Corporate plan 2020/21 to 2023/24: Text descriptions

AIFS' values & behaviours

Champions of our work and of each other
We want everyone's boat to rise: we take collective pride in each other's work and success

Excellent for impact
We are committed to producing excellent work that makes a difference for families

Fearless and curious explorers
We value experimentation, creativity and ongoing learning

Honest and respectful conversations
We are authentic and have honest conversations, including the tough ones

Seeing the lighter side
We value collegiality, humour and fun


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Figure 1: AIFS relationships

  • Department of Social Services
  • Minister for Social Services
  • Researchers and academics
  • Practitioners
  • Australian, state, local governments
  • Policy makers
  • International governments
  • Research advisory groups
  • Service providers
  • Ethics committee
  • Families
  • Risk assessment and audit committee

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Table 1: AIFS’ strategic pillars and what we do

Our purpose: To create and communicate knowledge that accelerates positive outcomes for children and families

What we do:

Pillar 1: Create

Research and advice in the design, implementation and evaluation of policy and practice

  • Research and evaluation
  • Data linkage
  • Policy advice
  • Knowledge translation

Pillar 2: Communicate

Resources and education for policy, practice, research and the community

  • Policy advice
  • Knowledge translation
  • Capacity building

Pillar 3: Connect and collaborate

Bring policy makers, service providers and researchers together

  • Knowledge translation
  • Capacity building

Pillar4: Activate

Sustainability as a research institute

  • Culture and capability building

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Families Framework

What do FAMILIES do?

  • FAMILIES care for and support each other
  • FAMILIES are part of communities and the economy
  • FAMILIES raise children

Life stages and transitions

  • Childhood
  • Adolescence & early adulthood
  • Family formation
  • Ageing
  • Life events
  • Disability

Family relationships

  • Parents & children
  • Couples
  • Step families
  • Indigenous families
  • Culturally diverse families
  • Same–sex parented families

Social& economic participation

  • Finances & poverty
  • Income support
  • Housing & location
  • Education
  • Paid & unpaid work
  • Child care & preschool
  • Services for families

Challenges for families

  • Violence
  • Child abuse & neglect
  • Mental ill–health
  • Gambling
  • Drugs & alcohol
  • Care for family members
  • Conflict & relationship breakdown

External trends

  • Social, Cultural
  • Technological
  • Economic
  • Environmental

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Families Framework Tree

A Families Framework tree diagram. 

What do families do?

  • Raise children
  • Care for and support each other
  • Are part of communities and the economy

What helps or hinders families do it better?

  • Legislation
  • Service systems
  • Policies
  • Relationships & community

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Figure 2: AIFS Strategic Planning Framework

Strategic

Families Framework
Our understanding of families, their role, and what supports them

Impact pathways
How our work achieves impact

Strategic directions
Long-term goals and yearly initiatives

Operational

Capability assessment & planning
People, systems, processes capability requirements

Strategic initiatives (planning)
Project Discovery Business Case endorsement

Strategic initiatives (implementation)
Project sponsorship and governance

Internal monitoring & reporting
Quarterly reporting Biannual review 

PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT AND REPORTING FRAMEWORK

GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK

AIFS VALUES


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Four organisational pillars

Pillar 1: Create knowledge by generating high quality, impartial research relating to the wellbeing of families in Australia

Pillar 2: Communicate knowledge by disseminating research and resources through multiple channels to target audiences

Pillar 3: Connect and collaborate with policy, practice and research communities to strengthen capability and enable evidence-informed action that improves outcomes for children, families and their communities

Pillar4: Activate our future sustainability by building an organisational culture of excellence, impact and effective operations and governance

Strategic goals headers

  1. National research leadership:
  2. Leading source of relevant, timely and accessible knowledge and resources:
  3. Influence national conversations about family wellbeing:
  4. Sustainability as an independent research institute:

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Figure 3: AIFS' Strategic Pillars and Goals

Our purpose: Create and communicate knowledge that accelerates positive outcomes for children and families

AIFS' GOALS

  • National research leadership: Recognised as the premier research organisation investigating factors affecting wellbeing of children and families. Government and non-government sectors engage us to undertake research and provide advice to inform policy, practice and program development.
  • Leading source of relevant, timely and accessible knowledge and resources: The leading source of accessible, timely and relevant resources to support the work of policy and practice, and to inform the broader community. Our resources inform national discussion about family and wellbeing.
  • Influence national conversations about family wellbeingA recognised thought leader in accelerating positive outcomes for children, families and communities.
  • Sustainability as an independent research institute: Operationally efficient and financially sustainable. We maintain a sustainable program of research that enables us to achieve our purpose. We are an organisation of choice for people who want to make a difference.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVES

