Research and Evaluation Strategy

Research and Evaluation is critical in the NDIS and a core function of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 specifies that the NDIA has a function that ‘develops and enhances the disability sector, by facilitating innovation, research and contemporary best practice’ (section 118(1) (c)). Research is also integral to the insurance approach that underpins the NDIS.

We conduct research and evaluations to support positive participant outcomes by ensuring policies, practices and priorities are informed by trustworthy and robust evidence. Research contributes to the discovery of new ways of working and innovation to improve the lives of people with disability. This enables the Scheme to be effective, now and into the future. 

We also partner with academic institutions and research bodies to drive and shape the disability research agenda. 

The Research and Evaluation Strategy 2022-2027

The NDIA’s Research and Evaluation Strategy 2022 to 2027 sets out a pathway to build and mobilise evidence to enhance the NDIS, and shape innovative services and supports that improve the lives of participants.
The strategy focuses on producing evidence on ‘how’ the Scheme improves outcomes for participants (and more broadly people with disability).

The strategy also includes the role of innovation research designed to disrupt or challenge out of date practices, to stimulate the market and build an evidence base which reflects modern life.

Our mission:

  • To embed a culture of research and evaluation excellence at the NDIA and support evidence-informed decision-making internally, by our participants and across the NDIS.

Our goal:

  • To generate high quality, pragmatic research and evaluations that meet the needs of the NDIA and participants.
  • To support the NDIA in using research and evaluation to underpin evidence-informed decision-making.

We are successful when:

  • Our research contributes to improving informed choice, control, and outcomes for participants.
  • The evidence we generate is used to inform improvements in policies and practice.  
  • Positive and productive partnerships with external researchers lead to independent research outputs with greater relevance to NDIA priorities.

Our objectives

The strategy has four key objectives:

  1. To generate new evidence to support the delivery of the corporate plan.
  2. To test innovations and discover ways to do things differently. 
  3. To measure participant outcomes to inform policy and service delivery improvements.
  4. To turn evidence into action to support decision making.

Our key focus areas

We have aligned our research and evaluation agenda to the Agency’s strategic priorities.

This ensures the evidence produced can be used to improve participant outcomes, frontline practice and the wider scheme. Each of our research focus areas and key deliverables are outlined below. 

  • Improving the quality and consistency of decision making for access and planning. 
  • Generating evidence on the impacts and outcomes of early interventions, particularly for high volume cohorts.
  • Enabling reform of NDIS Home and Living supports based on evidence of what works.
  • Enhancing the NDIA’s approach to market stewardship and improving participant employment outcomes.

What will this look like?

Focus Area 1: Decision making for access and planning

Generating new evidence: We will ensure the Agency’s Information Gathering for Access and Planning (IGAP) project is informed by the best available evidence.

Testing innovations and discovering ways to do things differently: We will support the development of a new person-centred model for information gathering.

Measuring participant outcomes: We will evaluate the implementation of changes to the Agency’s information gathering approach.

Turning evidence into action to support decision making: We will support the use of evidence to inform the development of a new model(s).

Focus Area 2: Early interventions for high volume cohorts

Generating new evidence: We will review research evidence to compare a range of early interventions across a range of disabilities and cohorts.

Testing innovations and discovering ways to do things differently: We will work with industry to test a series of technology innovations as part of early intervention pathways.

Measuring participant outcomes: We will evaluate the effectiveness and fidelity of a range of early childhood supports and pathways.

Turning evidence into action to support decision making: We will drive the use of evidence into policy and practice to improve child outcomes and produce evidence-based resources on what works for whom.

Focus Area 3: Home and living supports

Generating new evidence: We will explore participant experiences to help design new innovative home and living solutions for a range of disability cohorts.

Testing innovations and discovering ways to do things differently: We will trial new technologies or innovative approaches to help participants achieve greater independence in diverse living arrangements.

Measuring participant outcomes: We will evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of home and living innovations and test their scalability.

Turning evidence into action to support decision making: We will ensure home and living policy and implementation strategies are evidence-informed and produce evidence-based resources on what works for whom.

Focus Area 4: Market stewardship and employment

Generating new evidence: We will identify effective interventions to drive improvements in the market and investigate ways to support participants transition from supported to open employment.

Testing innovations and discovering ways to do things differently: We will promote research and development of innovations in the market.

Measuring participant outcomes: We will evaluate the effectiveness of market interventions and the effectiveness and equity of provision of supports on participant outcomes.

Turning evidence into action to support decision making: We will develop evidence-based resources on what works for whom to drive market change.

Our approach to measuring benefits of NDIS supports and services 

Our research and evaluation activities will look at 5 key participant outcomes to understand the overall benefits of NDIS supports and services and the Scheme. 

  • Equitable access to quality services  
  • Informed choice and control  
  • Economic participation  
  • Daily living and independence  
  • Social participation and inclusion 

These measures all lead to improved participant wellbeing overall. 

Our guiding principles 

Our work is underpinned by five key principles:

  1. Participant focused: Participants are central to the design and delivery of our research and evaluation activities to ensure the voice of the participant can be heard through all that we do. All our activities adhere to the engagement principles of the Participant Service Charter.
  2.  Inclusive: We ensure that our research and evaluation activities are culturally safe, responsive and inclusive to the needs of all population groups, including vulnerable populations.
  3. Better outcomes: Research and evaluation activities focus on producing evidence that can achieve better outcomes for participants and the Scheme.
  4. Ethics and human rights: All research and evaluation activities adhere to the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, where applicable.
  5. Research integrity: We use robust methods to ensure we generate high calibre trustworthy evidence that can be used with confidence.

Our next steps

To deliver this strategy, we need to work with our stakeholders to engage and capitalise on system-wide opportunities to enable change using high-quality research evidence.
The following enabling factors will strengthen our delivery of this strategy:

  • Development and implementation of a wellbeing index (quality of life) measure to better understand Scheme benefits; 
  • Ongoing collaboration with participants, frontline staff, partners and providers to ensure our work is fit for purpose and translated to support broader practice change throughout the NDIA; and
  • Partnering with external researchers in high quality research studies to complement our research programs and support the use of data for external research and evaluation aligned to the broader disability eco-system.

We will provide regular updates on our progress on the objectives and focus areas through our website. 
 

This page current as of
31 August 2022
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