Social Capital and Blood Donation: The Australian Case

Dr. Megan Alessandrini
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The therapeutic demand for blood donation continues to grow as the pool of potential donors contracts. Many individuals are precluded from donating blood by travel exclusions and medical conditions and the likelihood of experimental advances to allow the adaptation of animal blood or the development of synthetic blood appear remote. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service [ARCBS] is becoming concerned by these factors. In a bid to find answers beyond reactive market research driven ones, ARCBS has participated in an ARC Linkage project with the goal of identifying the characteristics of blood donors and their communities.The results of this research have provided insights about who donates blood, why they give, and significant factors influencing those who do not donate blood.

Keywords: Social Capital, Blood Donation, Public Policy
Stream: Politics, Public Policy and Law
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Social Capital and Blood Donation

Dr. Megan Alessandrini

lecturer, School of Government, University of Tasmania
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Dr Megan Alessandrini has been actively researching in the non-profit sector since 1998, before which she was employed in the public sector as a policy analyst. She has also lectured in political activism, public policy, social policy and political theory. Her research interests include
# Community sector and public policy
# social capital
# Management and structure of non-government organisations
# Feminist theory / Women's policy
# Research and evaluation methodology
# Political theory
She is currently the chief investigator in an ARC Linkage grant of $215,000: ‘Reading the Social Future of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service’. She is also currently on the research team for a NDLERF grant of $375,000 looking drug diversion implementation policy. In addition she was recently a co-chief investigator in the $45,000 local evaluation of the Tasmanian U-Turn program [Young Recidivist Car Theft Offenders Program]. She has extensive experience of evaluation of program delivery in the non-profit sector, including three previous mixed method evaluations of the CSSDP program. Her PhD research, completed in 2001, utilised comparative method and both empirical and qualitative data. This data was used to construct a typology of non-profit organizations and a market orientation scale. These models were used to explain the relationship between human service organisations and government, at both the institutional level and from the perspective of individual organisations. In addition to this, Dr Alessandrini is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Third Sector Research Inc (ANZTSR). She has presented two papers at the 1998 Biennial Conference, one at the 2000 Biennial Conference of ANZTSR, 2 papers at the 2002 ANZTSR conference in Aukland, and one in December 2004. She has also presented refereed papers at the Australasian Political Studies Association [APSA] conferences in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. She has conducted numerous consultancies and contract research projects in the field over the last eight years and written a number of consultancy reports. She has had two refereed articles published in Third Sector Review in 2002 and 2005.

Ref: I06P0244