Centre for Social Impact

Past research projects

Social Issues: Children and Young People

The cost of youth homelessness in Australia – Snapshot 1

A new report and the first national study of its kind, ‘The Cost of Youth Homelessness in Australia’, has revealed the extreme difficulties faced by homeless young people. The ‘Cost of Youth Homelessness in Australia’ research study is the first national youth homelessness study of its kind in Australia. The longitudinal study attempts to understand the experience and impacts of youth homelessness in terms of economic costs to the Australian community.

Conducted to better understand the experience, impact and support needs of homeless youth, Swinburne University of Technology, in partnership with CSI at The University of Western Australia, Charles Sturt University, Salvation Army, Mission Australia and Anglicare NSW South and West, and ACT, led this landmark research project.

Read the final report.

Couchsurfing students: the Yarra Ranges Youth Homelessness Prevention Project

The Couch Surfing Secondary Students (CSSS): Yarra Ranges Youth Homelessness Prevention Project has developed out of a research partnership between Anchor Youth Services, the Outer Eastern Local Learning and Employment Network (OELLEN), Swinburne University and the University of Western Australia Centre for Social Impact. The study investigates the experiences of, and perceptions toward, couch surfing secondary students in the Yarra Ranges Shire..

Bankwest Foundational Social Impact Series

The Bankwest Foundation and the University of Western Australia Centre for Social Impact (UWA CSI) have partnered to produce a long-term series of research projects that will transform the way that social impact is assessed in the WA community sector. Outcomes of the research program will be delivered through a series of launch events and panel discussions, known as the Social Impact Series, and in community and policy workshops.

Bankwest Social Impact Series 1: Measuring outcomes for impact in the community sector in Western Australia
Read more about this project.

Bankwest Social Impact Series 2: Resourcing social enterprises: approaches and challenges
The aim of this program of research is to increase our understanding of the difference community programs make and what factors can enhance the resilience and long-term financial viability of Western Australia’s emerging social enterprise sector.

The paper ‘Resourcing social enterprises: approaches and challenges’ is the second Issue of the Social Impact Series.

Bankwest Social Impact Series 3: Measuring the difference we make: The state-of-play of outcomes measurement in the community sector in Western Australia
This report extends our previous Bankwest Foundation research and investigates the experiences of on-the-ground community organisations, government and philanthropic funders of community service organisations, and community sector peak bodies with outcomes measurement in Western Australia. This study finds outcomes measurement at a tipping point in Western Australia.

Bankwest Social Impact Series 4: How do Western Australia’s social enterprises meet their financial challenges?
Read more about this project.

Bankwest Social Impact Series 5
In this report, we present the findings of the first major Australian survey of outcomes measurement in the community sector.

Bankwest Social Impact Series 6: The future of outcomes measurement in the community sector in Western Australia
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.

Bankwest Social Impact Series 7: A Year in the Life of WA’s social enterprises
This paper is the seventh paper in the Social Impact Series and focuses on the theme of A Year in the Life of Western Australia’s Social Enterprises.

Bankwest Foundation Social Impact Series 8: Outcomes measurement in the community sector
In this report, we present the findings of the second Australian survey of outcomes measurement in the community sector..

Bankwest Foundation Social Impact Series 9: Outcomes measurement in the Australian community sector 2019
The first report in this research program and the insights from stakeholder interviews were used, in conjunction with the knowledge obtained about the international experience, to put forward recommendations to improve outcomes measurement practice in Western Australia.

Ending homelessness in Western Australia

Ending homelessness in Western Australia

The Centre for Social Impact UWA (CSI UWA) is a founding member of the Western Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (WAAEH). Outputs of this project include:

Social issues: housing

The state of homelessness in Australia's cities

The ‘State of Homelessness in Australia’s Cities: A Health and Social Cost Too High’ represents the first analysis of the consolidated Registry Week data across Australia. The consolidated Registry Week data provides the largest and richest collection of information on people experiencing homelessness in Australian capital and regional cities outside the Census and the national administrative data for homelessness services, the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection.

