WEstjustice: Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks
WEstjustice is a community legal centre operating in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. As well as providing free legal advice and community education it has a strong focus on law reform activities and works in partnership with local communities to deliver innovative projects that build legal capacity and improve access to justice.
SVA Consulting supported WEstjustice to develop and implement monitoring and evaluation (M&E) frameworks for two key programs: the Youth Law Programs – legal clinics and education sessions for young people delivered at secondary schools, youth hubs and other accessible locations for young people; and the Restoring Financial Safety project – an innovative pilot of an integrated legal clinical and financial counselling service delivered at facilities managed by McAuley Community Services for Women.
The objective of these projects was to improve the quality, consistency and usefulness of data collected by WEstjustice to deliver the programs and report to funders and partners. We worked with WEstjustice staff to develop M&E frameworks that were practical, user-friendly and embedded within existing program activities, to minimise the additional burden of data collection.
The role we played
Working with WEstjustice, SVA Consulting:
- Defined the scope of M&E for both programs by identifying the priority audiences, purpose and key evaluation questions
- Refined the logic models for both programs to define the most important outcomes that the programs aimed to create for clients
- Reviewed existing processes to collect data to identify data gaps and opportunities to embed data collection into existing tools and approaches
- Designed new surveys and data capture tools that would meet both lawyers’ or case managers’ needs as well as M&E purposes. Examples include new client surveys on SurveyMonkey, and updated systems to digitally manage and analyse client case files
- Developed simple dashboards to automatically analyse and visualise data for reporting purposes
- Supported Westjustice staff to implement the new tools
Lawyers on both the Youth Law Program and Restoring Financial Safety project have been using the new data collection tools for both regular internal project management and monitoring, and external reports to funders. The Restoring Financial Safety team have also been using the data collected through these tools to prepare a business case for the Victorian Government to scale the integrated legal casework and financial counselling model across the state.
“I really enjoyed working with Jonathan. He listened, sought feedback and grasped a really good understanding of our project. The deliverables are tailored to our project outcomes and really achievable and easy to use.”
– Dacia Abela, Senior Lawyer, WEstjustice