Grant Thornton Australia and the Curtin University Not-for-profit Initiative are jointly investing in a three year research program designed to build the capacity of Not-for-profits in the area of outcomes specification, measurement and reporting, and to provide practical and effective tools to assist them respond to increasing demand for outcome based practices.
This is an ambitious objective but an extremely important one. The move toward outcomes development, management and reporting is complex but critical to the future of human services delivery in Australia.
We hope that Australia’s Not-for-profits, charities and other stakeholders contribute to this research as well as utilise its results.
The primary focus of the National Outcomes Measurement Research Agenda is to build on previous work in this area by:
- identifying key issues related to the successful implementation of outcomes reporting frameworks in Not-for-profit and charitable organisations providing human services
- developing and implementing a research and practice program of high integrity and quality
- combining the strengths and experience of the research partners to ensure that their understanding and capacity is fully brought to bear on this program
- engaging with the Not-for-profit and Charitable Human Services Sector in order to ensure research outputs are reflective of the real situation being faced within the sector, that outputs are industry-ready and that they support industry requirements
- creating tools and resources in support of the above, and disseminating those as widely as possible
These broad aims are ambitious, however, they need to be. The challenge for all involved in the provision of human services in Australia today—providers, peak bodies, ancillary service providers, governments—is to both identify methods of demonstrating the outcomes achieved and to use these methods to support their need for resources.