Evaluating financial capability initiatives in Australia

ASIC has now commenced work on a shared impact monitoring and evaluation framework to support the evaluation of, and reporting on, financial capability initiatives in Australia.

In August 2018, we launched the latest National Financial Capability Strategy (the Strategy), building on the work set out in two earlier strategies in 2011 and in 2014, and the initiatives of partner organisations aligned with the Strategy.

In line with feedback received during consultations on the Strategy, ASIC is now developing a shared impact monitoring and evaluation framework (the Framework) that will support reporting on financial capability initiatives in Australia.

The development of the Framework is being undertaken with Social Ventures Australia (SVA), and through close engagement with NGOs, industry, academics and other government agencies.

This project has two purposes:

  1. To design a framework that can be used by our Strategy partners to monitor and evaluate financial capability work; and
  2. To create an approach that allows ASIC as the lead agency to evaluate progress made under the Strategy.

Key deliverables include:

  • Literature Review including:
    • Identification of the main types of financial capability programs and interventions in Australia.
    • Collation of common outcomes and performance indicators that have been used to monitor or evaluate various financial capability programs.
    • Examination of frameworks and evaluations of other national financial capability strategies in similar jurisdictions.
  • Theory of Change: evidence-based understanding of how financial capability activities lead to outputs and short, medium and long-term outcomes.
  • Library of indicators: A library of outputs and outcome indicators that partners can select from to create frameworks for their own programs, creating opportunities for eventual aggregation of results to a national level.
  • Monitoring and evaluation framework: A framework setting out how ASIC and partners can monitor, evaluate and report on results.

We seek your input

Input from Strategy partners is essential for the development of this Framework.

As an initial collation of research, ASIC invites you to email us by Monday 22 July 2019 with information including:

  • Primary research you have conducted relating to financial capability
  • Any evaluations of your programs; and/or
  • Any relevant program logics or theories of change for your financial capability program.

Your information may be used or referred to in our public literature review, unless you indicate that the information is confidential or you would prefer it not to be made public.

We will also be holding partner workshops in August and September 2019, inviting a diverse group of participants across the financial capability community, NGO, industry, academic and government sectors.

As the project progresses, updates and opportunities to contribute to the project will be shared with Strategy partners and the Financial Wellbeing Network.

Background to the National Financial Capability Strategy

In 2008 ASIC became the lead Government agency with responsibility for coordinating financial literacy. In 2011 we released the first National Financial Literacy Strategy, followed by the second National Strategy and Action Plan 2014-17. We reported on progress against the Strategies, including showcasing financial literacy programs and tools, through Annual Highlight Reports.

In 2017 ASIC commenced a broad consultation for a new National Financial Capability Strategy, which was released in August 2018. The Strategy commits to improved national coordination and consistency across research, measurement and evaluation of financial capability programs.

Since August 2018, ASIC has undertaken a number of other initiatives supporting the new Strategy, including:

  • Co-hosting a Research Summit with RMIT in December 2018, bringing together researchers from across Australia with some key guest academics from New Zealand and North America.
  • Developing a National Financial Capability Research Roadmap, due for release in late 2019.
  • Updating the Financial Capability Research Portal, with research from across Australia and the world.
  • Working closely with 150+ Strategy partners to increase the number, diversity and quality of sustainable financial capability initiatives.
  • Connecting and strengthening the Financial Capability community through Financial Wellbeing Network events.
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