Professor Erin Wilson

Professor Erin Wilson is the Director of the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne (CSI Swinburne).

Professor Wilson is a leading researcher and thinker in the field of participatory social change. She has a track record in the areas of disability and inclusion and, prior to this, Indigenous community management and development.

Her research career has focused on research that ‘makes a difference’ through participation of those most affected and high utility of the research products.

Working collaboratively with key stakeholders, she has sought to influence policy and practice via strongly embedded projects that directly interface with stakeholder activities and offer immediate translation opportunities into policy and practice. Methods to influence change have included policy briefs, guides to practice, and short films, as well as academic publications.

Her work is underpinned by the design of inclusive and participatory research and evaluation methods that enable a full diversity of participation, including children and adults from diverse cohorts including those with diverse disabilities.

A key methodological focus has been on developing methods to value lived experience and enable self-report of a wide range of cohorts, utilising innovative methods such as image assisted data collection. Her work in this arena has included research in Australia, PNG and Vanuatu.

A major and long-standing area of work has been the development of methods of outcomes measurement, particularly relating to outcomes of consumers using diverse community services, as well as outcomes for communities in relation to community capacity building initiatives.

She is currently leading the Uniting Vic. Tas-Swinburne Research Collaboration focusing on designing large scale measurement of service user outcomes of community services.

Erin also works with other organisations in the development of outcomes measurement approaches. Professor Wilson has advised government in areas such as outcomes measurement of social services (WA, Victoria and Commonwealth), including the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building area of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Recent research activities have focused on evaluations of programs aiming to increase employment of people with disability; the experience of choice among people with psychosocial disability accessing the NDIS; identifying priorities for building the capacity of mainstream and community services to include people with disabilities; and the human rights priorities of children with disabilities.

She also works to support community services and social change initiatives through facilitating theory of change thinking and the development of interventions based on clearly analysed problems and causal pathways.

Erin currently holds the Uniting Chair in Community Services Innovation.