PILLARS

Pillar 1: Create knowledge by generating high quality, impartial research relating to the wellbeing of families in Australia

Pillar 2: Communicate knowledge by disseminating research and resources through multiple channels to target audiences

Pillar 3: Connect and collaborate with policy, practice and research communities to strengthen capability and enable evidence-informed action that improves outcomes for children, families and their communities

Pillar 4: Activate our future sustainability by building an organisational culture of excellence, impact and effective operations and governance


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Figure 4: AIFS Strategic Initiatives 2019/20

Our purpose: Create and communicate knowledge that accelerates positive outcomes for children and families

AIFS' GOALS

  • National research leadership
  • Leading source of relevant, timely and accessible knowledge and resources
  • Influence national conversations about family wellbeing
  • Sustainability as an independent research institute

STRATEGIC INITIATIVES FOR 2020/21

  • Develop AIFS Strategic Directions 2021–26.
  • Implement multiple waves of the Families in Australia Survey.
  • Deliver the AIFS Conference.
  • Implement a knowledge translation capability-building program.
  • Redesign our website.
  • Implement the Doing My Best Work Performance Development Program.

PILLARS

Pillar 1: Create knowledge

Pillar 2: Communicate knowledge

Pillar 3: Connect & collaborate

Pillar 4: Activate


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Figure 5: AIFS’ Pathway to Impact

IMPACT ON FAMILIES

Laws, policies, systems, services and practices support the wellbeing of children and families 

IMPACT ON BENEFICIARIES

Governments and services use AIFS’ research to design effective policies and programs for children and families 

BENEFITS: THE VALUE AIFS PROVIDES

  • Better understanding of issues
  • Potential policy solutions to consider
  • Enhanced capacity to use research
  • Trusted research partner
  • Access to relevant research
  • Evidence to support service development
  • Evaluation capacity building 

BENEFICIARIES: WHO BENEFITS FROM OUR WORK?

Policy makers and Government

Service sector 

PURPOSE: WHY WE EXIST

To create and communicate knowledge that accelerates positive outcomes for children, families and their communities. 

GOALS: OUR LONG-TERM AIMS

  1. National research leadership.
  2. Leading source of relevant, timely and accessible knowledge and resources.
  3. Influence national conversations about family wellbeing.
  4. Sustainability as an independent research institute.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVES

PILLARS: WHAT WE DO 

Pillar 1: Create knowledge

Pillar 2: Communicate knowledge

Pillar 3: Connect and collaborate

Pillar 4: Activate


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Figure 6: Performance measurement framework

Impact Pathway Right people, skills, processes and systems High quality research and advice; timely relevant resources and tools Research leadership; leading source of information influencing conversations AIFS’ research used to design effective policies, services and programs Laws, policies, systems, services support child and family wellbeing
Goals ACTIVATE; CREATE; COMMUNICATE; COLLABORATE  
Inputs What we do (activities) What we produce (outputs) Outcomes Impacts for beneficiaries
Goal 1: National research leadership Staff
  • number, disciplines, qualifications
  • Research/Support staff

Operating revenue

  • Commissioned
  • Appropriations
  • Other

Capital and technical assets

  • Data security system
Undertake research and evaluation to:
  • understand challenges facing families
  • inform the work of policy and service sectors
Robust, credible research on issues facing Australian families
  • Projects (total and commissioned)
  • Commissioning bodies
End users seek out AIFS’ research, resources and expertise
  • AIFS e-News subscribers
  • Webpage views
  • Webinar attendees
  • Media citations
  • Media comments
  • Stakeholder Survey – frequency of engagement
Better understanding among stakeholders about issues facing Australian families
  • Stakeholder Survey
  • Case studies
Goal 2: Leading sources of credible, timely, relevant information Create resources and information for policy, practice, research and the public. Disseminate research and resources. Provide expertise and advice to policy and practice sectors. Build relationships and collaborations. Facilitate discussion across policy, service and research sectors. Build capacity of policy and practice to access and use research evidence. Access to high quality research and information
  • Publications and products released
  • External presentations
  • Webinars
Improved capacity of stakeholders to use research to inform policy and service design
  • Stakeholder Survey
  • Case studies
End users and stakeholders find AIFS’ research and resources relevant to their work
  • Stakeholder Survey
  • Case studies
Goal 3: Influencing national conversations Platforms and opportunities for cross-sector dialogue and collaboration
  • AIFS events
  • Event attendees
  • Partnerships
  • Advisory groups
Deeper insight into outcomes and impacts of policy and service design on children and families
  • Stakeholder Survey
  • Case studies
Strategic planning, implementation and monitoring. Organisational culture development. Business improvement. Workforce development. Financial monitoring and forecasting. Risk management. Organisational capability enables AIFS to achieve impact
  • Employee Census scores
  • Case studies
Goal 4: Sustainability as an independent institute Practices, processes and culture that ensure sustainability
  • Learning and development programs
  • Wellbeing sessions
  • APS new starter induction training
  Subprogram area strategies, impacts, pathways and measures 

