Building the Evidence Base

There is a wide array of organisations who have insights that can contribute to building the evidence base on where the gaps are in Australians’ financial capability, and how best to address those gaps. This Strategy aims to leverage these insights through a monitoring and evaluation framework that can provide insights at a micro level and add to the evidence base through a biennial national financial capability survey to measure progress at a macro level. The Government has also done a stocktake of existing financial capability initiatives which can be found at the financial capability website.[5]

Best practice delivery of support to target cohorts often involves making the evidence available to those cohorts. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Government is committed to encouraging greater information sharing in support of the priority reforms of the Closing the Gap Agreement,[6] to enable the monitoring of progress and better understanding of outcomes.

One challenge facing the effective targeting of financial capability initiatives is the difference between self reported behaviours and outcomes, and actual behaviours and outcomes. While surveys and direct engagement with an individual capture their self reported financial capability, this would be a more accurate representation of actual financial capability if supplemented with evidence on actual behaviours, both in the near term and on an ongoing basis.

National survey

To establish a stronger evidence base of the level of financial capability across Australia and allow progress tracking over time, the Government undertook the first biennial national financial capability survey in 2021. The purpose of the survey is to measure how progress and changes in financial capability are occurring over time across the general population and within target cohorts. The results are published on the Government’s financial capability website for use by the financial capability community and any other interested parties.[7]

Monitoring and evaluation framework

To understand and build the evidence base on what types of interventions are effective in building financial capability in Australia, providers need access to consistent and robust monitoring and evaluation practices for programs and services.

This Strategy is supported by a monitoring and evaluation framework which will promote a consistent approach to the measurement of the impact of financial capability initiatives, by providing tools and resources to help providers design, measure and understand the outcomes of their initiatives. The framework provides a set of priority and secondary outcomes and ways of measuring progress against those outcomes. It is designed to be applicable to the diverse range of activities in the sector delivered in a variety of formats, such as one on one support, workshops and digital tools.

These outcomes are framed around the core elements of financial capability that are identified in this Strategy; knowledge, skills, attitudes, confidence and behaviours. These outcomes are supported by indicators that will allow for providers to monitor whether change in individual financial capability is occurring. For example, the priority outcome of an individual being engaged with financial decisions could be shown to be occurring through the number of people reporting to pay attention to their finances. The framework will also include suggested survey questions for individuals to answer before and after the initiatives, and other supporting resources to assist providers with collecting this data.

The application of the framework and supporting resources for impact evaluation will increase the availability of reliable data on the effectiveness of financial capability building initiatives and support resources being directed to initiatives that are proven to be making a positive change.



[6] Commonwealth of Australia, National Agreement, Closing The Gap National Agreement, 2020