Evaluation Capacity Building in the West

Where we are at

Back in 2019 HealthWest Partnership in collaboration with the Western Region Primary Prevention Taskforce embarked on a journey to build and strengthen the capacity for our primary prevention sector to:

  1. Continually ask questions about the quality and value of our work;
  2. Collect, analyse, interpret and report on evidence; and
  3. Use evidence to inform decision-making and action.

Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay

Evaluation Capacity Health Check

The journey began with the development of an Evaluation Capacity Health Check tool. This was followed by an exploration of MEL (monitoring, evaluation and learning) in the time of COVID, and more recently a series of professional development opportunities led by Cultivating Change for the primary prevention workforce in Melbourne’s west.

We have had some rich and creative discussions, have come to better understand enabling factors and those that may hinder our evaluation practice.  We have explored Theories of Change; story telling; data sense-making and the value of reflective learning practice, and through all this, have navigated the challenges of COVID and its impact on our primary prevention work.



As we now reach the end of the workforce capacity building phase of our ECB work we will be conducting a Learning Enquiry to

  • reflect on our efforts to date
  • further understand the place of MEL within the broader primary prevention context, and
  • explore how the value of evaluation practice might be further elevated across the system.


Partnering with Lirata for the Learning Enquiry

HealthWest have recently partnered with Lirata Consulting to conduct a Learning Enquiry that aims to explore the impact of the Evaluation Capacity Building work HealthWest have conducted over the past two years. Applying a systems-thinking lens, the Learning Enquiry delves into the barriers that remain for organisations and staff to embrace evaluative thinking and practice and how these might be overcome.

Read the Evaluation Capacity Building in Primary Prevention report here.

Our continued thanks go out to all those who have participated in this work.


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Kate Baker, Evaluation Project Manager
kate.baker@healthwest.org.au; (03) 9248 9653

Useful links

Download the Evaluation Capacity Health Check