Non-government organisations across Australia work to assist homeless people in a myriad of ways and from time to time many of these programs and services are evaluated. Service review and evaluation reports may be used to justify funding requests, demonstrate accountability, improve service delivery or test the effectiveness of service models.
However, because these reports are usually privately commissioned or relate to funding agreements, what they say about what services are doing well, and why, remains inaccessible to a wider audience. This project sought to explore the significant body of ‘grey literature’ in the form of evaluation reports which are rarely accessible outside of the commissioning agency.
While individual evaluation reports usually draw on small data sets, the researchers felt that bringing together information from large numbers of reports could add to the evidence base on effective practice in homelessness service delivery.