Many Rivers has just completed a 10-year journey to understand and strengthen the economic and social value created for individuals, their families and wider communities through annual evaluation reports. Each year Deloitte Access Economics independently reports the outcomes and impacts achieved by Many Rivers by drawing on quantitative and qualitative data.
Due to the increasing scale of our programs, and the growing sophistication of our evaluation, Deloitte Access Economics now completes separate evaluations for our Microenterprise Development (MED) program and our Community Economic Development (CED) programs.
“Many Rivers is supporting clients and communities to move out of structural disadvantage via a journey of growing self-belief, accountability, networks and business acumen.” - Deloitte Access Economics
Many Rivers’ Microenterprise Development (MED) program supports individual clients out of structural disadvantage by helping them create and expand businesses. These businesses generate income that supports the business owner, and often employees, which in turn improves living standards and reduces the reliance of clients and their employees on essential goods and services provided by the government.
Community Economic Development
Many Rivers’ Community Economic Development (CED) program was created to assist in reducing structural disadvantage in regional and remote Australia. Established in late 2015, the CED program responds to increasing requests for microenterprise development support from Indigenous community organisations with economic aspirations and opportunities.
All Annual Evaluation Reports (2012-2022)
Most Recent Evaluation Report
Previous MED Evaluation Reports
- 9th Annual MED Monitoring and Evaluation (2021) – Full Report
- 8th Outcomes Evaluation (2020) – Full Report
- 7th Outcomes Evaluation (2019) – Full Report
- 6th Outcomes Evaluation (2018) – Full Report
- 5th Outcomes Evaluation (2017) – Full Report
- 4th Outcomes Evaluation (2016) – Full Report
- 3rd Outcomes Evaluation (2015) – Full Report
- 2nd Outcomes Evaluation (2014) – Full Report
- Evaluation Summary Report (2013)
- Evaluation Summary Report (2012)
Previous CED Evaluation Reports
- 1st Outcomes Evaluation (2021) – Full Report
- 2nd Annual CED Monitoring and Evaluation (2021) – Full Report
In 2012, Many Rivers engaged Deloitte Access Economics to develop a framework to measure the long-term performance of Many Rivers’ Microenterprise Development program.
The framework study looked at:
- the types of outcomes likely to be associated with Many Rivers’ activity;
- the data and indicators needed to assess the outcomes; and
- recommendations for how the data and indicators should be collected.
In developing the framework, the likely economic and social outcomes associated with Many Rivers’ program were considered at a number of levels:
- at the individual level, for those receiving support (both financial and non-financial) from Many Rivers;
- at the business level, for those receiving support (both financial and non-financial) from Many Rivers;
- at the community level, for those in which Many Rivers operates; and
- the flow-on implications for the Australian economy more broadly.
The framework developed by Deloitte set out the details required to measure the short-and long-term outcomes associated with Many Rivers’ program. A range of potential indicators were included and relate predominantly to economic, social and capacity building outcomes for individuals, businesses and their communities.
Details on these outcomes and suggested indicators for their measurement are supplemented by practical information that will guide Many Rivers to develop its approach to data collection.
The original framework has been continuously developed each year:
- In 2013, Many Rivers implemented a comprehensive data tool – ‘Compass’ – which embeds data collection for evaluation in their customer relationship management system, enabling a data driven and increasingly innovative understanding of Many Rivers’ outcomes.
- From 2014, Many Rivers has collected Client Stories, interviewing clients about their journey while working with Many Rivers. These stories provide an additional level of impact fidelity, and understanding of the conditions for success in microenterprise development.
- In 2018, the evaluation included the reporting of broader social outcomes being achieved by Many Rivers’ clients, and the reporting of the Many Rivers Community Economic Development Program.
- In 2021 Deloitte Access Economics undertook the 9th Annual Evaluation of the MED Program. This evaluation seeks to build on previous years while also:
- Increasingly leveraging Client Stories to enrich quantitative insights with real-life examples.
- Examining the impacts of COVID-19 on Many Rivers’ clients, journeys and business outcomes through the voice of MEDMs, alongside the data.
- Examining how business outcomes vary depending on the length of time a client has been receiving support from Many Rivers.
- Developing a more sophisticated understanding of the organisational effort required from Many Rivers to support clients to establish and grow a business.
Role of Deloitte Access Economics
Deloitte Access Economics has worked with Many Rivers on the Annual Outcomes Evaluation since 2012, commencing with the creation of an Evaluation Framework and followed by annual outcomes evaluations, drawing on information of increasing quality and breadth in each subsequent year.
The purpose of monitoring and evaluation is to assist Many Rivers with understanding the nature of the aggregate and year-on-year impact of its programs – the Microenterprise Development Program (MED) and Community Economic Development Program (CED).
Given the increasing scale and sophistication of these two programs, in 2021 Deloitte Access Economics moved to a two-stage annual evaluation cycle in which each program is evaluated in detail. In previous years, the evaluation for both programs was combined.
In this context, Deloitte Access Economics does not fulfil the role of an auditor. Assessment of the quality and completeness of the data that Many Rivers collects is beyond the scope of this work. Rather, Deloitte Access Economics conducts in-depth analysis on the clients, journey and outcomes of Many Rivers’ programs based on data provided by Many rivers and independent consultations.
Although over the years, the focus has been on monitoring the performance of Many Rivers’ programs, the evaluation of their impact is becoming an increasing feature of this work.