lecture (November 2014) on Afghanistan in transition by Dr Khalid Koser (Geneva Centre for Security Policy). Dr Koser spoke of the political, security, economic and social challenges facing Afghanistan and, with future migration and displacement likely, their impacts on Australia.

  • Private events. Recent activities have included:

  • A private seminar (April 2014) delivered by Ms Kathleen Newland, Co-Founder of the Migration Policy Institute and Director of Migrants, Migration and Development Program, on New mobility hubs: the example of Turkey as a regional migration pole and country of first asylum. Ms Newland discussed the transition of Turkey from a transit country to a host country, the country’s migration challenges, and its policy responses. The event was attended by members of the diplomatic community and the Australian Government.

  • Dr Khalid Koser meeting Crawford School PhD students (April 2014) to discuss Bridging the research-policy divide. Dr Koser spoke about breaking down traditional professional silos, creating entrepreneurial space to help bridge academic research and policy, the utility of research for government, and how to better communicate advice to policymakers.

Linkages between migration, mobility and productivity project

This project focuses on the linkages between migration, mobility and productivity and draws on academic and policymaking expertise from within ANU and externally. To date, an initial scoping meeting has been held with key stakeholders to identify and collate new ideas around project scope, data sources and research methods. A further workshop to solicit ideas from senior policymakers and to finalise the terms of reference for the project is planned for October. It is proposed that the work be undertaken through an expert panel supported by a modelling analyst, a secretariat and an advisor provided by Crawford School of Public Policy. The major outputs will be a final report, a set of key points and a presentation of findings.

Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet

In partnership with the Tasmanian Government and Crawford School’s East Asia Bureau of Economic Research, the Coombs Forum helped to deliver the first Tasmanian Government White Paper in a decade (Tasmania’s Place in the Asian Century). Coombs Forum staff researched and were lead authors on two chapters.

This collaboration has been nominated by the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet for the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management.

To view the report please see Tasmania’s Place in the Asian Century White Paper.

See www.eaber.org for more information on the East Asia Bureau of Economic Research.

ABC News 24

The national reach of the Forum is enhanced by the continuing development of the partnership with ABC News 24. This partnership led to the development of the new Future Forum television program in 2011. Three more programs were broadcast in 2012 and another in 2013, with the significant development being the expansion of the format beyond ANU – two of these were hosted by other research institutions.

Discussions are currently underway on a possible new documentary style format.

Please see Media for more detailed information and program links.

Updated:  25 February 2016/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team