Developing an impact measurement system to better serve the community

Adelaide Business School researcher, Dr Tracey Dodd, was engaged by Junction Australia to develop an impact measurement system and help improve service provision to the community. 

Junction Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that helps vulnerable Australians with housing and other community services. Junction provides support to people experiencing homelessness and those finding it difficult to enter affordable housing, as well as supporting children who are under the care of the State Government. 

The Research 

One of the challenges that Junction faced was understanding and demonstrating the various positive impacts they have on their clients and the broader community. This included a limited capacity to measure and monitor service impact, with few organisational processes aimed at tracking service indicators and reporting requirements. 

To address these challenges, Dr Dodd worked alongside the organisation to better understand its services. The work involved mapping the information flow among employees and key stakeholders, assessing the services and support programs provided, and assisting in the development and measurement of key indicators for client and community impact. 

“We worked alongside the organisation to implement a range of tools to help them collect data about the important work that they were doing.”  

– Dr Tracey Dodd 

The Impact 

Junction was transformed into an organisation where all employees are actively involved in assessing the outcomes and impact of its services. The research was able to improve management’s understanding of their service impact, including the identification of weak spots, leading to a more holistic approach in how they deliver services to the community. 

Not only has the implementation of an impact measurement system helped the organisation to improve its services, but it has also positively influenced its employees to have a better sense of belonging and achievement in the workplace. 

Finally, implementing an impact measurement system helps demonstrate the positive returns on government funding and justifies future investment so that the organisation can continue helping those who are in need or at risk.