Vanessa Picker is a Clarendon Scholar and DPhil Candidate in Social Intervention. She previously completed the MSc Candidate in Evidence-Based Social Intervention & Policy Evaluation, as a Rotary Global Grant Scholar. Vanessa’s academic interest centres around the evaluation of interventions aimed at addressing priority economic and community development issues (e.g poverty, intergenerational welfare dependency and youth unemployment). She is also very interested in assessing the effectiveness of outcomes-based commissioning models (such as social impact bonds), which are designed to achieve both social and financial outcomes.
Vanessa has gained relevant professional experience by working in various strategic policy roles. Most recently, she worked for the Department of Premier and Cabinet (NSW), as a member of the team responsible for bringing at least two social impact investment transactions to market per year. Prior to that, she was a Policy Officer at the Department of Social Services (Australian Government). She contributed to various policy design projects during the implementation phase of the $20.7 million Investment Approach to Welfare. The Investment Approach uses actuarial valuations, predictive analytics and targeted interventions to reduce long-term reliance on income support.