Decide

Leaders need support to make sense of the vast quantities of information at their disposal in this digital age to make effective decisions based on evidence.

We help leaders identify and piece together the available evidence to decide on the best policy option. Our team works with senior management in organisations, cross-sectoral working groups and policy stakeholders to reach agreements on strategic decisions.

Our services to inform decision-making include:

  • rapid scans of academic and credible grey literature
  • strategic planning workshops
  • policy options papers
  • analysis of interjurisdictional and international best practice
  • needs analyses
  • market and environmental scans
  • feasibility studies
  • forum and workshop facilitation
  • cost projection analyses.

Project examples

Click on any of the following projects for more information.

Financial Counselling Services resource allocation model review

(NSW Fair Trading, 2018)

Financial Counselling Services resource allocation model review

(NSW Fair Trading, 2018)

NSW Fair Trading provides grants to not-for-profit organisations under the statewide Financial Counselling Services Program to provide consumers with help around credit and debt and provide them with skills and knowledge to manage their financial affairs. In 2012 the Financial Counselling Services Program service model was re-shaped to reflect a needs-based resource allocation, structured around local government areas (with primary and outreach locations). ARTD reviewed the resource allocation model to assess its appropriateness and identify updated or alternative models that might better account for service needs and/ or demands. The review involved a document review of current and alternative resource allocation models for similar services, interviews with key stakeholders and a sample of Financial Counselling Services Program providers to understand their issues and priorities. We also undertook an analysis of administrative data from the Financial Counselling Services Program to describe patterns of access and demand and completed a cost analysis of Financial Counselling Services Program financial data to understand costs and cost drivers. Based on our findings, we developed a report which outlined three resource allocation models for NSW Fair Trading to consider and advised on a recommended model that better accounts for population, demand and need factors. The report also identified opportunities for NSW Fair Trading to strengthen the Financial Counselling Services Program guidelines and service model.

National Regulatory System for Community Housing – Tier 3 engagement

(National Regulatory System for Community Housing Secretariat, 2018)

National Regulatory System for Community Housing – Tier 3 engagement

(National Regulatory System for Community Housing Secretariat, 2018)

The National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH) is a nationally consistent regulatory system that aims to ensure that community housing is well-managed and governed. Tier 3 Providers operate on a smaller scale and face a lower level of regulatory oversight and engagement. However, the NRSCH Secretariat discovered that some Tier 3 providers find that the evidence requirements and compliance load are too burdensome or not appropriate given their operations and context. ARTD developed a sector engagement strategy with Tier 3 providers to understand their issues in more detail and to work with the sector to find solutions. We developed and administered an online survey asking Tier 3 providers (n=93) about their experiences with the current arrangements and their suggestions for improvement. ARTD analysed the survey results and, based on key issues, developed a workshop program and guide for NRSCH staff to further explore the challenges of the system, as well as the features that are seen to add value and should be leveraged in the future.

Strategic planning for a whole-of-government response to school non-attendance

(NSW Department of Education, 2017)

Strategic planning for a whole-of-government response to school non-attendance

(NSW Department of Education, 2017)

Regular attendance at school is essential for students to achieve high quality life outcomes. Non-attendance at school is caused by numerous factors—many with deep roots in family dysfunction, criminogenic factors and socio-economic disadvantage. ARTD assisted the NSW Department of Education to strategically plan a whole-of-government response to the issue of school non-attendance, recognising that it is a complex issue that intersects with many government agencies, non-for-profit service providers, schools, families and children. ARTD conducted a series of interviews (n=13) with representatives from key agencies to better understand the problem of school non-attendance. We then facilitated a forum to identify pathways for addressing the non-attendance when it is identified as an issue. Pathways identified were consistent with current regulation, policy and behaviour change theory and realistic and feasible for agencies to implement. As well as reflecting on the key themes prevalent in non-attendance, the report also recorded the immediate, medium- and longer-term steps identified by agency representatives as relevant to ensuring more effective interagency responses to address school non-attendance. The final report provided ‘green shoots’ accepted by key stakeholders which can be further developed into a whole-of government response.

