The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing engaged HMA to undertake an evaluation of the Improving Maternity Services Budget Package. The 2009-10 Budget Package provided $120.5 million over four years to support a complex package of reforms comprising a number of interdependent components.
The evaluation requirements included the following:
- an assessment of the Budget Package outcomes
- an assessment of the extent to which the Budget Package components achieved their objectives
- an assessment of the appropriateness of the Budget Package in addressing the identified community needs
- an assessment of the efficiency of the Budget Package, including consideration of the extent to which the outputs were maximised for a given level of input
- an assessment of the effectiveness and degree of success of the Budget Package, based on the extent to which outputs had positively contributed to the specified outcomes
- addressing any ongoing and unresolved issues impacting on the achievement of the Budget Package’s objectives, and making recommendations for resolution, and
- identification of opportunities and recommendations to further improve the choice in and availability of maternity services in Australia.
The project involved:
- preparation of an environmental scan
- development and implementation of an evaluation framework and consultation framework
- structured interviews, surveys, focus groups and case studies with a broad range of stakeholders,
- a data scoping study with subsequent data collection and analysis, and
- a financial assessment analysis.
The consultation process involved two stages.
- The first, conducted in 2011-12, focussed on implementation of the reforms.The first stage included interviews with 106 individuals in 57 stakeholder organisations, plus conduct and analysis of three surveys. and
- The second, conducted in 2012-13, focussed on the impact of the reforms. The second stage included interviews with 77 individuals in 45 organisations, conduct and analysis of seven surveys with different stakeholder groups, and conduct of 18 focus groups and eight case studies across various jurisdictions and metropolitan or rural locations.
The project commenced in December 2010 and was completed in June 2013