Guiding Framework

Our guiding framework and strategy, aids

  • decision-making – to prioritize resources, approve activities,
    and target investment to add value and innovate
  • performance – to assess our effectiveness
  • communication – to share the Centre’s work

What we do should lead to social benefits, help improve quality of life, and contribute to public policy, including risk reduction in decision-making.

Our work is

(a) guided by need, the strength of the evidence-base, and our capacity to have impact;
(b) by a commitment to integrity; and
(c) by a long-term growth agenda. 

A focus on need, evidence, and impact

There is an expectation that the Centre will help to raise educational attainment.  Therefore, cutting-edge work with a high probability to have positive impacts on aspirations and attainment will be prioritized.

A strong evidence base is vital to the Underwood Centre’s capacity to address need, maintain growth, and safeguard our capacity to influence. At the same time, the Centre will be explicit when engaged in experimental thinking, hypothesizing, and speculation, all of which are central to research processes.

Some of our work may promise ‘long-shot’ breakthroughs, and some of it may answer community need without having widespread impact. Therefore, the Centre’s functions may include ‘slow-burn’ exploration work or produce useful briefings that are largely informational.

The Centre’s work is multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted, and we consider, as appropriate:

  • learning, education, and training
  • place-based and spatial contexts
  • social, cultural, and political contexts
  • employment pathways and economic circumstances
  • community and family settings, including health and well-being

A commitment to integrity


The Centre’s impartiality is paramount. To support transformation in the community and increase educational attainment outcomes the Underwood Centre is a non-partisan entity; maintaining this status is crucial to our capacity to influence.

Centre programs, projects, initiatives, and activities will follow the national and international best-practice guidelines pertaining to ethics, merit, integrity, fairness, and risk.

Centre activities will be conducted with due regard for individual and collective welfare, beliefs, perceptions, and for the customs and cultural heritage of those involved. We will always respect the need for consent, privacy, and confidentiality.


A long-term growth agenda

Our partners are the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government. Centre staff will also work with others in the private and non-government sectors as resources allow.

While our work needs to reflect the full cost of doing business, on occasion work may be explicitly discounted or provided pro bono.

The Centre will use its resources efficiently and effectively:

  • to align with our vision, purpose, and values
  • in ways that show the clear benefits of proposed activities
  • by reference to clear aims, methodologies, and processes
  • mindful of opportunities to scale our efforts
  • so that we account for risks and risk mitigation
  • in ways that show progress against key performance indicators
  • so that knowledge production and dissemination and further inquiry are fostered