During the two years preceding the launch of CAPPA, Per Capita completed extensive research work on longevity and its implications for Australia’s future. The central findings are that an extra 25 years of high-quality life expectancy over the last century constitute an unquestionably positive development for both individuals and society, and that Australia should embrace longer lives as a remarkable opportunity rather that a grave challenge.
Per Capita then established the Centre for Applied Policy in Positive Ageing (CAPPA) to develop and trial specific policy initiatives that embrace this opportunity. It is Per Capita’s ageing policy “do tank”
With its dual focus on applied policy and positive ageing, CAPPA is unique in the Australian think tank landscape.
CAPPA and Systemic Change
Policy innovation has the best chance of being self-sustaining if it is applied policy, undertaken in collaboration and is community-driven. Applied policy research is outcomes focused, seeks systemic long-term change and is multi-disciplinary in its approach. This is distinguishable from both academic research, which is highly specialised, empirical and theoretical, and government approaches to policy which are typically risk averse and constrained by resources. Applied policy research fills the gap on the research spectrum between these two approaches to policy.
CAPPA’s function is to develop policy proposals and social innovations, and to test them through pilot programs so that the successes are adopted by government and the community.
These pilot programs allow us to develop and test projects and policy ideas on a micro-scale, to ensure sustainability and scalability.
Through CAPPA we are able to effect enduring system change through capacity building in applied policy and investment in these pilots.