Research and evaluation

Understanding the characteristics, experience and perspectives of consumers is an important element of designing products and services that are fit for purpose. As a sector that delivers services to people who are often experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability, it is important for community organisations to know they are providing safe and appropriate services to individuals and to the community more broadly.

QCOSS Research and Evaluation network

As the Queensland community services sector’s peak body, QCOSS delivers a year-round research and advocacy program to deliver change on structural social issues and to promote the work and needs of the sector.

The Research and Evaluation Network provides an opportunity for collaboration and knowledge sharing in the area of research and evaluation, with the aim of utilising community sector resources more effectively to promote improved outcomes for organisations and their clients.

Resources hub

In this section, you can find Research and Evaluation Network resources as they are developed.

Recordings of previous webinars:

Using data to measure diverse program outcomes

Communify Chief Information Officer, Ben Bollard, walks through Communify’s data systems and how they are used to collectively measure diverse program outcomes.

Tools to measure your outcomes

Learn about an innovative and evidence-based platform for the community sector that provides access to a range of free impact measurements tools.

Community Services and university partnerships

Guest speakers from St Vincent de Paul Queensland and UQ's Social Science research team outline how partnering with a university can benefit your organisation.

Quantifying the community value of neighbourhood centres

QCOSS and Neighbourhood Centres Queensland take an in-depth look at the methodology of 'Social Return On Investment', and how data can be used to advocate for funding increases.

Data access and collaboration

The session explores how SEER Data & Analytics has supported the development of The Gladstone Region Wellbeing Data Hub – enabling the community to evaluate a range of community-identified wellbeing goals.

The 3 steps of Systems Evaluation Theory

Dr Lewê Atkinson, Global Partner of Haines Centre Australia, provides a brief introduction to Systems Evaluation Thinking (SET) and highlights parallels to Results Based Accountability (RBA).

Reports and submissions

Using consumer data for continuous improvement

QCOSS partnered with Queensland Positive People, St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland and Communify Queensland with the aim of identifying strategies that support organisations to improve the use of consumer data for the continuous quality improvement of programs.

A series of case studies highlight the lessons and challenges experienced by organisations, as well as their strengths, opportunities, and innovations as they implement program specific and/or organisational systems that measure outcomes. The case studies demonstrate the commitment community organisations have to ensuring programs are meeting the needs and improving the quality of life for people accessing their services.

All organisations identified challenges that limited their ability to further scale these systems. This often related to a lack of dedicated resourcing to support data management and analysis for the program and the wider organisation.

Sector sources

Are you looking for the latest research? Here are some reputable organisations that regularly publish research, reports and submissions.


QCOSS (Queensland Council of Social Service) Publications

Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies – QUT

Australian Council of Social Service – Policy

Analysis & Policy Observatory

Centre for Policy Development

LawRight – reports, papers and evaluation

Centre for Social Impact

The Equality Trust


Australian Productivity Commission

Parliamentary Library

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Community Sector


Relationships Australia