Homelessness in Western Australia

This report presents an overview of homelessness in Western Australia: its nature, composition, antecedents and consequences, and the policy and practice responses that we believe should be considered address it. We review and consolidate evidence and extant knowledge from various statistical sources, academic research, evaluation reports, the lived experience of those who experience homelessness, and recent guiding frameworks.

Journey to social inclusion – first year outcomes

This report presents 12 month social and economic outcomes for J2SI participants against a comparison group using existing services.

The first year of the J2SI Phase 2 program focused on the attainment of permanent housing, stability and addressing immediate health needs. This is measured by the number of participants in permanent housing and emergency department and hospital admissions.

What are the health, social and economic benefits of providing public housing and support to formerly homeless people?

This study examines five NPAH programs in Western Australia which support homeless people to access and sustain public housing allocations. In the standard case, without programs such as these, homeless people and those at risk of homelessness receive crisis accommodation and other forms of support and may be assisted to get onto public waiting lists, but they are not provided with direct support in accessing guaranteed public housing and support to sustain those tenancies.

What drives the high health care costs of the homeless?

This paper examines health care costs estimated from two Australian surveys of those experiencing homelessness undertaken by the authors. The findings of this research provide a significant economic argument for government intervention to break the cycle of homelessness as they reveal significant potential savings to effective interventions for homeless people with diagnosed mental health disorders and long-term rough sleeping.

The financing, delivery and effectiveness of programs to reduce homelessness

‘The financing, delivery and effectiveness of programs to reduce homelessness: Inquiry into funding and delivery of programs to reduce homelessness’ was funded by AHURI and is the first of its kind in Australia and uses data from the Australian Homelessness Funding and Delivery Survey. The aim of the study was to assess the implications of the current funding environment for meeting growing demands for services to support the homeless in Australia.

Read the executive summary and full report.

Cost of youth homelessness in Australia – final report

The Cost of Youth Homelessness in Australia research study is the first national youth homelessness study of its kind in Australia. The longitudinal study attempts to understand the experience and impacts of youth homelessness in terms of economic costs to the Australian community.

Cost of youth homelessness in Australia – snapshot 1

A new report and the first national study of its kind, The Cost of Youth Homelessness in Australia, has revealed the extreme difficulties faced by homeless young people.

Conducted to better understand the experience, impact and support needs of homeless youth, Swinburne University of Technology, in partnership with CSI at The University of Western Australia, Charles Sturt University, Salvation Army, Mission Australia and Anglicare NSW South and West, and ACT, led this landmark research project. 

Social issues: health

What drives the high care costs of the homeless?

This paper examines health care costs estimated from two Australian surveys of those experiencing homelessness undertaken by the authors. It demonstrates three important findings. First, higher health care costs are most strongly associated with diagnosed mental health disorders, followed by long-term physical health conditions. Second, having a current drug or alcohol dependency, but no diagnosed mental health disorder or long-term physical health issue, is not associated with higher level health care costs. Finally, higher health care costs are incurred by those with long periods of rough sleeping.

The findings of this research provide a significant economic argument for government intervention to break the cycle of homelessness as they reveal significant potential savings to effective interventions for homeless people with diagnosed mental health disorders and longterm rough sleeping. 

Social issues: education and employment

Learning for purpose

Learning for Purpose: Researching the Social Return on Education and Training in the Australian Not-for-Profit Sector’ is a ground-breaking, national research program that investigates capacity building through professional development for the Australian Not-for-Profit sector. The aim is to systematically understand, evaluate, and improve the means through which individuals and organisations gain and sustain the key competencies for realising social change.

Read the summative key findings.

Social purpose sector

Australian not-for-profit workforce study research study on and for all levels of Not-for-Profit employees and volunteers. It is about making not-for-profit work more developmental, healthy, meaningful, and productive and will provide not-for-profit people and organisations free actionable insights.