There are over 4 million Australians that are currently living with a disability1. For approximately three-quarters, their main form of disability is physical, such as back problems or chronic diseases including multiple sclerosis. For the remaining quarter, their main form of disability is mental or behavioural, such as an intellectual disability or autism. Around 3 in 5 people living with disability require help with activities of daily living and approximately half are participating in the labour force. Although the disability free life expectancy for people living with disability has improved over time in Australia, more work is needed to continue to promote the inclusion of people with disability in society including the workplace.
The problem with the NDIS
The NDIS covers approximately half a million Australians who have a permanent and significant disability. A key part of the rationale for the creation of the NDIS was providing people with individualised services so they can play a more productive role in society2. Since being established, the NDIS has helped between 25,000 and 40,000 people to return to work as well as over 30,000 carers also resume careers3. The additional employment has been estimated to lead to between $18B and $23B of economic returns per annum3.
Although the NDIS has revolutionised the care of people with permanent and significant disability, the scheme has recognised issues related to a mixture of design limitations, implementation problems, and political decisions4. In addition, the cost of the NDIS is growing rapidly, and questions are being raised regarding sustainability. The cost of the NDIS is predicted to be over $70B by 2022, dwarfing the cost of aged care and Medicare for the Federal Government5.
With the growing cost of the NDIS, it is inevitable that NDIS providers will need to show the impact they are delivering for NDIS participants.
Impact is defined as the demonstratable contribution that something makes to the economy, society, the environment and culture. In today’s world it is no longer acceptable for organisations to talk about success in financial metrics alone, and there is increasing pressure to demonstrate meaningful contributions to society through impact. Impact assessments are methods to evaluate impact through a robust framework, which includes consideration of economic, environmental, and social aspects.
Impact evaluation covers a range of methodologies to assess the impact produced by or attributed to a particular program or activity, both intended and unintended. The framework is flexible and assessments can be tackled in a top-down or bottom-up process. A key part of impact assessments is engaging with stakeholders to understand what changes and how these changes are valued.
How can HTANALYSTS help?
Through our extensive work in the healthcare sector, we’ve developed the most scientifically rigorous approach to impact assessments. We start with a conversation to understand the key question and objectives. Following this, we work in a collaborative manner to develop a flexible and fit-for-purpose solution as well as options to develop internal capabilities in impact assessment.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. People with disability in Australia 2020. https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/ee5ee3c2-152d-4b5f-9901-71d483b47f03/aihw-dis-72.pdf.aspx?inline=true
- Australian Government Productivity Commission. Disability Care and Support. Vol. 54. 2011. Productivity Commission Inquiry Report. https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/disability-support/report/disability-support-overview-booklet.pdf
- National Disability Services. Factsheet: Economic benefits of the NDIS. Accessed December, 2021. https://www.nds.org.au/news/factsheet-economic-benefits-of-the-ndis
- Dickson H. The NDIS is changing. Here’s what you need to know – and what problems remain. The Conversation. 2019;
- Australian Federal Treasury. Guaranteeing the essentials. Accessed June, 2022. https://budget.gov.au/2022-23/content/overview/06_essentials.htm#:~:text=The%20NDIS%20will%20provide%20%2433.9,and%20the%20support%20they%20need.