Digital services

Digital technologies are transforming how people find information, communicate and access services.

New technologies and communication channels provide governments with new ways of providing information to and connecting with citizens, communities and businesses. They also offer governments opportunities to increase efficiency and reach into regional and remote areas through innovative modes of service delivery.

Digital developments include online portals that provide a ‘one stop shop’ for citizens to access government services. They also include improvements to data management to enable more effective and efficient information sharing across government and with the community. Examples of digital service delivery include online programs to quit smoking, e-medicine for remote consultations and diagnosis, and apps that provide real-time updates on public transport.


Project examples

Click on any of the following projects for more information.

Evaluation of online crisis support trial

(Lifeline Australia, 2011)

Evaluation of online crisis support trial

(Lifeline Australia, 2011)

The Online Crisis Support Chat sought to replicate Lifeline’s 13 11 14 telephone crisis support service in an online environment. ARTD evaluated the processes and effectiveness of the trial using a mixed-methods design. We interviewed and held focus groups with mangers and volunteer counselling staff at the three trial sites and analysed post-training survey data to understand their perceptions about processes and the new model. We analysed administrative data on wait times, chat times and changes in mood for those receiving the service, and quantitative and qualitative data from a follow-up survey of people who made contact with the service. We selected a random sample of 100 chat transcripts to assess the extent to which chats followed Lifeline’s practice model. Our report assessed the recruitment, training and supervision processes for counsellors, the reach of the online service and the extent to which it was able to meet demand, fidelity of implementation, and user satisfaction.

Evaluation of an online cannabis education tool

(NSW Department of Education and Training, 2011)

Evaluation of an online cannabis education tool

(NSW Department of Education and Training, 2011)

The Department developed an online interactive game as a resource for teachers educating students about cannabis and its effects. In 2009, about 220 students across ten schools in NSW tested the game. ARTD was contracted to evaluate the suitability and acceptance of the game among the participating schools. We surveyed all participating students before and after they played the game to test changes in knowledge. We also held focus groups and interviews with students, teachers and executive staff to assess their satisfaction with the game and its overall utility. Our report provided the Department with recommendations for design improvements.

Evaluation of online counselling service from problem gambling

(Victorian Department of Justice, 2011)

Evaluation of online counselling service from problem gambling

(Victorian Department of Justice, 2011)

Gambling Help Online is a national website providing information and live chat or email counselling for those with a concern about their own or someone else’s gambling. ARTD’s evaluation of the service assessed its accessibility, appropriateness, and effectiveness. Methods included analysis of Google analytics data, assessment of website accessibility, search engine optimisation analysis, review of the site against national and international standards for online counselling, interviews, focus groups, and analysis of client survey data. The report was used to inform decision making about the funding and future delivery of the service.

Evaluation of resources for mature aged workforce in the NSW public sector

(Ageing Disability and Home Care, NSW Department of Family and Community Services, 2011)

Evaluation of resources for mature aged workforce in the NSW public sector

(Ageing Disability and Home Care, NSW Department of Family and Community Services, 2011)

The SageCentre website provides specialist information and resources to help NSW Government agencies manage the risks associated with large numbers of experienced employees beginning to retire, particularly the loss of critical skills and knowledge. It also provides information to help public sector employees plan for retirement. ARTD’s evaluation assessed the appropriateness, usefulness and effectiveness of the website for employees. We reviewed the literature on strategies for managing a mature aged workforce and interviewed policy staff in other Australian jurisdictions, reviewed the website against accessibility standards, assessed patterns of use through Google analytics data and numbers of registered users from different agencies, surveyed recent users and interviewed human resources managers about their perceptions of the site. To assess the cost effectiveness of the website, we conducted an analysis of users’ willingness to pay. Our report identified the need for complementary strategies to support older employees and their managers, other topics to be covered on the website, and strategies to address the prevalent negative attitudes about the productivity of mature age workers.