Value-for-Money Analysis (economic evaluation) of the National Indigenous Postvention Service

Project Info


  • Thirrili Ltd

Client Type

  • Service provider

Financial Year

  • 2019-20

Health Areas

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
  • Mental health

Services Provided

  • Evaluation
  • Health program evaluations
  • Value-for-money analysis


  • National

The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) funds Thirrili Ltd to provide postvention support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by suicide. The program, the National Indigenous Postvention Service, commenced operations in early 2017 with a three-year budget of $10m. HMA was contracted by Thirrili Ltd to undertake a value-for-money (VfM) assessment of the postvention service required under their funding and service agreement with the NIAA.

There is a lack of standardised VfM methodologies in the economic literature. HMA therefore developed an innovative, evaluative approach based on designing and applying a VfM performance assessment matrix. This enabled an assessment of the postvention support service performance in six value-for-money domains: economy, efficiency, effectiveness, equity, cost effectiveness, and financial governance.

The complex nature of the service delivery environment required culturally sensitive engagement by the HMA team. Using a mixed-methods approach, HMA collected, analysed and synthesised data from a range of sources to inform our assessment. Tasks that we undertook to inform the analysis included:

  • unit costing
  • staff activity surveys
  • reviewed financial accounts
  • interviewed direct care staff and management, and
  • conducted an analysis of coroner’s statistics on Indigenous suicides in each jurisdiction and compared this to the realised demand (number of families) supported by the program.

Our report identified the value-for-money performance level of the postvention service within each VfM domain. Based on our findings, we suggested strategies that the board and senior management could implement to improve the financial performance of the postvention service over time.

The project commenced in early March 2020 and was completed by end April 2020.