Bridging the gap between policy and practice for vulnerable groups in Malaysia

31 January 2019 10:21
Skyline Kuala Lumpur

A Lancaster University project which seeks to involve older people and people with disabilities in the national Malaysian policy-making process has been awarded a £100,000 grant.

ImaginationLancaster at Lancaster University and Sunway University in Malaysia have been awarded the international grant to empower local communities and Government in Malaysia to address social issues in ageing.

The 12-month project, ProtoPolicyAsia, involves the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development Malaysia, Petrosains - The Science Discovery Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Lancaster University, Sunway University in Malaysia and United Nations University - International Institute for Global Health in Malaysia.

Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves, of ImaginationLancaster, a design-led research centre, was awarded the ProtoPolicyAsia project grant under the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s GCRF Highlight Notice for International Development: Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement Scheme.

“ProtoPolicyAsia’s main aim is to increase local community participation in the Malaysian national policy-making process to work together with relevant government agencies on social issues that relate to older people and people with disabilities,” said Dr Tsekleves.

“This is in line with the Malaysian government's goal to promote community-based care and address the gap between policy and practice for these vulnerable groups.”

The project aims to:

·        Support Malaysian government agencies to develop community-based engagement methods, using speculative design as a way to dealing with problems and creating solutions

·        Empower local communities by developing skills and knowledge for them to come together to support community-based care and ageing- in-place

·        Assess the impact of the change to ensure that the plans and programmes meet people's needs and are long- lasting in to the future

·        Develop sustainable partnerships between key groups (government agencies, Non- Government Organisations, community-based groups) to carry on tackling the social issues faced by older persons and persons with disabilities.

All activities focus on UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals and will help support Malaysia in its drive to become an advanced economy and inclusive nation.

ProtoPolicyAsia will also benefit the UK as we shall be pilot testing research methods developed in the UK,” added Dr Tsekleves. “The lessons learned from this will feedback into the refinement of these research methods as well as new ways of increasing the involvement of older people and people with disabilities in the national UK policy-making process.”

The funded project is a result of the collaboration developed during the South East Asia Springboard at Sunway University in November 2017 by Lancaster’s Dr Mandy Dillon, Professor Nick Dunn and Professor Harry Hoster and its seed corn funding by Lancaster University.

For more information contact Dr Tsekleves

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