The strategic review of the NSW Ombudsman Office

(NSW Ombudsman, 2018)

The strategic review of the NSW Ombudsman Office

(NSW Ombudsman, 2018)

The NSW Ombudsman engaged ARTD to review the strategic direction and supporting structure of the office to best meet current and future needs. The NSW Ombudsman’s Office is the integrity agency that holds NSW government agencies and certain non-government organisations to account. Established in 1975, the jurisdiction of the Office has expanded over time from public administration complaints-handling to agency oversight and review functions in relation to child protection, disability support and the delivery of community services.  The objectives of the review were to (1) assist the Ombudsman to frame a refreshed Statement of Corporate Purpose that articulated the Office’s values, identifies goals and provide a guide for performance over the next five years, and (2) recommend an organisational structure and distribution of business units and functions that would achieve the Office’s goals and discharging statutory responsibilities. We conducted extensive consultations with internal and external stakeholders in order to develop recommendations around a functional organisational structure and distribution of business units that we believe will best assist the Office to achieve its goals and statutory responsibilities in a consistent, coherent, evidence-informed and collaborative way.

Clinical waste disposal research

(Blacktown City Council, 2018–19)

Clinical waste disposal research

(Blacktown City Council, 2018–19)

Blacktown City Council has engaged ARTD to undertake research into home-generated clinical waste and identify and scope solutions to its management. The project is investigating the types of illnesses and health problems that result in clinical waste generation at home, how many residents in the Blacktown local government area are generating clinical waste at home, and what types of solutions already exist to effectively and safely manage such waste. ARTD are completing a process of desktop research on clinical waste management and conditions that cause such waste to be generated. This is being supplemented with telephone and email interviews with representatives from the health and waste management sectors both in Australia and overseas, analysis of population statistics on health conditions and trends, and a focus group with local residents who generate clinical waste at home to understand what solutions may be feasible. The project is expected to be completed by January 2019.

Supported employment pathway mapping

(Department of Social Services, 2018)

Supported employment pathway mapping

(Department of Social Services, 2018)

ARTD, in consultation with Department of Social Services, the National Disability Insurance Agency and employment sector stakeholders, developed journey maps to illustrate the current employment journeys that people with disability, eligible for Disability Employment Services or National Disability Insurance Scheme employment supports, can take. The maps compare the journeys of people entering into school leaver supports, supported employment or open employment, and also focus on those exiting employment temporarily and permanently.

The process began with a workshop with key stakeholders who collaboratively created draft pathways, focusing on key ‘touch points’ in the employment journeys and the associated actors, actions, barriers and opportunities along the way. Following the workshop, we drafted the journey maps and conducted follow-up stakeholder interviews to make refinements. We also consulted stakeholders for input regarding successful employment journeys to translate to case studies. Finally, we reviewed over 50 online submissions from key stakeholders to the Department of Social Services consultation on the future of supported employment, to identify further information about barriers and opportunities to employment. While the maps identify current employment pathways for people with disability in the National Disability Insurance Scheme, they also identify insights to inform the development of a future supported employment policy.

Meeting facilitation for the Ministry of Health

(NSW Ministry of Health, 2017)

Meeting facilitation for the Ministry of Health

(NSW Ministry of Health, 2017)

In 2018, the Office of the Chief Health Officer within the NSW Ministry of Health brought senior staff from three health agencies together to revise a framework the determines how safety and quality incidents that require ‘system-level’ central coordination are managed. ARTD’s leading facilitator, Sue Leahy, facilitated a meeting of senior staff from three health agencies in NSW—NSW Ministry of Health, Clinical Excellence Commission and HealthShare NSW—to discuss key issues and workable solutions. Sue supported the stakeholders to successfully reach a consensus on the new framework.

