Centre for Social Impact UWA

Catalysing social change



The Centre for Social Impact UWA (CSI UWA) creates and delivers education that transforms, research that informs best practice, and public engagement that inspires and mobilises change makers.

We develop solutions that are rigorous and purpose-driven and work with people, communities and organisations across Australia to grow their capabilities.

The Centre for Social Impact is a collaboration of four universities: Swinburne University of Technology, Flinders University, University of New South Wales and The University of Western Australia.

Together as a network, our purpose is to catalyse positive change, to help enable others to achieve social impact.

aerial view of a team meeting


Undergraduate Unit

BUSN2102 Changing the World: Social Innovation, Finance and Enterprise highlights how innovation and entrepreneurship are solving major global social and economic challenges such as hunger, poverty, homelessness and intergenerational disadvantage and unemployment.

Professional Development

CSI UWA has developed the Outcomes Measurement Workshop, an  interactive learning workshop designed to develop understanding of outcomes measurement and how to implement it in organisations. For an Outcomes Measurement Workshop tailored to your organisation's needs, contact our team.


Graduate Certificate in Social Impact

The Graduate Certificate in Social Impact (GCSI) has a uniquely comprehensive curriculum based on systems thinking and social design principles. Our teachers are regarded as some of the leading lights in social impact, social investment, social enterprise, corporate social responsibility, and social innovation.

It is also pathway to the MBA (Flexible).

Master of Business Administration (Social Impact)

Deciding to study an MBA (Flexible) with a specialisation in social impact is a strong and committed decision to fusing business and social impact together to benefit community, business and yourself. Students of the GCSI can progress into the MBA (Social Impact) as part of the MBA (Flexible). The course draws on the GCSI courses for the social impact specialisation.


Providing evidence-based research to help catalyse positive social change

The Centre for Social Impact UWA brings social impact measurement and evaluation expertise, as well as knowledge and experience in innovative approaches to capturing evidence and measuring outcomes (such as co-designing measurement frameworks and participatory methodologies).

In addition, CSI UWA has experience in evaluating a broad range of programs that address social issues such as entrenched disadvantage, family domestic violence, homelessness, mental health, disability, employment and financial inclusion. CSI UWA is experienced in gathering quality evidence and capturing learnings from innovative approaches to addressing complex social issues.

The multi-disciplinary team at CSI UWA has a proven record of producing deliverables that are robust in development, easy to use in context, timely, align with contemporary government practices and enrich our understanding about what is effective.

At CSI UWA we are interested in long-term social impact and long-term value to stakeholders and are experienced in developing tools and findings that will best support ongoing efforts to improve lives of individuals.


lightbulb with meeting in the background


Research Projects

Door-to-Door for Mental Health (Assisting Communities through Direct Connection)

The largest ever door knock delving into the mental health of households across the country has revealed the true extent of our national crisis, with nearly half of people reporting being in distress and more than one-third saying they need more support – but many encountering barriers to receiving help.

The ACDC (Assisting Communities through Direct Connection) project, run by Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) and funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services, knocked on about 37,500 doors across the country to kickstart conversations about mental health and encourage people to access support services.

Evaluation of the project by the Centre for Social Impact UWA shows that 49.4% of respondents reported being in moderate to very high distress, and 36.7% of respondents said they needed more support.

Go to the Centre for Social Impact website to read more about the ACDC project.

Making mental health support work better for regional communities

Despite their resilience and strengths, regional communities in WA and around Australia have the greatest need for mental health support. Inadequate services, insufficient funding and difficulty in accessing support need to be urgently addressed.

The Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) has engaged the Centre for Social Impact UWA to better understand what is different about living in regional areas that leads to poorer mental health and difficulties accessing support, and what further support is needed to improve the lives and wellbeing of people living in those communities.

New report ‘Going the distance: Making mental health support work better for regional communities’ highlights challenges that are common to rural communities as well as the needs that are unique to individual places. Participants reported the need for tailored, community specific services – be they community services that address the social determinants of mental health, peer support groups, education programs or treatment services.

PLAN to help vulnerable parents bridging the gap

In 2020 Bridging the Gap (BTG) identified a significant gap in services for parents experiencing domestic violence, homelessness or housing instability, unemployment, mental health issues and financial hardship in areas of the Peel region (WA). To address this, the Parents, Learning, Advancing, Nurturing (PLAN) project was created to assist vulnerable parents aged 18-64, offering holistic, high-touch case management with both practical and relational aspects of support that transcended traditional service boundaries.

Funded by Lotterywest and evaluated by the Centre for Social Impact UWA team from October 2021 to June 2023, the PLAN project gives targeted support through a bespoke suite of activities.

Go to the Centre for Social Impact website to read more on how the PLAN project transformed the lives of vulnerable families.

Safeguarding Children and Young People

The Centre for Social Impact UWA conducted an impact evaluation of the Australian Childhood Foundation's Safeguarding Services.

This research project was grounded in qualitative methods and involved collaborating with organisations that have partnered with the Foundation to enhance their capacity and foster a supportive environment for the well-being and safety of children and young people who engage in their services.

The findings from the report titled Understanding the social impact of safeguarding services for children and young people demonstrated that the Foundation and its partners are actively contributing to shaping the narrative of safeguarding practices and their impact across Australia.

These insights are leading the way towards a deeper understanding of the best approaches to establish a robust and enduring culture of safeguarding within organisations.

Go to the Centre for Social Impact website to read more about the Safeguarding Children and Young People project.

A dedicated multi-disciplinary team

CSI UWA team


Danjoo Koorliny team

Danjoo Koorliny logo with


The Centre for Social Impact UWA is proud to host Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together, a large-scale, long-term systems change project designed and led by Aboriginal leaders to help us walk together as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people towards 2029 (200 years of colonisation in Perth) and beyond. 


  • Dr Noel Nannup OAM
  • Dr Richard Walley OAM
  • Emeritus Professor Colleen Hayward AM
  • Carol Innes AM



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