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Figure 7: Performance measures 2019/20–2022/23

What we produce (outputs)

Robust, credible research on issues facing Australian families
  Prev Current
18/19 19/20
Projects (total) 33 31
Commissioned 29 27
Commissioning bodies 21 14
Access to high quality research and information
  Prev Current
18/19 19/20
Publications and products released 66 58
External presentations 68 55
AIFS webinars 14 18
Platforms and opportunities for cross-sector dialogue and collaboration
  Prev Current
18/19 19/20
AIFS events 5 1a
Event attendees 1237 70a
Partnerships 33 24
Advisory group representation Not reported 39
Practices, processes and culture that ensure sustainability
  Prev Current
18/19 19/20
Learning and development sessions 7 17
Wellbeing sessions 9 7
APS new starter induction training 8 9

Outcomes

End users seek out AIFS’ research, resources and expertise
  Prev Actual Targets
  18/19 19/20 20/21 21/22 22/23 23/24
AIFS e-News subscribers 24137 31840 ≥19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Webpage viewsb 4.2M 3.4M ≥19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Webinar attendees 8930 11447 ≥19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Media citations 4255 3661 ≥19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Media comments sought (unsolicited) N/A 107 ≥19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Stakeholder Survey – frequency of engagement N/A Pending ≥19/20 TBD TBD TBD
End users and stakeholders find AIFS research and resources relevant to their work
Prev Target Actual Targets
  18/19 19/20 19/20 20/21 21/22 22/23 23/24
Stakeholder Survey              
AIFS resources are easy to find 80% ≥80% Pending ≥ 19/20 TBD TBD TBD
AIFS resources are accessible and easy to understand 89% ≥89% Pending ≥ 19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Whether used AIFS resources 74% ≥74% Pending ≥ 19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Case studiesc 0 1 1 1 1 1 1
Organisational capability to enables AIFS to achieve impact
  Prev Target Actual Targets
  18/19 19/20 19/20 20/21 21/22 22/23 23/24
Employee Census scoresd              
Staff engagement 77% ≥ 75% Pending ≥ 19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Staff wellbeing 78% ≥ 75% Pending ≥ 19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Innovation 72% ≥ 70% N/Ae ≥ 18/19 TBD TBD TBD
Case studies 0 1 2 1 1 1 1

Impacts

Better understanding among stakeholders about issues facing Australian families
  Prev Target Actual Targets
  18/19 19/20 19/20 20/21 21/22 22/23 23/24
Stakeholder Survey              
AIFS resources expand my knowledge 72% ≥72% Pending ≥ 19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Case studies 0 1 1 1 1 1 1
Improved capacity of stakeholders to use research to inform policy and service design
  Prev Target Actual Targets
  18/19 19/20 19/20 20/21 21/22 22/23 23/24
Stakeholder Survey              
Incorporate new ideas into work practice 58% ≥58% Pending ≥ 19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Used to make evidence-based decisions 60% ≥60% Pending ≥ 19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Case studies 0 1 1 1 1 1 1
Deeper insight into outcomes and impacts of policy and service design on children and families
  Prev Target Actual Targets
  18/19 19/20 19/20 20/21 21/22 22/23 23/24
Stakeholder Survey              
Debate and discuss different options for action 60% ≥60% Pending ≥ 19/20 TBD TBD TBD
Case studies 0 1 1 1 1 1 1

NOTES

  1. AIFS cancelled multiple events in 2019/20 due to COVID-19, and postponed the AIFS 2020 Conference until 2021.
  2. Prior to 2019/20, most AIFS publications spanned more than one webpage. To read a publication a user had to click through multiple pages. In 2019/20, to improve the user experience, publications were converted from a multi‑page to a single-page format. The resulting decline in page views is due to that conversion, not to fewer publications being viewed.
  3. Case studies for outcomes and impacts will appear in AIFS’ 2019/20 Annual Report.
  4. The APS Census is held in May each year. Due to COVID-19 it has been postponed to October, hence there are no data available for the 2019/20 actuals.
  5. Innovation will not be asked in the next Employee Census.

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Staff recommending AIFS as a good place to work

2016 – 36%

2017 – 64%

2018 – 81%

2019 – 85%


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