Evaluation and Expert Panel project resources

This page presents a range of resources to help service providers with research and evaluation initiatives.

Community development and needs assessment

What is community development?
An overview of community development for service providers and practitioners.

Applying community capacity-building approaches to child welfare practice and policy
This paper explores the concept of community capacity and uses real-life examples to illustrate the ways in which service providers might apply community capacity-building approaches in their work with children and families.

Community engagement: A key strategy for improving outcomes for Australian families
This paper seeks to clarify what community engagement involves, how it relates to other ideas and practices, and the role it can play in improving outcomes for children and families.

Choosing and delivering evidence-based programs

Implementation and adaptation of evidence-based programs 
A recording of a webinar that addressed some of the challenges of implementing evidence-based programs within diverse community settings and client groups.

Program fidelity and adaptation: Meeting local needs without compromising program effectiveness (PDF 296 KB) 
This paper explores the types of changes that are sometimes made to programs and the effects those adaptations can have. Strategies for maintaining program effectiveness are offered.

Selecting an evidence-based program 
This guide is designed to assist Communities for Children Facilitating Partners with the process of selecting a program from the evidence-based program profiles a.k.a. “the guidebook”.

Program evaluation

Evaluation basics

What is evaluation 
A brief overview of the role of evaluation and innovation in the context of family support services.

How to develop a program logic for planning and evaluation 
This page provides a detailed program logic guide and template for creating your own model, group, activities and outcomes are in alignment.

Planning for evaluation I: Basic principles 
An outline of the steps involved in planning an evaluation, including detailed information about program logic.

Planning for evaluation II: Getting into detail 
A guide to the why, who, what, when, where and how of evaluation, particularly the vital tasks needed to ensure an evaluation goes smoothly.

Evidence design and methods
Information about the types of evaluation methods that inform evidence-based practice, and tips for services on establishing a culture of evaluation.

How to develop a program evaluation plan
This resource will enable you to measure what the effect of your program has been on participants. Outcome and process evaluation templates are provided.

Dissemination of evaluation findings 
Information on how to disseminate evaluation findings to the broader service sector, including tips for writing and publishing an evaluation report.

Outcomes measurement

Communities for Children outcomes measurement matrix 
This resource is designed to assist Communities for Children (CfC) service providers with locating valid and reliable tools to measure program outcomes.

How to choose an outcomes measurement tool 
Outlines how to choose an outcomes measurement tool, and provides links to established examples for use with children and families.

Collecting data from parents and children for the purpose of evaluation: Issues for child and family services in disadvantaged communities
An outline of the challenges child and family services face when collecting data directly from parents and children for evaluation.

Building a better outcomes framework for families: A story from the Mallee 
The recording of a webinar that told the story of the relationship between Mallee Family Care (MFC) and Social Ventures Australia (SVA), and how they worked in partnership with key agency and community stakeholders to develop outcome measures.

Demonstrating community-wide outcomes: Exploring the issues for child and family services 
Investigates issues relating to evaluating whole-of-community initiatives.

Measuring outcomes in programs for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander families and communities
The recording of a webinar discussing ways to measure the outcomes of programs for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander families and communities.

Ethical considerations for evaluation research 
Outlines how going through the ethics application process and receiving ethical clearance provides welcome reassurance.

Evaluation approaches

Empowerment evaluation
A snapshot of empowerment evaluation, a model that aims to create a sense of ownership to ensure program outcomes are beneficial for participants.

Participatory action research
A snapshot of participatory action research, an approach that views the participant as an equal partner with the researcher.

Realist evaluation in action: A worked example of the Aboriginal Parental Engagement Program
Margaret Cargo and Lisa Warner discuss the "realist" approach used to evaluate the Aboriginal Parental Engagement Program (APEP).

Using qualitative methods in program evaluation
Outlines some key considerations for using qualitative methods.

Focus on… Practioner experiences

The following products relate specifically to Expert Panel and Industry List projects and other examples of how service providers have applied evidence-based practice.

How can the Industry List help? A service provider’s experience 
A short article that describes a Communities for Children Facilitating Partner's experience of working with an evaluation expert to develop a robust program evaluation plan.

Planning for the successful implementation of two evidence-based programs
A short article that describes Uniting Care’s approach to supporting the implementation of two evidence-based programs in the East Gippsland region, as part of the Expert Panel project.

Practice based best evidence: What evidence base counts when evaluating good practice in program delivery
The recording of a webinar reflecting on the experiences of the FAST program in the NT to explore what counts as good practice in Indigenous community programs.

Collaboration and co-design when evaluating intergenerational trauma projects
A short article outlining how co-design and collaboration is fundamental to the work of the Healing Foundation.

Stronger Communities for Children: An approach to community involvement in Indigenous program evaluation
An overview of Ninti One’s approach to working with local communities to deliver the Stronger Communities for Children program.

Evidence Informed Practice in Intensive Family Support Programs: Are we there yet?  
The recording of a webinar that described how The Benevolent Society applies the Resilience Practice Framework to their intensive family support programs.