Council to Homeless Persons
About this project
Outcome-based approaches to service design and delivery are increasingly in focus for the Specialist Homelessness Sector in Victoria. Recognising this focus, Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) has been working in partnership with the sector to develop a strong, well-informed view on outcome-based approaches and outcome measurement. This is a priority action within the sector’s Industry Transition Plan.
Lirata supported CHP over two project phases to build sector capacity and develop shared perspectives on fit-for-purpose outcome measurement.
Phase 1 – Position paper
Lirata assisted CHP to develop a position paper on outcome measurement within the Specialist Homelessness Sector: Preparing for Outcome Measurement. The paper was developed by Lirata’s CEO Mark Planigale, in collaboration with CHP staff. Lirata conducted a literature review, consulted with service providers and people with lived experience of homelessness, and sense-checked drafts with sector representatives and outcome measurement experts.
The position paper, launched in October 2018, recommended a proactive strategy to build sector influence and capacity regarding outcomes. The Future Ready Homelessness Forum subsequently endorsed the view that CHP should support the SHS to proactively engage with the Victorian Government’s outcomes focus.
Phase 2 – Sector outcomes consultations
Council to Homeless Persons and Lirata built on the position paper by implementing the Sector Outcomes Consultation Project. The project aimed to strengthen the sector’s readiness for outcome measurement by building understanding and contributing to a culture that values outcomes data. The project also surfaced the ideas and concerns of the sector, and reviewed these alongside information on best practices in outcome measurement to identify approaches that are fit for purpose.
Lirata facilitated consultations with over 200 stakeholders: people who are or who have been without a home, frontline staff and managers of homelessness service provider organisations, and others. The consultations demonstrated a high degree of interest and openness on the part of the sector to adopting outcome-based approaches. However, consultations also indicated consistent concerns about the potential for outcome measurement to be implemented poorly, with damaging results for program participants and service providers.
To be effective, sustainable and ethical, outcome measurement needs to be designed and introduced carefully and in close consultation with service providers and people who are or who have been without a home. The consultation report provided clear recommendations in regard to outcome measurement architecture, domains, measures and processes, and presented a staged plan for introduction of outcome measurement within the sector.
The project has been important in building the sector’s understanding of outcome measurement and the level of support for moving forward. It has assisted the sector to articulate a clear perspective on fit-for-purpose outcome measurement, equipping CHP and service providers to advocate to government for models that will be effective and practical.
The project has assisted the sector to articulate a clear perspective on fit-for-purpose outcome measurement.