Target Earlier Invention (TEI) program reform – Sector Assistance Strategy

(NSW Department of Family and Community Services, 2017)

Target Earlier Invention (TEI) program reform – Sector Assistance Strategy

(NSW Department of Family and Community Services, 2017)

The NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) is currently undertaking Targeted Earlier Intervention (TEI) Program reform, and is developing a two-phase Sector Assistance Strategy in collaboration with peak organisations to assist existing funded services transition to the new TEI Program. ARTD has been engaged to develop Phase 1 of the Strategy that aims to support TEI funded services to effectively participate in the TEI commissioning process. A series of interviews and two co-design workshops with peak organisations were conducted along with a substantial online survey of existing TEI funded services. This comprehensive consultation process will be used to inform what assistance measures should be included in Phase 1 of the Strategy to best meet TEI funded services’ needs in relation to TEI commissioning, local planning and transition. It will also provide a starting point for the future development of Phase 2 of the Strategy.

Ku-ring-gai Community Needs Analysis Update

(Ku-ring-gai Council, 2017)

Ku-ring-gai Community Needs Analysis Update

(Ku-ring-gai Council, 2017)

Ku-ring-gai Council engaged ARTD to conduct a Community Needs Analysis, with a focus on people with disability, young people, older people, children and families, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (similar to their previous Community Plan). ARTD conducted a needs analysis for population groups based on a literature scan, policy analysis, feedback from previous council consultations with the population groups, and a series of consultation workshops with relevant Council staff and local service providers. The process identified: the key issues each group faces, the role of Council in supporting these groups, and strategic directions for Council. The final Needs Analysis will feed into the Council Community Strategic Plan development processes later in 2017.

Consultation on NDIS quality and safeguards

(Department of Social Services, 2015)

Consultation on NDIS quality and safeguards

(Department of Social Services, 2015)

The NDIS represents a major change to how services are funded and delivered. It requires a new national approach to quality and safeguarding to ensure consistency across states and territories and replace quality and safeguarding measures currently managed through state-based legislation and funding agreements between providers and government agencies. The Commonwealth Government, and the State and Territory Governments are developing a national Quality and Safeguarding Framework for the NDIS. Because this represents a significant regulatory policy, with the potential to impact on businesses, community organisations and individuals, they need to prepare a Regulation Impact Statement, which involves consultations and a cost-benefit analysis of a range of potential options. ARTD managed the public and provider consultations—organising and facilitating a series of meetings in capital cities and regional locations in all states and territories. We worked with venues, Auslan interpreters, hearing loop suppliers and others to ensure the public meetings were accessible to people with disability, as well as their families and carers, service providers, peak bodies and other representatives. At the end of the consultation period we synthesised the findings from all consultation mechanisms (an online forum, provider workshops, targeted workshops and formal submissions) to inform decision-making. Following this, we facilitated a workshop between representatives from Commonwealth Government, and State and Territory Government agencies on directions for the Framework.

Options for Home Care intake and assessment during transition to major system reforms

(Home Care Service of NSW, 2014)

Options for Home Care intake and assessment during transition to major system reforms

(Home Care Service of NSW, 2014)

The Home Care Service is the largest provider of home-based community care services to older people and people with disability and their carers in NSW. The Referral and Assessment Centre manages the majority of intake and assessment for the service; the Aboriginal Access and Assessment Team manages intake and assessment for Aboriginal Home Care. In March 2014, ARTD was engaged to review the options for Home Care intake and assessment during the transition to the national Aged Care Gateway and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We reviewed policy documentation and consulted with stakeholder groups to develop options and criteria for assessing their appropriateness and viability. We then prepared a discussion paper and workshopped the options with key stakeholders. Our final report provided recommendations to inform the management of intake and assessment for Home Care over the transition period.

National Regulatory System for Community Housing

(NSW Department of Family and Community Services, 2015)

National Regulatory System for Community Housing

(NSW Department of Family and Community Services, 2015)

ARTD had a lead role in facilitating national agreement on the design and implementation of a single regulatory system for community housing providers that operated across states and territories. The regulatory system has underpinned the significant growth of the community housing sector in delivering social housing and the emergence of multi-jurisdictional providers.

Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing Strategic Agenda

(NSW Department of Family and Community Services/ Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing, 2014)

Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing Strategic Agenda

(NSW Department of Family and Community Services/ Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing, 2014)

ARTD worked closely with the chair and members of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing to develop the Council’s multi-year strategic agenda and work program for providing advice to the NSW Minister for Ageing on key issues to support the implementation of the NSW Ageing Strategy.