A shared outcomes measurement blueprint for Australia

Authored by:

Kristy Muir, Abigail Powell

Status: Completed August 2015

Australia spends over $420bn a year across health, social services, education and a wide variety of other social issue domains. The total cost accounts for around 30% of GDP and has grown over four or five decades as the country’s income and wealth increased.

However, the crunch has come. In recent years there has been a growing recognition that we cannot continue to increase expenditure on social issues as we have in the past. Slowing economic growth and an ageing population will place unprecedented pressures on our social purpose systems in years to come.

Leaders across governments, the social sector, academia and the community are grappling with these challenges through reforms in funding models, creation of actuarial-based market models, experiments with social investment, collaborative and place-based approaches and many others.

If we look broadly across our social purpose system there is increasing recognition of two key underlying issues:

  • siloed and fragmented approaches are failing to effectively deal with complex, integrated social issues, and;
  • a lack of clear, consistent measurement of our progress in improving outcomes.

So, what might change if we collectively agreed on key outcomes, a set of indicators to measure them, and a system to collect and summarise the information on how we’re tracking, what’s changing and where? What if individual organisations had access to their own data and could compare that across the whole sector? What might we achieve if we had insight into the greater cause and whether and where we are most making a difference? What if we united by cause, to create social impact at scale?

At CSI, we have a vision for a comprehensive national outcomes measurement system that can track how Australia is progressing socially. Click here to read more or download the PDF, below.

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