Measuring what matters: using the perspectives of service users, providers and funders to establish a core set of performance measures

In Australia, there is no standardised approach to measuring the performance of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) treatment services. NGOs often manage contracts with multiple funding sources, with performance measures varying between funders, creating an unnecessary reporting burden on providers. The purpose of the research was to establish a core set of performance measures that can be used by funders of NSW NGO AOD treatment that are meaningful and acceptable to service users, treatment providers and funders. The methodology for the research involved: an analysis of existing measures used in contracts against best practice; focus groups with service users, treatment providers and funders to identify the most important measures and explore the challenges associated with the implementation; and used the Delphi method to reach consensus with the same stakeholders to prioritise a core set of performance measures.


Robert Stirling, CEO, Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies (NADA)

Robert is a DrPH candidate and CEO of NADA – the NSW AOD peak body. Robert has worked in the sector for over 15 years across the government and NGO sectors. He holds qualifications in public health and community management.


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