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Research and evaluation

Research and evaluation are core parts of the commissioning cycle used by primary health networks (PHNs). They help to ensure our commissioning and other activities are evidence-based, and that we consider their effectiveness and impact.

In addition to our regular health needs assessments, we work with the community and service providers to develop insights, share lessons, and evaluate the impact of the services we commission. This ensures that everything we fund is responsive and evolves with community need.

Diagram showing the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network commissioning approach of developing insight, planning and delivering services, and evaluation and improvement.
The NWMPHN commissioning approach.

Our approach to research and evaluation

We have developed a Research and Evaluation Strategic Action Plan to help us strengthen the quality of our activities and to drive how we use evidence to support and improve our work.

Through this plan we will:

  • strengthen workforce capability to understand, create, and apply evidence ​
  • build a culture of evidence-based decision making
  • support and foster high quality primary health care research ​
  • build relationships, collaborations, and partnerships that are productive, strategic, and transparent.

Research partnerships

We seek to develop strong partnerships with leading research and community organisations, other PHNs and individual researchers. This helps bring together differing perspectives, skills, and strengths, leading to greater potential for innovation, translation, and discovery.

We welcome requests to join new research ventures and are always happy to consider ethical requests to share our work and the data that underpins it.

For more information visit our research partnerships and data requests page.


Evaluation is the process of assessing the quality and value of our commissioning and other activities. It comprises developing and testing hypotheses, improving services that work well, and adjusting or stopping the ones that don’t.

At NWMPHN some evaluations are conducted in-house by our Research and Evaluation Team, which  includes experienced, credentialled academics, researchers, health planners and analysts.

When funding and scope allows, we may commission third party providers to conduct evaluations.

In either case, consultation with community and service providers are key components of our approach to designing, delivering and reporting evaluations.

Published evaluations

All publicly available evaluations are available on our commissioned activities pages. A selection of recent highlights is available below.