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Amanda

Amanda Pagan

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: Victoria None > Community
Health And Medicine > Disabilities, Impairments And Injuries
Policy > Government
Social Welfare > Disabled And Disadvantaged
The Jack Brockhoff Foundation Churchill Fellowship to investigate the success of outcomes based contracting in disability services - UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden
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Commissioning or contracting for outcomes in human services is tough work. The complexity of outcomes that are often sought are often difficult to measure and articulate. Despite this, the successful achievement outcomes in human services, can profoundly change lives for the better in a life-long capacity. In part this is what the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is trying to achieve. The NDIS is built on a new shift towards marketised services, the notions of choice and control and better inclusion and participation for all. Although many of the principles of the NDIS are sound, the achievement of the outcomes is not guaranteed if the implementation and commissioning (often referred to as stewardship in the NDIS) is not guided well.

 

My report aimed to find practices around the world that would encourage the most effective commissioning of outcomes within the NDIS. Preliminary research undertaken prior to leaving Australia identified that many good examples had common themes and tended to be built on elements of ‘co-design’ and ‘co-production’ to achieve outcomes. Equally, it was identified that commissioning for outcomes is often not easily isolated from the broader policy cycle influences, namely policy setting, service development and design and evaluation, because of the significant impact these have on the outcomes that are achieved.

 

My report aims to make recommendations for adoption by service providers and user led organisations that work with and for people with disability, their families and carers in the NDIS. Although the detail within the report provides good background reading, the findings really speak to how to effectively include service users across the policy cycle. Particular focus has been given to children and young people in the findings because many of the examples that were provided involved children and/or young people despite it being rare that they are part of the commissioning or contracting process.  It was felt that when they were included, the impact on outcomes was profoundly enhanced.

 

In summary, I found to drive better outcomes in the NDIS the following is necessary:

 

  • the presence of organisations which are capable and practiced at supporting children and young people to develop their voices;
  • a genuine intention to hear and respond to the voices of children and young people with disability in the policy cycle;
  • a clearly articulated set of principles, practices and outcomes desired as a result of including children and young people in the policy cycle;
  • service providers and policy makers who are prepared to share power, be creative and brave;
  • the development and creation of a safe trusting place for hearing and responding to service users;
  • a strong evidence base of  'what works' for children and young people, particularly in relation to participatory processes in the NDIS. 

I hope this report sparks many debates and inspires policy makers, politicians and service providers and communities to find every way possible there is to ensure the voices of people with disability, their families are carers are heard. As one of the contributors to this report said: “All we want is to be heard and for you to do something about it!”

 

 

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