Research and Evaluation

Research and Evaluation

The Youth Coalition and its staff team has a strong track record in undertaking rigorous, ethical research and evaluation projects in the ACT and nationally.

Our staff come from a range of academic and community-based backgrounds, including anthropology, sociology, public health, community development and youth work. We are uniquely positioned to undertake research and evaluation work to contribute to improved outcomes for young people and their families.

  • strong stakeholder relationships across the ACT and nationally with practitioners, youth and community-based programs and services, policy-makers and government directorates;

  • experience and expertise conducting ethical research and consultation with young people and service providers about sensitive issues

  • an integrated approach to ensuring that research and evaluation both informs and builds upon our broader policy, sector development and advocacy work, to increase community impact.

We work closely with commissioning agencies throughout project planning, development and implementation to ensure we undertake a process that is collaborative, useful and ethical, and meets the needs of a range of stakeholders. We adhere to the guidelines set by the NHMRC regarding ethical conduct in human research. 

For more information or to discuss a proposal, contact the Youth Coalition Executive Director, Dr Justin Barker, on [email protected]

Headspace Feasibility Study: Commissioned by the Capital Health Network, this feasibility study identified an appropriate location for the second headspace centre on the southside of Canberra, as well as opportunities for service integration to improve access for young people.

Key activities included:

  • A desktop review of existing data and documentation to identify demographic and prevalence patterns across ACT suburbs
  • Qualitative research (interviews and focus groups) with young people and key stakeholders across government and the community services sector, focus on patterns of service use and opportunities for service integration

Research and consultation for the Office of Mental Health and Wellbeing to inform the development of a Youth Mental Health Navigation Portal and to scope solutions to existing service/system gaps for young people with moderate to severe mental illness. This research complemented a project conducted by ANU, by engaging ‘hard to reach’ young people and youth service providers outside the scope of their research.

Key activities included:

  • Focus groups with young people under the age of 16, or who access services, including youth homelessness services, youth mental health services, migrant and refugee programs, and out-of-home care programs
  • Focus groups with practitioners and youth service providers across the youth, community and education sectors

Commissioned by Families ACT, the evaluation of the JCR Program included a process evaluation to assess the extent to which the program had been implemented as intended and areas for improvement; and a preliminary outcome evaluation to assess the extent to which the program is achieving the intended outcomes.

Key activities included:

  • Development of an Evaluation Plan and Framework
  • Online surveys for target groups of the program
  • Semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders
  • Data analysis using NVivo and development of an evaluation report   

Development of an Evaluation Framework for FFT-CW ACT, a pilot program to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families delivered in partnership between OzChild and Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation. The Youth Coalition was commissioned to work with the FFT-CW ACT team to develop a Program Logic describing the unique implementation of the FFT-CW model in the ACT, a Program Guidelines, and Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

See also Service Improvement

The Youth Coalition conducted this research to hear directly from youth workers about their experiences engaging with young people under the age of 16 who are homeless. This project included semi-structured focus groups. This research, along with other research and advocacy on this issue, eventually led to the creation and funding of the Safe and Connected Youth Project Pilot

This is a developmental evaluation to monitor, assess and seek feedback on the development of the S&CY Project Pilot, including seeking feedback from young people and families who have been involved with the project. 



  • Dutch Courage – Young People, Alcohol and Alcohol Related Violence
  • At Odds – Young people and Gambling
  • the development of a Youth Sector Workforce Profile
  • Rate Canberra: Survey of Young People. We also undertake literature reviews to inform our policy and advocacy work, such as raising the age of criminal responsibility in the ACT. 

In addition to Youth Coalition projects, members of the current staff team have undertaken a range of research and evaluation projects in the ACT and Australia, prior to their employment with the Youth Coalition. These projects span a range of disciplines and research areas, and include service-specific and large-scale, sector-wide projects. Through this work, staff members have engaged directly with vulnerable, marginalised or ‘hard to reach’ population groups and the programs and systems that aim to support them, with a view to informing policy and practice.

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