Understanding the characteristics, experience and perspectives of consumers is an important element of designing products and services that are fit for purpose. As a sector that delivers services to people who are often experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability, it is important for community organisations to know they are providing safe and appropriate services to individuals and to the community more broadly.

Previous research indicates that while there is enthusiasm across community organisations to utilise consumer data for service improvement, methods used are primarily informal and rarely integrated into program design. Similar barriers were also identified in a series of case studies of three community service organisations operating in Queensland.

For this report, QCOSS partnered with Queensland Positive People, St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland and Communify Queensland with the aim of identifying strategies that support organisations to improve the use of consumer data for the continuous quality improvement of programs.

The case studies highlight the lessons and challenges experienced by organisations, as well as their strengths, opportunities, and innovations as they implement program specific and/or organisational systems that measure outcomes. The case studies demonstrate the commitment community organisations have to ensuring programs are meeting the needs and improving the quality of life for people accessing their services.

All organisations identified challenges that limited their ability to further scale these systems. This often related to a lack of dedicated resourcing to support data management and analysis for the program and the wider organisation.

Report recommendations

  1. Build the capacity of the sector workforce to undertake research
  2. Standardise approaches to support benchmarking and outcome measurement
  3. Invest in dedicated sector resources encouraging collaboration and platform sharing across services.

Read the report.

21 November 2022 | Focus area: