Impact Research NZ conducts high quality research within the New Zealand social service, community and health sectors that makes a positive difference for families and communities. We are a not-for-profit organisation, providing research services at reasonable and accessible prices.
Outcomes based evaluation and reporting are tools that are increasingly valued by government departments to ensure quality and effectiveness of service provision, including meeting accountability requirements. We aim, through outcomes-based research carried out in New Zealand, to:
- provide solid evidence, through the evaluation of service provision, of the effectiveness of services (how well they are provided and the differences made)
- support organisations to develop and utilise outcomes based evaluation and reporting, with a focus on meeting accountabilities and informing continuous service improvement
- explore how local and regional community development initiatives strengthen families and contribute to the prevention of negative social outcomes
- investigate social and economic factors impacting on families, older people and people with disabilities
- support emerging researchers in the social sector. From time to time, Impact Research offers seminars, internships and supervision to Masters and PhD students developing theses in the field.
Results Based Accountability
All of us who work in social services want to know that our services are making a positive difference in the lives of our clients, and in the wider community. Funders increasingly want social service providers to be able to demonstrate the outcomes they are achieving, so that they know the funding they provide is being put to best use.
Some of our research involves introducing a Results Based Accountability framework to providers, which provides a client outcome focus. The model helps providers to identify desired outcomes and ways of measuring progress towards those outcomes, so that questions such as “How well did we do?” and “Is anyone better off?” can be answered. Learn more. Click to view RBA Article Evaluation Journal of Australasia
Evaluating service provision
Individual service providers, or local clusters of providers can contract Impact Research NZ to conduct evaluations in order to produce evidence of the quality of provision and contribution to the wellbeing of client populations. The evaluation process is highly participatory, and reports to providers are confidential.
Supporting organisations to develop outcomes based evaluation and reporting
Outcomes based evaluation and reporting are likely to be required by government departments funding service provision in the future. Impact Research NZ can work with providers to support their capability development towards outcomes-based evaluation and reporting.
Exploring community development initiatives
Many local initiatives contribute to tertiary level prevention of negative social outcomes in the community. Yet these projects are developed with insufficient research and evaluation which could inform other community development projects. Impact Research aims to work with community development initiatives as they unfold, in order to capture the process and the impact on the community.
Exploring social and economic impacts on families older people and people with disabilities
In the current economic environment it is vital that we understand how social and economic factors impact on local populations, and on the efforts of service provision and community development to strengthen families and communities. Impact Research aims to work collaboratively with other research organisations to explore these impacts.
Additionally, Impact Research staff can provide seminars to university graduate classes on research and evalutation methodologies including Results Based Accountability. We also provide internships for research students - please contact us to discuss.
Security of data
Individual client and participant anonymity and confidentiality is paramount. This means that research client reports will not identify individual participants, nor will information provided by any participant be able to be linked back to the participant. However, aggregate reports based on work with a range of clients may be shared with the sector. In these wider reports, individual client organisations will not be able to be identified, unless they have given their permission.