Westpac Foundation is a charitable organisation that has been helping people for the last 140 years. It focuses on providing funding and programs to help social enterprises and community organisations to tackle social issues and creating job opportunities for those who need it most.
In 2011 Westpac Foundation made its single largest investment to Tjanpi Desert Weavers. Creative Economy was engaged to evaluate the impact of the social investment and our challenge was to demonstrate the impact of the investment for an organisation working in 26 multi-lingual communities across 350,000 square kms of a remote desert region.
The evaluation focussed on the primary beneficiaries, the women of the western and central deserts, and included the design of a culturally appropriate impact assessment framework. This included field trips, undertaken with an interpreter and translator, to include impact statements from linguistically diverse beneficiaries. The evaluation captured the voice of the women both in their own language and English.
Westpac Foundation considers this evaluation report as the ‘gold standard’, setting a new benchmark in impact assessment. The evaluation enables impact to be understood beyond just financial and program logic, with meaning that is deeper than mere quantifiable outcomes. Importantly, the evaluation demonstrates impact from the cultural value framework of Anangu women. Such as affording us all to understand the invaluable importance of “Tjukurpa”, a word that Pitjantjatjara-speaking Anangu use to describe the force which unites people with each other and with the land. Connections that have sustained lives forever but most of us have lost.