CFRE conducted an independent evaluation of the Emergency Relief Workforce Development Program (ERWDP): a nationwide roll-out of in-person and online training.
After consultation with the Australian emergency relief (ER) sector, Matrix designed and implemented the ERWDP training courses in addition to self-assessment tools and support for management staff. During the evaluation planning phase, it was expected that new sector-wide operational guidelines would drive the ER reform initiative in 2017. However, in early 2018 during the stages of implementation and data collection, these guidelines had still not been released. It became evident that the absence of new benchmarks would limit what could be determined about program effectiveness.
This evaluation utilised a participatory, objective-based approach with a mix of both qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative phone interviews were conducted by the CFRE team. Secondary quantitative data was supplied by Matrix, including program registrations and attendance lists and website analytics. Even in the absence of new operating guidelines, the findings from this evaluation have been valuable in that they have contributed toward understanding the types and delivery methods of training and support that are most effective, appropriate and sustainable for the ER workforce.