Our Research and Evaluation Strategy

YWCA Australia seeks a future where gender equality is a reality. 

Our long-term outcomes below are supported by our five-year Strategic Plan:

  • women, young women and gender diverse people experience increased safety, security and wellbeing in their homes, and
  • young women and gender diverse people lead systems change for effective housing pathways and social supports

Our vision for research and evaluation

Research and evaluation are integral to the way we plan, deliver and advocate for women, young women and gender diverse people. It is how we learn, work, improve and grow.

It informs our understanding of key priorities and needs, effective program responses and impacts over time, and it enables our own learning, professional development, practice and growth as an organisation. We are committed to research and evaluation that is underpinned by our values of striving for equality, acting from the heart, and working better together.

  • Striving for Equality: We apply a gendered and intersectional lens across our research, evaluation, and engagement with people with lived experience expertise. We seek change for gender equity and equality, we acknowledge our implicit and explicit power and value diverse experiences, identities, knowledge and strengths. We recognise different ways of knowing, being and doing in how we engage, explore and seek to understand. 
  • Acting from the heart: Our research and evaluation is values-driven. We recognise we bring our own humanity, assumptions and biases to the process. We communicate clearly, act with consistency, and are accountable and transparent with all participants. Our research and evaluation are underpinned by key principles to be ethical, do no harm, benefit participants, act with accountability and transparency, respect and competency, and fair and balanced judgment.
  • Working better together: Our research and evaluation is collaborative, challenges the status quo, focussed on outcomes, continuous improvement, and building knowledge, capacity and capability for the future. 

Why is research and evaluation important to us? 

Consultations with the Young Women’s Council and regional team members have identified the most important aspects of research and evaluation for YWCA Australia.

Improve outcomes for people

Demonstrate and value our impact

Assess needs, service planning and design

Secure funding and be accountable

Develop our skills and inform what we do

Inform advocacy and build our influence

Contribute to evidence and learning

How do we know we are making a difference? 

We are developing a YWCA Impact Framework to embed impact-led leadership and a learning culture of practice across our organisational activities. Our Impact Framework asks:

  • Are we making a difference?
  • How is that demonstrated? and
  • How will we act on evidence for better outcomes for the people we work with?

Our Draft Impact Framework has been piloted with a small cohort of programs, and we are building on that with a second pilot across different types of programs. Over time, we will have a refined Impact Framework that measures our impact across targeted support programs, housing and advocacy activities, with a YWCA Impact Report that shares insights, learnings and evidence. 

Have any questions?

Want to learn more about our research, or get involved? Contact us!