Meta-evaluation of existing interagency partnerships, collaboration, coordination and/or integrated interventions and service responses to violence against women: Key findings and future directions

Friday, 8th July 2016

This research project reviewed and analysed data to identify key program elements, policy contexts and learnings from the implementation of integrated responses in all Australian jurisdictions.

The first stage, a state of knowledge paper, presented current published literature on Australian and international partnerships, collaborations and integrated interventions regarding domestic and family violence and sexual assault. The second stage, the final report, is a meta-evaluation of Australian integrated responses, with recommendations for future evaluations and key considerations for integrated responses in terms of core elements, contexts and circumstances.

This research to policy and practice paper outlines key findings and implications for policy-makers, practitioners and researchers.

Forty-eight (48) available evaluations met the inclusion criteria for the meta-evaluation, relating to 33 programs or initiatives. The authors found the initiatives to be diverse, with no standard definition of integration, but each response made use of an interagency model delivering case coordination, information sharing and/or multi-disciplinary service delivery. The model could be a component of the response, or the entire response.

Most evaluations used a mixed-methods design but few had robust outcome measures and none assessed the relative impact of specific components, so the authors were unable to identify effective components or service models. However the evaluations did indicate promising signs of improved service delivery which is valued by practitioners and clients. In many cases the interventions brought agencies closer to shared understandings of violence and risk.

To build an evidence base on effective integration, the report found that future evaluations should be theory-driven, measurement focused and comprehensive, including process, output and outcome indicators.

The report also made recommendations for policy-makers and practitioners, including the exploration of a universal framework for integration; a commitment to increasing the knowledge base on integration; and sufficient support to ensure services are skilled and structured to identify and respond to the needs of women from marginalised backgrounds, including women from rural and remote Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and women from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Download Compass 05 2016 .pdf (1.14 MB)

ANROWS Compass papers are concise papers that summarise key findings of research on violence against women and their children, including research produced under ANROWS’s Research Program and provide advice on the implications for policy and practice.

This report was produced as part of project 4.2 Meta-evaluation of existing interagency partnerships, collaboration, coordination and/or integrated interventions and service responses to violence against women.