Design

Policies and program designs will be more appropriate if they are designed with the people they affect. So government agencies and non-government organisations need appropriate ways to give clients, staff and communities a voice in designing policies and programs.

We work with our clients to engage with their communities and stakeholders, and give a voice to those traditionally disempowered in consultation processes. We help develop communications strategies, clearly outlining target audiences, key messages, and appropriate channels to enable a civic and corporate conversation. We often use partnership approaches when working with Indigenous communities, people from cultural and linguistic diversity and people with disability.

Our services to inform policy and program design include:

  • rapid scans of academic and credible grey literature
  • translation of research for practice and practice-based evidence
  • co-design processes for policies, programs and regulation
  • sensitive and creative facilitation
  • multi-modal communications strategies
  • face-to-face public consultation forums made inclusive through accessible venues, hearing loops, translations and appropriate processes
  • online surveys, discussion forums and websites to elicit feedback
  • in-depth workshops with local communities
  • collaborative development of program logic models and theories of change
  • evaluation frameworks and strategies
  • discussion papers
  • design of regulatory frameworks
  • design of specifications.

Project examples

Click on any of the following projects for more information.

State-wide autism strategy for schools

(Amaze, 2017)

State-wide autism strategy for schools

(Amaze, 2017)

Amaze, in consultation with the Victorian Department of Education and Training, is working with stakeholders on a strategy to support autistic students as part of the Government’s response to the review of the Program for Students with Disability. We began with a literature and policy scan and scoping interviews to develop a root cause analysis of the factors contributing to poorer educational and wellbeing outcomes for autistic students in Victorian schools. This established the way systems and the built and social environment, and the attitudes and behaviours of school staff, peers, parents and the broader community interact with the characteristics of autism to create barriers. Following this, we built consensus on the root cause analysis and the priorities to be addressed through a key stakeholder workshop. We then worked with stakeholders to develop a logic model and theory of change for the overall strategy and the strategies to address each identified priority area, and a framework for measuring outcomes. The final report will inform the Government’s strategy to support autistic students.

Developments of a new Tenancy Management Model for FACS Housing

(Department of Family and Community Services, 2017–18)

Developments of a new Tenancy Management Model for FACS Housing

(Department of Family and Community Services, 2017–18)

FACS Housing and other social housing providers deliver tenancy management services under agreements with the Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) and the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO). Tenancy management services include standard 'landlord' functions, and additional functions related to social policy objectives—such as facilitating access to supports needed by clients to maintain their tenancy or transition into private housing. In view of social housing reforms, including property transfers to the community housing sector, FACS is seeking to develop a new tenancy management model that reflects this policy context and the challenges of managing increasingly complex tenancies. In December 2016, FACS engaged ARTD to critically review the current tenancy management model and develop fully costed proposals for preferred options for a different model(s). ARTD is currently undertaking a literature review, in-depth interviews and a workload activity analysis tool (WAAT) to gather evidence about the current model and its drivers, and to scope the parameters of other tenancy management options. We will develop a discussion paper and then consult with: FACS key informants, FACS tenancy management and access/ demand teams across NSW, community housing providers and other support services (e.g. homelessness services, health services and Aboriginal services), and tenant groups. Our report will outline different tenancy management options and make recommendations for actions to implement a new model, including cost implications.

Victorian Family Violence System Reform Co-Design

(Department of Premier and Cabinet, 2016)

Victorian Family Violence System Reform Co-Design

(Department of Premier and Cabinet, 2016)

The Family Violence Reform Unit within the Department of Premier and Cabinet has committed to work with the Victorian community to co-create a shared state-wide vision for service reform to address family violence following the 2015 Royal Commission into Family Violence. ARTD facilitated world café style co-design workshops and community conversations in Melbourne and across regional Victoria—including dedicated forums with Aboriginal people and communities—to develop a shared vision encapsulating Victoria’s priorities for reform. We consulted with survivors of family and domestic violence and their supporters, local service providers and system stakeholders including state-wide peak bodies and representatives from across government. The overall vision that emerged is for a future where all Victorian are safe, thriving and live free from violence. This vision and accompanying goals were used to frame ‘Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change’—a ten-year strategy outlining how all 227 of the Commission's recommendations will be implemented.

