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  Alternatives Pty Ltd
  ABN 23 050 334 435

Contents | 1. Essence | 2. Aproaches | 3. Process | 4. Measuring outcomes | 5. Paradoxes
6. Examples | 7. Jargon | 8. Checklist | 9. Practice tips | 10. Resources


9. Practice tips

A. Thinking about

B. Framing an

C. Evaluation
     report outline

D. Model of service
E. Community

F. Peer review
G. Focus groups
H. Telling stories
I. Staff time use
J. Questionnaires


E. The local community profile

The demographic profile of the community

Clients of human service projects are part of communities. It is often important to ask questions such as:

How do our clients compare with the clients in the community we serve?
Which potential clients from the community come to use?
Which potential clients don't come to use?

Answering these questions will often require comparing data from the local census with data from your service.

To do this not only requires access to census data - now easily accessible on-line in Australia at the ABS web site - but also requires that client data includes data that can be compared with the census data, for example:

  • age
  • language spoken at home
  • level of education
  • source of income
  • employment/education status

The services profile

Services also need to be able to see where they fit in the network of services. Questions include:

What services operate in our community?
What are the connections between them?
Are we similar or different from the other services operating in our community?

This information is often not as easy to access as census data on the local community, but it is equally important.