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Australia’s Social Health is Deteriorating


25 November 2014 at 10:48 am
Lina Caneva
An annual comparison study has revealed that the state of Australia’s social health is deteriorating in seven out of 10 key areas and researchers say Australian donors need to look at better-informed giving to address these issues.

Lina Caneva | 25 November 2014 at 10:48 am


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Australia’s Social Health is Deteriorating
25 November 2014 at 10:48 am

An annual comparison study has revealed that the state of Australia’s social health is deteriorating in seven out of 10 key areas and researchers say Australian donors need to look at better-informed giving to address these issues.

Each year, independent research group The Difference evaluates and ranks ten of Australia’s social health indicators. The 2014 results demonstrate youth and long-term unemployment; homelessness; disability; female homicide; and food insecurity have deteriorated since 2013.

The results of the study are published in an annual publication also called The Difference.

The researchers say this year’s findings also show improvements in three of Australia’s social health indicators, highlighting less people are negatively impacted by drug and alcohol abuse, high school retention and indigenous mortality.

The Difference says it uses an index and evaluation tools to assess, monitor and rank the nation’s social health to identify causes most in need of attention and then identifies charities for each indicator, involving them in the study and working to match each cause with investors looking to make a difference to critical issues.

The Difference founder, Nic Bolto says the index aims to improve Australia’s social health by guiding donors and charities to understand the value of informed giving.

“Australia’s social health continues to decline in a majority of the areas we measure despite thousands of charities working to address them and many millions of dollars being donated every year.

“Like other developed economies such as India, Canada, France and the USA, it’s time Australia joined the dots and linked giving, charity effectiveness and prevention projects together. Feel good giving is over; it has failed the people that it purports to assist.  Informed giving makes the difference,” Bolto said.

Bolto says he has worked in the social health sector for most of his career, previously as the CEO of State and national charities as well as consulting to the Federal Government on welfare and funding reform, providing high-level advice and recommendations on policy and structural change.

The Difference works closely with charities and corporates to develop the research to reassure donors every dollar invested makes a difference and is spent effectively by providing extensive evaluation on charities.  Charities that have completed The Difference’s assessment are given a star rating, which is valid for a period of 12 months and helps donors identify their level of impact,” he said.

The Difference’s research is published in an annual publication featuring selected charities that have generated positive change with their prevention programs on each of the ten indicators in the past year.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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