Evidence & Policy
A journal of research, debate and practice

Why is lived experience important for market stewardship? A proposed framework for why and how lived experience should be included in stewarding disability markets

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Ariella MeltzerUniversity of New South Wales, Sydney

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Helen DickinsonUniversity of New South Wales, Canberra

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Eleanor MalbonUniversity of New South Wales, Sydney

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Gemma CareyUniversity of New South Wales, Sydney

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Background:

Many countries use market forces to drive reform across disability supports and services. Over the last few decades, many countries have individualised budgets and devolved these to people with disability, so that they can purchase their own choice of supports from an available market of services.

Key points for discussion:

Such individualised, market-based schemes aim to extend choice and control to people with disability, but this is only achievable if the market operates effectively. Market stewardship has therefore become an important function of government in guiding markets and ensuring they operate effectively.

The type of evidence that governments tend to draw on in market stewardship is typically limited to inputs and outputs and has less insight into the outcomes services do or do not achieve. While this is a typical approach to market stewardship, we argue it is problematic and that a greater focus on outcomes is necessary.

Conclusions and implications:

To include a focus on outcomes, we argue that market stewards need to take account of the lived experience of people with disability. We present a framework for doing this, drawing on precedents where people with disability have contributed lived experience evidence within other policy, research, knowledge production and advocacy contexts.

With the lived experience evidence of people with disability included, market stewardship will be better able to take account of outcomes as they play out in the lives of those using the market and, ultimately, achieve greater choice and control for people with disability.

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Ariella MeltzerUniversity of New South Wales, Sydney

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Helen DickinsonUniversity of New South Wales, Canberra

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Eleanor MalbonUniversity of New South Wales, Sydney

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Gemma CareyUniversity of New South Wales, Sydney

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