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Improving the lives of disadvantaged youth in rural Victoria


Service lines


  • Policy, program and service design and evaluation


Situation: Nous was engaged by Save the Children to evaluate Operation Newstart Shepparton, an intensive eight week adventure based therapy program for youth at risk of dropping out of school.

Approach: Nous conducted extensive quantitative and qualitative research with current and former program participants, parents, teachers and program staff. The research found a social return on investment of $3.68 for every $1.00 invested in the program. Nous also identified several key ways to improve the design and implementation of the program.

Result: The evaluation results informed a business plan to expand the program to other regional centres that Nous also developed. The reports produced by Nous helped Save the Children to secure substantial new funding for Operation Newstart shortly after their release.

The final report, Evaluation of ONS Shepparton, is publicly available.

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