Aboriginal Maternal and Child Health Initiative

(Victorian Department of Education and Training, 2016–17)

Aboriginal Maternal and Child Health Initiative

(Victorian Department of Education and Training, 2016–17)

In 2016, the Victorian State Government established the Aboriginal Maternal and Child Health Initiative in response to lower participation rates of Aboriginal children in the Maternal and Child Health Service. This Service is Victoria’s universal primary health care service for families and young children from birth to school age. The Aboriginal Maternal and Child Health Initiative aims to develop and trial new approaches to Maternal and Child Health service delivery to ensure Aboriginal families receive improved access to culturally responsive and high quality Maternal and Child Health services. ARTD was engaged to design and facilitate a co-design process with key stakeholders that have expertise in working with Aboriginal families and delivering Maternal and Child Health services including Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, Aboriginal health and education peak bodies and local government. ARTD held four co-design workshops that resulted in a new service model centred on the needs of Aboriginal families identified by stakeholders. The service model is being trialled and evaluated in 2017 and 2018 to inform how services can better meet the needs of Aboriginal families. The final product published by DET can be accessed here: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/providers/funding/Pages/amchigrants.aspx.

Aboriginal consultation model

(NSW Department of Family and Community Services, 2010, 2012-14 and 2016)

Aboriginal consultation model

(NSW Department of Family and Community Services, 2010, 2012-14 and 2016)

Protecting Aboriginal Children Together (PACT) is a Keep Them Safe initiative, designed to respond to recommendation 8.5 of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW to ‘consider establishing a ‘Lakidjeka’ type model of consultation to provide an Aboriginal perspective in relation to the best ways of keeping children and young people safe’. In 2010, ARTD worked with Community Services, the Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat (NSW), and community stakeholders to develop the service model, guidelines for providers, and a methodology for determining service costs. In 2011, two sites were selected and local Aboriginal non-government services were funded to pilot PACT, working alongside Community Services’ caseworkers.

ARTD was subsequently engaged to evaluate the pilot to inform decisions about further rollout across NSW. We delivered the project in partnership with an evaluation steering committee. With the program’s extended establishment period, the focus of the two-stage evaluation was on assessing how implementation worked in practice and gathering early indications about what the model can achieve in two very different sites. We interviewed PACT and Community Services’ staff, families and community representatives to understand how the model was working from their perspectives. We also analysed program monitoring and administrative data to assess implementation and early outcomes, and collected costs and workload data to identify any adjustments needed to the cost modelling developed for the pilot. The evaluation informed ongoing management of the pilot.

Consultations to improve the Youth Frontiers program model

(NSW Department of Family and Community Service, 2017)

Consultations to improve the Youth Frontiers program model

(NSW Department of Family and Community Service, 2017)

Youth Frontiers is a state-wide mentoring initiative that aims to enhance youth development outcomes through community engagement activities. It involves four agencies delivering school-based mentoring to young people in Year 8 and Year 9, reaching about 1,200 mentees per year. The model was developed in 2015 based on recommendations from ARTD’s evaluation of the NSW Youth Mentoring Pilot. ARTD was subsequently engaged to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of Youth Frontiers in 2015 and 2016. Also in 2016, ARTD was engaged to assess the cost effectiveness of the program and to establish an outcomes monitoring system around the program. In 2017, FACS agreed to fund the initiative for a further three years, providing an opportunity to refine the model, incorporating lessons from our previous evaluations and strengthening the voice of program participants. ARTD is currently engaged to facilitate consultations with participants and providers to improve the model and strengthen the voice of young people in its design and delivery. The final report will synthesise the consultation findings and outline the core components of a re-shaped Youth Frontiers model. We will meet with FACS to discuss the model and develop actionable recommendations around how this can be translated by FACS into service specifications.