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Outcomes Measurement and Evaluation Capacity Building Project

About the Project

The Federation undertook a project designed to build the evaluation capacity of selected Victorian CLCs and create a shared outcomes measurement framework for the entire Victorian CLC sector. The project was funded through Victoria Legal Aid’s Innovation and Transformation Grants Program.

The Federation has secured additional funding from the Legal Services Board to support the sector with implementation of the framework.  The framework is not a static document, but a work in progress, and the Federation will continue to adapt this framework as CLCs use it, and advise us of their learnings.

The project had two key objectives:

  1. To collaboratively build a sector-wide outcomes measurement framework that is endorsed by the Victorian CLC Sector as representative of the key outcomes it aims to achieve through its activities and service delivery.
  2. To work with seven Victorian CLCs and the Federation to build their evaluation capacity so that they can better monitor and evaluate the impact of their work. 


Sector-wide Outcomes Measurement Framework

The Federation, through its Members, has identified that the development of a sector-wide Outcomes Measurement Framework will assist the Victorian CLC sector to demonstrate, articulate and measure the outcomes it achieves through its activities and service delivery.

The creation of a shared Outcomes Measurement Framework is an important strategic milestone. It provides us with a Framework that Community Legal Centres (CLCs) can use to demonstrate our individual and collective impact, and that the Federation and Members can use to advocate on behalf of the sector and our clients to funders, stakeholders and the wider community.

The use of the Framework is not mandatory. It is a tool for learning, support and advocacy which we encourage you to use to guide your CLC in measuring your outcomes and overall impact.

Final Framework Released

You can download the document in two parts or as the full Framework:


Contact Katie Fraser, katie.fraser@fclc.org.au for further information. 


Evaluation Capacity Building in CLCs

Evaluation capacity building (ECB) means engaging in a process to increase individual and organisational skills, knowledge and motivation to conduct and effectively use evaluation.

There are a range of strategies that can be used to build evaluation capacity and the best combination of strategies will depend on an organisation’s objectives and context. In this project we are building CLC capacity through a combination of:

  • Training in monitoring and evaluation basics for CLC staff;
  • Expert support to CLCs to develop theories of change, M & E frameworks and M&E Plans;
  • Expert support and mentoring to CLC staff when implementing their M & E frameworks;
  • Peer support, through the creation of an Evaluation Practitioners Group; 
  • The creation of an M&E toolkit and support to CLCs in trialling tools

Some of the resources produced from the training and other activities will be shared with the sector through the Federation’s intranet.

The project consultants, Lirata Consulting, have produced this ECB Model which further explains ECB in the context of this project.

Project Consultants – Lirata Consulting

The project was being delivered in partnership with Lirata Consulting who are leading the development of the Sector-wide Outcomes Measurement Framework and working with the CLCs to build their staff’s evaluation capacity and their organisational M & E systems. The project consultants are Mark Planigale, Nadu Dove and Elaine Hendrick. You can find out more about Lirata at their website http://www.lirata.com/


Below is a list of and links to publicly available reports on outcomes measurement and evaluation in legal assistance services. Sharing the resources on this website does not necessarily mean the Federation endorses them. 

Reports on Outcomes Measurement and Evaluation in Legal Assistance Services in Australia

Curran, L. (2007) Making the Legal System More Responsive to Community: A Report on the Impact of Victorian Community Legal Centre (CLC) Law Reform Initiatives, Australian National University – College of Law, ACT.

Curran, L. (2012) A Literature Review: examining the literature on how to measure the ‘successful outcomes’: quality, effectiveness and efficiency of Legal Assistance Services, Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department

Curran, L. (2012) We can see there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now: Demonstrating and ensuring quality service to clients, Legal Aid Commission, ACT

Curran, L. (2013) Encouraging Good Practice in Measuring Effectiveness in the Legal Services Sector, Legal Workshop, ANU College of Law, ACT.

Diguisto, E. (2012) Effectiveness of public legal assistance services, Justice issues paper 16, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney.

Storer, B.E., Stubbs, J, & Lux. C. (2012) Economic Cost Benefit Analysis of Community Legal Centres, report prepared for the National Association of Community Legal Centres Inc by Judith Stubbs and Associates.

Rich, N. (2009) Reclaiming Community Legal Centres: Maximising our potential so we can help our clients reach theirs, Victoria Law Foundation Community Legal Centre Fellowship 2007-2008 Final Report

Allen Consulting Group (2012) Review of the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services Working Paper One: Final evaluation framework, prepared for the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department

Allen Consulting Group (2013) Review of the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services Working Paper Two: Evaluation of Legal Assistance Services, prepared for the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department

Wilczynski, A, Karras, M & Forell, S 2014, The outcomes of community legal education: a systematic review, Justice issues paper 18, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney.

Forrel, S & Gray, A (2009), Outreach legal services to people with complex needs: what works? Justice issues paper 12, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney

If you know of other reports you think we should include send them to Rohan Thwaites, Outcomes Project Manager, rohant@fclc.org.au

Evaluation and impact reports from CLCs

Women’s Legal Service Victoria (2015) Impact Report 2014-2015.

Justice Connect. (2015) Impact Report 2014-15. Melbourne: Justice Connect. Report prepared by Emma Pritchard.

Not for Profit Law (2015) Evaluation of the Not-For-Profit-Law Information Hub’s Launchpad Resources. This evaluation looks at the reach and effectiveness of the Launchpad Resources, which are online resources providing legal information to start-up not-for-profits. The evaluation uses a range of methods, including the use of control groups in a focus group setting to help determine the impact that providing guidance to a user has on their ability to navigate online legal resources.

This evaluation of the Not for Profit Law Program examines the effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness of the NFP Law Program. The evaluaiton method involves a document review, data analysis, and consultation with key stakeholders. 

Have an evaluation report from your CLC that you want to share? Send it to Rohan Thwaites, Outcomes Project Manager rohant@fclc.org.au

Resources on Monitoring and Evaluation

There are a wide range of monitoring and evaluation resources online. Some of our favourites are:

BetterEvaluation: http://betterevaluation.org/

The Evaluation Toolbox: http://evaluationtoolbox.net.au/ 

Innonet: http://www.innonet.org/resources/

The Evaluation Exchange: http://hfrp.org/evaluation/the-evaluation-exchange

Australasian Evaluation Society: http://www.aes.asn.au/resources/useful-links-to-evaluation-resources/other-useful-websites.html

See also The Change Toolkit on this website, which has further information and resources for evaluating advocacy in CLCs.

Hyperlinks from Sector Framework:

Case studies

Inner Melbourne Community Legal case study

Justice Connect case study

Justice Connect report

Women's Legal Service Victoria case study 

Justice Connect Homeless Law case study


Tools from Sector Framework:

Client Outcomes Survey 

Client Outcomes Survey

Client Outcomes Survey Instructions

Stakeholder and Partner Survey

Stakeholder and Partner Survey 

Stakeholder and Partner Survey Instructions 

Stakeholder and Partner Survey - Advocacy focus

Stakeholder and Partner Survey- Informal partnership and referral

Stakeholder and Partner Survey - Stakeholder perceptions

Stakeholder and Partner Survey - Formal service delivery partnership 

Advocacy Register

Advocacy Register Instructions

Advocacy Planning and Evaluation Template

Advocacy Overview Template

Advocacy Brief Reflection Template

Incoming Enquiry Log

Incoming Enquiry Log

Incoming Enquiry Log Instructions



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