Australia’s Social Pulse 2015
12 November 2015 at 9:48 am
A new project by the Centre for Social Impact is about to change the way Australia tracks its social progress.
Imagine spending $420 billion a year on services with no means to measure whether or not those services are having an impact.
That’s the current reality facing the Australian social purpose sector. There is no cohesive, consistent, and reliable source that tracks our social progress. Nor can we evaluate whether our precious financial investments in social areas are achieving their aim of addressing complex social problems and strengthening society.
It’s a big issue, but the good news is that it’s one that we’re determined to address at the Centre for Social Impact. We’re undertaking an exciting new project called “Australia’s Social Pulse”, which will provide an almanac of how the nation is faring across key social issues and population groups.
We will be launching our initial key findings at the upcoming Policy + Pulse Conference with ACOSS on November 23rd – 24th and the full report of Australia’s Social Pulse 2015 will follow in early 2016.
And we’ll make it easy to use and access. We’ll be creating an interactive online dashboard for everyone to access where validated indicators of social outcomes in a range of social domains will be prepopulated. In the future, users will be able to look at a national picture or zoom in to different geographic areas in Australia, look at changes over time, and select their own indicators to inform a community program design and track its progress.
About the Project
We have started by building on existing Australian social statistics and measuring changes over time in key social indicators across a range of domains including health, disability, education, employment, living standards, housing & homelessness, social cohesion, and life satisfaction. This allows us to model trends and compare outcomes across a whole range of indicators. This can then be compared to investment in the social purpose sector.
We also investigate associations between outcomes and community and individual characteristics. This will demonstrate how particular population groups are faring when compared to the average. It will give us an in-depth understanding of Australia’s social progress and will create the benchmark by which future measurements can be compared.