Mission Australia’s Centre for Evidence and Insights team are proud winners of the ‘Excellence in Evaluation Systems’ Award from the Australian Evaluation Society.

Since late 2020, our Centre for Evidence and Insights was established to drive an evidence-informed culture at Mission Australia. The recent award acknowledges our ongoing dedication to transparency, accountability, data-driven decision-making and measuring our impact.

A culture of evidence and insights at Mission Australia

Our organisation exists to improve the lives of people we serve. As part of our Strategy, we are committed to using evidence including rich data from our services, experiences of our practitioners and the voices of people with a lived experience.

The evidence we gather ensures we can measure our impact, maintain transparency and accountability, and continuously improve our services. Our structured approach to monitoring, evaluating and learning about our services also ensures we are delivering the best possible services for people and communities in need.

Winning the recent ‘Excellence in Evaluation Systems’ Award is testament to the culture of evidence and insights we are building at Mission Australia. This involves an investment in modern technology, as well as the skills and professional development of our people to implement a sustainable Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning system to:

  • Measure Mission Australia’s impact to understand how our services are improving outcomes.
  • Drive excellence by collecting the data that matters most to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and accountability of our services.
  • Build the evidence base through rigorous evaluations to support decision making and investment in services that have the greatest impact.
  • Spark action by supporting social policy, advocacy and continuous improvement efforts.

Why evidence and evaluation matters in the non-profit sector

Driving a culture of evidence-informed decision making and learning is a key enabler of our organisation’s ability to achieve our strategic priorities to end homelessness in Australia’s current housing emergency and cost-of-living crisis. 

"At Mission Australia, everything we do is informed by the evidence we gather through our services, guided by the voices of the people we serve and supported by data, research, evaluation and impact measurement. - Rachel Christie, National Manager, Centre for Evidence and Insights. 

Data is not just a collection of numbers - it contributes to telling the story of our journey towards better outcomes for the people we serve, and it also helps reflect the efforts of our frontline staff to use evidence in their day-to-day practice.

A Safe Place to Call Home - Mission Australia’s Homelessness and Stable Housing Impact Report 2023

Our Impact Measurement Program helps us understand how our homelessness services improve the lives of our clients and the communities we serve. Our data shows that homelessness can be ended if the right support, services and housing are in place, and if there is a strong focus on prevention. Of the people who approached Mission Australia’s services before they became homeless:

  • 93% were supported to remain living in their home and avoid homelessness;
  • The professional and caring help from our services also meant that 76% of people improved their wellbeing through their time with the services.
  • However, efforts to find long-term housing for people once they become homeless are severely constrained by the lack of affordable housing available right across the country.
To advocate on behalf of people in need we released our first Homelessness Impact Report in 2023 calling for urgent government action, greater investment in homelessness prevention and support services and more investment in new social and affordable homes to ensure that everyone that seeks help from a Mission Australia service is connected to a safe place to call home.

Learn more about our impact by reading our recent Homelessness Impact Report. 

Celebrating the power of data, evidence and insights

As we celebrate this award, we recognise that ending homelessness can only be achieved if funders, donors, government, researchers, philanthropists and community services embrace the power of using evidence to drive positive change and work together for greater impact.

Gathering and sharing insights through monitoring, evaluation and learning is a vital component of this work. It requires commitment, collaboration and funding and we thank all our partners, funders, leaders, frontline staff and people with lived experience who have supported and joined our data journey.

Our evidence shows there is growing demand for our homelessness services. What we’re doing is working to prevent homelessness and support people in need to thrive, but we need more support to meet the growing demand. Help today. 

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Our founding purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'