Evaluation of the ndis final Report Kostas Mavromaras, Megan Moskos, Stéphane Mahuteau, Linda Isherwood

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Mainstream Interface

The perspective of NDIS participants and their family members or carer

  • In both waves of data collection, respondents reported little change to the type and frequency of mainstream and community services being utilised by participants since the roll-out of the NDIS.

The perspective of the service provider and peak body organisations

  • In both wave 1 and 2, peak bodies and disability service providers noted the importance of good connections between the NDIS and mainstream and community services.

  • Several local providers advised that good links had already existed prior to the NDIS between disability and mainstream providers in the Tennant Creek community and that these had continued with the roll-out of the NDIS.

I think they all work in partnership with each other out of necessity, as the situation might dictate. Particularly in aged care, I think... there's a good collaboration with aged care and disability support in the Barkly. But other allied health services and broader health services I think the dynamic hasn't changed a whole lot... overall I think there's a general theme of cooperation. (F02P W2)

  • However, in both waves 1 and 2, respondents also noted a number of challenges that hampered connections between the disability sector and mainstream and community services. It was suggested by one peak body organisation that a lack of consultation by the NDIA prior to the Barkly trial had negatively affected working relationships.

  • Respondents reported ongoing confusion amongst providers and the NDIA about funding responsibility between the disability and health sectors and a lack of clarity about NDIS eligibility criteria. These concerns included clients being turned back due to NDIA’s insistence that they were ‘Health’s responsibility’. In contrast, a peak body was concerned that some people were accessing NDIS funding for conditions the respondent considered to be health related.

There will be people we would have expected to be getting services through a palliative care response, or even just your mainstream health service response, it’s around, well, how broad is that footprint because it’s blurred some of those other mainstream service response lines. (F01P W2)

The perspective of the NDIA staff

  • In wave 1 relationships between the NDIA and mainstream sectors were believed to be strong. NDIA staff observed, however, that mainstream providers in the Barkly region had less knowledge of the NDIS than did their counterparts in other sites. As a result NDIA staff had needed to take more of a role in promoting and informing community and mainstream services about the NDIS.

  • In wave 2 NDIA staff felt that their relationships with mainstream and community services had further strengthened. This was attributed to a focussed effort on fostering relationships and sharing information with these services. NDIA staff did so by attending forums, engaging in collaboration and establishing advisory groups. They had also collaborated with the education sector to establish a referral process for schools to refer students to the NDIA team.

  • The primary challenge for NDIA staff in relation to their interactions with mainstream services continued to be the disentangling of disability from other sectors and establishing the boundaries for responsibilities. It was noted that other services were ‘antsy (F05N W1)’ about the introduction of the NDIS when it was first rolled out in the region and, although now improved, had initially impeded the interaction with these services. Beyond this it was also observed that the NDIS funding model discourages linkages with mainstream services.

Look, I think the funding model doesn’t encourage the linkages, but I think what we’ve got to do is develop a bit more of a relationship base around how do you facilitate the coordination of service delivery a bit better. (F11N W2)


Australian Unity (2015), What Makes us Happy Third Edition, Australian Unity Limited, Melbourne.

COAG (2014) Schedule F – Bilateral Agreement for NDIS trial between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Northern Territory, Canberra.

Evaluation of the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme: Evaluation Framework (2015), National Institute of Labour Studies, Adelaide: Flinders University. NDIS evaluation framework

Evaluation of the NDIS: Initial Report (2015), National Institute of Labour Studies, Adelaide: Flinders University.

International Wellbeing Group (2013), Personal Wellbeing Index: 5th Edition. Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, Deakin University ACQOL Personal Wellbeing Index: 5th Edition

Mavromaras, K. Moskos, M. Mahuteau, S. (2016) Evaluation of the NDIS: Intermediate Report, National Institute of Labour Studies, Adelaide: Flinders University.

OECD (2013), OECD Guidelines on Measuring Subjective Well-being, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264191655-en OECD guidelines on measuring subjective wellbeing

PC (Productivity Commission) 2011, Disability Care and Support, Report no. 54, Canberra.

Qu, L., Baxter, J., Weston, R., Moloney, L., & Hayes, A. (2012), Family-related life events: Insights from two Australian longitudinal studies (Research Report No. 22). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield (2015), Senate Question without notice 18 August 2015.Transcript - Hon M Fifield

1 The NDIS evaluation was commissioned in May 2013 by the then Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).

2 For convenience, this group will be referred to as older non-NDIS participants.

3 For further information, please see the reports for the 2012 and 2016 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey.

4 As explained in the Introduction, reading these transition tables is not simple. To get this percentage we use the (not reported in the table) individual sample sizes to derive an overall percentage for the whole table, which shows, for example, that 56 per cent of the total went from ‘increased’ in wave 1 to either ‘made no difference’ or to ‘reduced’, or from ‘made no difference’ to ‘reduced’.

5 Using manual calculations from unreported frequencies

6 Respite services as also funded by State and territory Governments and are not the sole responsibility of the Commonwealth.

7 Using manual calculations from unreported frequencies.

8 Using manual calculations from unreported frequencies.

9 Using manual calculations from reported frequencies

10 The average treatment effect on the treated (ATET) is the scale used in these Figures. An alternative way to present the NDIS impact is in terms of the probability of being in an alternative category. In Figure 4.5 the average ATET of 0.16 can be translated into a statement that those in the NDIS have a 54 per cent higher probability of ‘having a lot of say due to the NDIS’ than their comparators who are not.

11 Using manual calculations from unreported frequencies.

12 Using manual calculations from unreported frequencies.

13 Using manual calculations from unreported frequencies.

14 Using manual calculations from unreported frequencies.

15 The questions in the eudaimonic wellbeing block are relatively diverse and cover a range of different mental attributes and functioning that are thought to constitute mental ‘flourishing’. (OECD 2013)

16 95 per cent confidence intervals are coloured accordingly

17 Using manual calculations from unreported frequencies.

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