About the Centre for Social Impact
The Centre for Social Impact (CSI) is delighted to work with Community Mental Health Australia as an evaluation partner for the Assisting Communities through Direct Connection (ACDC) project.
CSI is a collaboration of three universities: the University of Western Australia (UWA), the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne). Together, CSI aims to catalyse positive social change, to enable others to achieve social impact. We do this through transformational research that is rigorous and purpose-driven, and through working with people, communities and organisations to grow their capabilities.
CSI undertakes academic and applied research across the social service sector that:
- examines responses to complex social needs;
- evaluates the systems that contribute to entrenched social inequality;
- determines alternative organisational and system responses to bring about social progress;
- tackles problems at the root cause and shares knowledge and methods to create change; and
- promotes innovation and improved practice to not-for-profit, philanthropic, government, commercial and social enterprise.
This expertise provides strong foundations for a robust ACDC project evaluation. CSI will work closely with partners to ensure findings are rigorous and relevant to local communities as well as having the potential to support systems change, and any innovation that might flow on from the ACDC project.
About the Evaluation Team for the ACDC project
CSI’s cross-disciplinary team for the ACDC evaluation offers a comprehensive range of relevant skills and experience.
Our team has a substantive background in mental health research. In particular, Lisette Kaleveld (UWA) has vast experience working directly with the community mental health sector through conducting quality evaluations, completing research projects to support reform in the mental health sector, and co-designing community mental health supports. Further, Dr Hilary Davis (Swinburne) brings field experience conducting mental health evaluations in rural communities. In her role, she has worked closely with rural health service partners through SMArt (Smart Rural Health Research Team), a research partnership that trials innovations in service delivery. She applies innovative research approaches, including co-created mobile digital stories to enable community capacity building around mental health literacy. Paul Flatau, Ami Seivwright and Zoe Callis (UWA) have conducted research on mental health, unemployment and homelessness.
Our team also has strong skills in evaluation and outcomes measurement. Professor Paul Flatau (UWA) has a strong measurement background, with skills to assess instruments and methods to ensure the academic integrity of research and evaluation findings. This is well-supported by the quantitative and analytic skills of Zoe Callis (UWA) and research design skills of Dr Ami Seivwright (UWA). Further, Elizabeth-Rose Ahearn (UNSW) supports community organisations to maximise their data collection capabilities within for-purpose-sector evaluation and continuous improvement, with a background in public health and psychometrics expertise. Lisette Kaleveld is an active member of, and contributor to, the Australian Evaluation Society and convenor of the WA Branch.
The team also has a clear focus on lived experience, including skills to enable peer led research and co-design processes. Juanita Koeijers (UWA) is the Lived Experience Lead on our project team and is an active consumer representative working at both a state and national level to promote the engagement of consumer populations in research. She is joined by Associate Professor Graham Brown (UNSW), who has extensive on-the-ground experience working in public health settings with peer researchers in both outreach roles and within research conducted in peer-led health organisations, and by Nicole Hicks (UWA), who has extensive co-design expertise, in particular with social innovation initiatives.
Finally, the team also strong skills for collecting data from communities experiencing disadvantage. Dr Meera Varadharajan (UNSW) has worked extensively with communities experiencing entrenched disadvantage, and Dr Ariella Meltzer (UNSW) specialises in accessible data collection with marginalised and disadvantaged groups, including applying a range of accessible and plain language methodologies in the field. Paul Flatau, Ami Seivwright and Zoe Callis (UWA) have undertaken data collections with marginalised groups in a large number of projects over the last 15 years.
Our collective team expertise means that together we bring a commitment to partnering with diverse communities, while employing the best evaluation, research and measurement practices to serve communities, and support and inform system-level change.
Link to CSI’s website: www.csi.edu.au