Mission Australia recently released a report on their dual program outcomes measurement pilot composed of Stream 4 Job Services Australia (JSA) and Personal Helpers and Mentors during 2014/5.
“The aim of the pilot was to enhance our understanding of the impact we were having through delivering interventions to improving well being [as described in the full report here], and ultimately to measure clients’ journeys towards independence.”
Mission Australia also comments that they wished to receive feedback on how their practitioners were performing and to inform funders and donors on the effectiveness of Mission Australia’s services.
Missions Australia noted 3 key lessons from their outcomes measurement pilot.
First, to consider what is already known, both within and outside the organisation. When determining which outcome indicators to use, Mission Australia spent time researching both internal organisational goals and external measurement tools, before deciding on what framework to use. This way their chosen framework was suitable for their organisation and was able to be implemented practically and reliably for their clients
Secondly, Mission Australia noted that outcomes measurement is a collaborative effort. A committee was created to see the overall running of the pilot. Careful collaboration with the research team and program managers enabled the pilot to understand the different demands and pressures of the organisation. Importantly, program leaders provided feedback on the data collection plan and methods to ensure the highest number of beneficiary responses.
Thirdly, outcomes measurement enabled Mission Australia to gain a far better understanding of their client journey – by repeating measurement across time. Surveying beneficiaries at three points in time enabled the organisation to understand how and when their goals were being met. The outcomes measurement pilot informed Mission Australia of which programs were progressing as expected and provided suggestions on where to improve.
Mission Australia documents two key finding from their outcomes measurement pilot.
- At the intake, many clients have very low well being and barriers to independence. Elucidating exactly what initial issues beneficiaries face enables the organisation to refine their program to focus on these key issues in the future.
- Mission Australia’s service models, which aligned with their theory of change, showed improvements in client outcomes.