Practical support to measure Yarrabilba Community Hub outcomes and partnership benefits

27 Aug 2020

Yarrabilba is a relatively new master-planned development in Logan City that is currently growing at a faster rate than anywhere else in Queensland. To support this growing community the Queensland Government, Logan City Council, Brisbane Catholic Education and Lendlease formed a partnership to develop a Yarrabilba Community Hub. By leveraging their planned investments in social infrastructure the partners aim to achieve more effective outcomes for the Yarrabilba community. The Social Solutions research group has been engaged to provide targeted support to the Hub partners to develop their outcomes-based approach to planning and evaluation.

The Yarrabilba Community Hub project embodies many of the approaches to place-based policy development and practice that are of particular interest to the Social Solutions research group—collaborative, evidence-based and outcomes-focused. It also represents a distinctive local partnership, between the public and private sectors, to put into practice ideas around co-designed and adaptive support. To maximise the impact of this project, the ISSR team has been augmented with planning experts from UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences—experts who live and breathe community planning.

“We are excited by the prospect of designing and delivering practical tools and resources that can directly inform community outcomes for Yarrabilba and more broadly contribute to the public policy knowledge bank and evidence base about place” Professor Tim Reddel

By working closely with the Hub partners, the team will deliver a community outcomes framework, measurement and evaluation strategy, and partnerships benefits assessment tool later this year. To date the team have commenced stakeholder engagement, delivered a rapid document review and sketched out a draft intervention logic. Early insights from stakeholders have reinforced the importance of pragmatism in the development of these tools due to a reliance on data collected from busy community service providers. As advised by one stakeholder “Only collect data for what you intend to measure and only measure what matters”. The team also recognises the importance of the outputs to complement, not duplicate, the significant foundational work of the Hub partners. Indeed, the co-dependency between the development of the intervention logic and early stakeholder engagement activities has already demonstrated this, with each informing the other. 

With the growing interest in place-based and partnership approaches across Australia this project presents an ideal opportunity for ISSR to support the growing community of Yarrabilba and further develop understanding of, and capability in, this approach to social policy development.

Project Team: Professor Tim Reddel (UQ ISSR), Dr Mark Robinson (UQ ISSR), Ms Laurel Johnson (UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences) and Ms Stephanie Wyeth (UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences) and Dave Porter (UQ ISSR)