We work collaboratively with organisations, their constituents and clients, to find out what is working well, what could be improved and how to make it happen. This means we find out what service users and family/carers think; how workers and volunteers experience their jobs; and how management leads organisational direction and service delivery. Our services include:
We apply what we know from research and field experience to design, implement and monitor responsive supports for service users and communities. Our approach is practice-based and collaborative and includes strong project leadership and content knowledge.
At the heart of our approach is a desire to improve the system of supports available to people who experience some form of disadvantage, in order for them to live meaningful lives in their community. Much of our work is about assisting organisations and sectors to transition and improve practices in order for their services to deliver more effective outcomes. Our team supports people to manage change in ways that are ethical and which maintain the integrity of the organisation and its purpose. Further, we encourage and guide organisations to transform using organisational development principles, in order to fulfil their aspirations goals and objectives. Using social and business research methodologies; and process consulting skills, we assist sectors and organisations to:
- Build their capacity and capability
- Understand the changing needs and aspirations of the people who use their services, staff, volunteers and other stakeholders
- Review their performance and acknowledge transformation when this is required
- Understand and develop evidence-based approaches to decision-making
Projects focused on systematic and sectoral reforms often include:
- Mapping services and facilities available to the community and identifying any gaps in respect of the makeup and needs of the community
- Speaking with service users. workers, managers government and other stakeholder to identify issues and potential improvements
- Examining workforce issues impacting service delivery
- Designing service models that can better respond to community aspiration
- Exploring government policy and priorities, and funding models
- Examining data systems and tools used to collect and analyse information about services
Planning change. Read more....
We evaluate organisations and programs and make recommendations to identify and enhance what works well. Moreover, we support organisations to develop self-evaluation skills and tools in order to foster continuous quality improvement.
Our specialist skills and experience in organisational change and development, financial management, quality systems, service-user planning, self-directed support, and outcomes measurement enable us to undertake a holistic approach to evaluations.
Evaluation approaches have taken some turns over the past decade with an increasing focus on qualitative methods. We have developed evaluations frameworks for formative and summative evaluations using program logic and including: participative inquiry, appreciative inquiry, action research, most significant change technique, and empowerment evaluation. Our membership of the Australasian Evaluation Society enables us to stay informed and educated on the latest evaluation approaches that include qualitative quantitative, financial and mixed methods. Read more...
We support organisations to plan their strategic direction and activities and to review their progress. Our team supports organisations to enhance the effectiveness of what they do using organisational development principles and by effectively engaging with service users and the community. We support learning environments, reflective practice, solutions-focused and client-centred thinking within organisations and we encourage organisations to provide safe, healthy and friendly environments for their staff.
In the disability sector, we also assist individuals and their family and carers to identify how they can be supported to meet their needs and fulfil their aspirations. We discover what is important in the lives' of people who are being supported and we identify how to achieve peoples' goals through facilitating individual support plans, person centre plans and individual support agreements. We have worked with many disability organisations developing planning tools, training staff, facilitating plans and speaking with individuals, their families and carers about the support they receive and their needs. Read more....
Our team conducts social and business research. We have academic research experience but our research approach in not academic. Our consultants and researchers want to spend time with service users, families, workers, managers, volunteers and communities to find out what's really going on. We have qualifications and experience in research-based disciplines and comprehensive knowledge of research methodologies appropriate to health and community services. We engage with contemporary research discourse through our membership of the Action Learning and Action Research Association.
Effective engagement with stakeholders and the analysis of quantitative, qualitative and financial data enables us to undertake rigorous research but we want to make sure that when we do research, it's the people we hear not just the numbers we see.
Our research activities take many forms. They include both traditional and new and emerging approaches:
- Interviewing people face-to-face, on the telephone or via computer (video-conferencing, Skype)
- Surveying people and organisations using hard copy and electronic questionnaires
- Moderating focus groups
- Facilitating public forums
- Running workshops to discuss specific subjects
- Using new and emerging media, e.g. digital stories, art and craft activities, photostories
For example, there has been a growing interest in using digital storytelling to capture the experiences and ideas of people who may otherwise not participate in research, e.g. young people, people with a disability. Our team under the guidance of film maker Dr. Mark Lyall has used digital story telling and multimedia on a number of projects which have provided another dimension for learning about people's experiences and perceptions. Similarly, Jill Lane has led research with people with a disability using art and craft activities; and Liz Dimitriadis has guided a community arts organisation to develop evidence of participant outcomes using art-based methods. Read more...