How can the Industry List help? A service provider’s experience

How can the Industry List help? A service provider’s experience

25 August 2016
How can the Industry List help? A service provider’s experience

The Families and Children Activity Industry List helps to connect service providers with research, evaluation and practice experts.

The Families and Children Activity Industry List helps to connect service providers with research, evaluation and practice experts. Industry List members are available to provide support and guidance in relation to program planning, program implementation and program evaluation/outcomes measurement.

This article is part of a series of Families and Children Expert Panel dissemination activities aimed at sharing research, evaluation and practice knowledge. It describes the experience of one service provider who recently entered into partnership with a member from the Industry List.

Project background

The service provider was a Communities for Children Facilitating Partner (FP) who submitted a program to CFCA for assessment in relation to the 30/50% requirement. The program had not yet been rigorously evaluated, although a detailed evaluation plan had been developed.

After some discussion with CFCA the FP opted to get some help from Industry List to build a stronger evidence base for their program.

The Industry List process has four distinct stages that are overseen by CFCA: scope, match, do and share. Details about each stage are available in this one-page guide to the Industry List process (PDF).

Scope and match

What was the project brief?

To have an Industry List member review, and if necessary, revise the FP’s draft evaluation plan and program logic, and link the program logic to intended outcomes.

The FP had a small budget and wanted the work completed quickly. It was also important that the successful Industry List member’s approach reflected the underlying values and aims of the FP.

In consultation with CFCA, a project request was drafted and distributed to several “matched” Industry List members for the opportunity to submit a quote. The FP selected their preferred candidate and the project commenced shortly afterwards.


What steps were taken before the project commenced?

The service provider had done a lot of the groundwork required to develop an evaluation plan. The objectives of the program and program logic were documented and the FP had identified what data collection tools were accessible within the organisation.

Having this information readily available, the Industry List member was able to quickly familiarise themselves with the program and the organisation, and focus their efforts on building a robust evaluation framework.

What was the overall outcome?

At the end of the project the service provider received a report that detailed the evaluation framework and program logic. The framework built on the FP’s existing plan, but had a stronger focus on using good quality methods and measures to evaluate the impact of the program.  

Staff working within the FP also experienced some unintended outcomes such as learning new skills in preparing and implementing a rigorous evaluation. These skills not only benefited the current project, but could also be applied to other areas of practice.


What worked well?

Face-to-face meetings between the FP and the Industry List member were not feasible due to the considerable distance between the two agencies. Instead, phone and email were used as the primary source of communication. This worked well for several reasons: the project was a small piece of work that had a planning focus, the FP had a clear idea of their objectives, and the program documentation was made available to the Industry List member before the project commenced.

Being in regular contact facilitated a good working relationship between the two organisations and helped to reinforce new skills acquired by FP staff.

And one final thing… having not spent any money on travel-related costs, the FP’s project budget was spent entirely on improving the program and service outcomes.

Learn more about the Industry List

The first Expert Panel dissemination activity was a webinar that focused on building an outcomes framework for families, which was a partnership between Mallee Family Care and Social Ventures Australia. You can download the full recording and presentation from our website.

Find out more about how to access help from the Industry List, and the estimated price-range for services.


The feature image is by Valtech Sweden, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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