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Incorporating hope and resilience into policy and program evaluation: Empirical evidence from Australia

Simon Burgess, Syed Muhammad Fazal-e-Hasan, Muhammad Abid, Anthony Dillon, Omar Al Farooque & Sujana Adapa
PAQ, Vol. 47 No. 4, 477-513 (2023)

In discussions about the goals we should set for our policies and programs, there are some familiar moral reasons to think that hope and resilience should often be included. In particular, hope and resilience are both widely recognized as moral virtues, and they may be vital for social cohesion. To demonstrate the feasibility of modelling and measuring the relevant variables and of putting them to use, we developed and tested a number of hypotheses. Drawing upon survey data that we collected from 429 participants (211 Indigenous Australians and 218 non-Indigenous Australians), we found that favourable beliefs about the quality of government support are positively associated with greater levels of hope and resilience. Hope and resilience, in turn, are positively associated with greater satisfaction with life. But most interestingly, we found a strong and widespread positive association between fully recognizing the legacy of historical injustices in Australia and having hope.

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