This is the sixth publication from the Bankwest Foundation Social Impact Series, and the fourth report in the research stream of Measuring Outcomes for Impact in the Western Australia Community Sector. This report provides strong evidence of a high level of support for outcomes measurement on the part of community sector organisations in Western Australia, but also the challenges they face in measuring their impact. It also lists the key priorities of the community sector going forward and presents a strategic program to both support and further promote outcomes measurement in Western Australia.
This report finds significant support for outcomes measurement in the community sector. The funding of organisations to conduct outcomes measurement represents the greatest barrier to outcomes measurement among community organisations. Insufficient funding is stated as a barrier at both the organisation level and the community sector level.
The report finds that there is no lack of interest from senior organisational stakeholders in outcomes measurement and that they do not represent a barrier to outcomes measurement. Capability in terms of the use of tools of outcomes measurement is reported as a barrier by the majority of respondents, indicating that outcomes measurement practice is still at the development stage for many organisations. We find that smaller and larger organisations experience barriers to outcomes measurement differently. Metropolitan and non-metropolitan based organisations do not report significantly different experiences with barriers to outcomes measurement in the majority of cases. Finally, while collaborative and projects (including collective impact projects) are found in a number of cases in the WA community sector, shared measurement for collaborative projects remains in its infancy. Barriers experienced by organisations engaging in shared measurement are explored, and case studies of two organisations involved in collaborative community projects are presented.