Financial wellbeing for women (& family violence)

Smartsteps is thrilled to be evaluating the ‘Financial Wellbeing for Women’ program in Victoria. The program aims to give women more control over their money. This contributes to both prevention and recovery from financial abuse and other forms of family violence.

Smartsteps has completed the evaluation of Phase 1 of the pilot. This covered the course material and the train the trainer’ workshops. These were evaluated through assessments by trainee facilitators and comparisons with international good practice. A copy is available here.

We are now evaluating Phase 2 of the pilot. This covers the delivery of the program by 32 local providers across Victoria. The evaluation will look who enrols in the program, what women get out of the program, and (if relevant) how the program can be improved to be sustainable in the long-term. The evaluation report will be available in early 2020.

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Evaluating 'Making Money Easy'

Smartsteps has completed the evaluation of Participate Australia’s ‘Making Money Easy’ program. This is a financial literacy program for people with intellectual disabilities.

The project involved converting a paper-based course to an online format. For this project, an innovative evaluation method was used, blending evaluation and user-centred design. The method included user testing and rapid feedback through several cycles of product development as well as an evaluation of the final product. The report showed that the online format was accessible and engaging for most users with an intellectual disability. The evaluation revealed the elements that were particularly engaging, such as pictures, interactive activities and the animated piggy bank activity.

The evaluation also showed the value of a motivating support worker and home based practice, in combination with the online program.

The evaluation report is available here.

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Keynote presentation on evaluation

It was an honour to give the keynote presentation at the OECD - ADBI - State Bank of Vietnam conference on financial literacy and consumer protection.

The talk focused on how evaluation is essential to delivering programs that actually work. Evaluation is a learning process - it helps us learn where programs are and are not working, and how to improve them to get better results for consumers.

The presentation used 3 examples of programs to show how even simple evaluations can give useful insights into how a program is working.  Evaluation meant that each program's story is about the better outcomes for consumers, not about how busy the program organisers were.  The conference participants (from all over Asia) seemed relieved that evaluation need not be as scary as they had thought!  

A copy of the presentation is available here: https://tinyurl.com/smartsteps-Hanoi

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