The Expert Panel project: Reflections and results from a national workforce capacity building initiative

Program evaluation snapshots
Thursday 26 July, 1030 – 1040


Sharnee Moore
Australian Institute of Family Studies

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) was commissioned by the Department of Social Services to establish a panel of experts to assist agencies funded under the Department’s Families and Children Activity (“the Panel”, 2014–2019). The role of the Panel is to advise, mentor, support and build capacity of service providers to offer services and programs that are shown to improve outcomes for families and children.

AIFS’s work has focused on providing resources and support to build the capacity of the Families and Children (FaC) Activities to evaluate programs, measure client outcomes and make decisions about service delivery that are informed by evidence. This work is key to supporting what is effectively a cultural change for the sector.

This presentation will discuss interim results from the evaluation of the project including the use of the “Expert Panel” and the usefulness of the web resources. Evaluation results to be presented include changes in evaluation methods and language over time used by FaC service providers.

Learnings and factors that have facilitated the capacity building process, such as having research-practice partnerships will be discussed. Some of the challenges, including evaluating programs with small sample sizes and measuring the effectiveness of soft-entry services, will also be considered.

This presentation will conclude with reflections from AIFS staff and implications for future programs that aim to build evaluation capacity in this sector.