Capacity Building Projects

Expert advice and capacity building via projects

- the NESA Track Record

NESA delivers consulting and capacity building projects that complement our member services and advocacy and that are consistent with our vision of opportunity for everyone through employment and inclusion.

Over the years NESA has been trusted to develop and deliver capacity building solutions in complex and sensitive contexts. We are known for effectively managing logistically challenging capacity building projects that achieve positive transformational change. If you would like to know more please contact Sally Sinclaie NESA’s CEO.

The following text is a non-comprehensive summary of NESA project capability and experience. 

Grounded solutions - NESA experience in remote Australia

NESA’s track record of success in remote areas is underpinned by a grounded understanding of remote communities, robust connections with local leaders and organisations and accompanied by strong productive partnerships with our clients. NESA recognises that the best solutions are found through respectful, collaborative relationships and shared objectives.

In the last two years attendance and completion rates across 220 three day NESA capacity building workshops in remote areas averaged 92% which is an outstanding result.

This success required NESA knowledge and expertise with:

  • Logistical issues in remote areas (e.g. access to IT infrastructure and interpreting)
  • Community matters (such as responding to lore and Sorry business, historical issues with child protection and adapting material to various literacy and numeracy requirements)
  • Tailored training adapted to highly localised issues with current, relevant and culturally appropriate information.

Three examples of NESA experience in remote territories are:

Support for the Remote Jobs and Communities Programme

NESA was contracted by the Australian Government to support the roll out of a $1.5 billion reform aimed at providing employment services in remote Australia, re-branded the Community Development Programme. NESA delivered: an Overarching Capability Resource (a web-based ‘Meeting Place’ with over 110 operational tools and resource folders); a Capacity Strengthening (comprehensive and tailored management training); and a Capacity Building Programme (an extensive supply chain of industry experts and over 250 capacity building projects).

Training for the Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS)

NESA developed an innovative training approach for RSAS, a highlight in the 2017 ‘Closing the Gap’ report. To date NESA has delivered: 220 tailored local workshops, across 73+ locations attended by over 2000 Indigenous workers. NESA also completed a comprehensive national skill profile.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training

NESA is contracted to deliver MHFA training across remote Australia to RSAS workers, the Community Development Programme and Community Night Patrol personnel. NESA’s experienced and flexible project design and management methods allowed us to swiftly roll out this training with considerable constraints. In the first six months NESA delivered 50 workshops.

NESA project methods build capacity in the communities we work with!

NESA’s approach entails end-to-end supply chain management which is flexible, responsive and safe for clients. For example NESA has developed capacity in local Indigenous-owned organisations to deliver project objectives, at a local level, while we provide project management support including risk management, reporting and logistics. This approach ensures rigorous ‘no surprises’ reporting and flexible responses to local issues as they arise. Timeframes are met, delivery is economical, and the trainers engaged are screened, culturally competent industry leaders.

NESA’s train-the-trainer model is not ‘train and leave’. NESA stays engaged where appropriate to ensure safe and effective delivery. It often includes pre-workshop planning meetings to ensure all expectations are understood, trainers are briefed on local issues, material is contextualised, logistics are discussed and timeframes are formalised. This approach can strengthen local networks for example following a suicide incident in a local community we invited local community organisations, such as the local health provider, to attend workshops so that the whole community can lean on each other and establish stronger networks of support.

Male with Staff 1024x674 - NESA Capacity Building Projects

Improving Employment Services Practice – recognised expertise

NESA has been involved in building the capacity of employment services since before they were fully outsourced in 1998. We have undertaken this work through:

  • leading national (and international) discussions with government and sector stakeholders
  • delivering in-house and external skill training and professional development at all levels
  • developing and embedding sector best practice standards for governance and operations
  • expert advice and assistance to employment service providers on best practice.

NESA’s expertise and experience was recognised when NESA’s CEO was appointed to high level strategic advisory roles (such as an independent Welfare Review, the Civil Society 20 Steering Committee, Vice-Chair of the OECD LEED Programme’s Forum on Partnerships and Local Governance and the Australian Disability and Carer Advisory Council).

NESA expertise is also demonstrated through successful contracted projects including the following seven examples:

1. Disability Employment Services Capacity Building

The Australian Government contracted NESA to work with underperforming providers. We delivered a series of workshops and worked with providers one to one. Significant improvement was recorded. One provider went from receiving a 1 Star rating to 5 Stars – the highest result possible.

2. Transition to New Employment Services

NESA has been at the forefront of support for the sector during major contract transitions. In 2009, NESA was contracted to develop and deliver an industry database and national advisory service and to assist providers with recruitment or displacement processes. NESA facilitated organisational strategies between new, existing and exiting providers, working on the transferral of properties, commercial agreements, asset transfers and workforce transfers. In 2015, NESA was contracted to deliver training to underpin new quality principles that informed the change from Job Services Australia to jobactive.

3. Home Options and Pathways to Employment (HOPE) Project

This was a partnership between NESA and the national peak body for homelessness in Australia funded by the Australian Government. The project developed resources to enable employment services providers and homelessness services to develop collaborative working relationships including, an overview on the value of a partnership approach and templates for collaboration.

4. Parent Servicing Strategies Seminars

In 2006 the Australian Government changed conditions of entitlements for parents receiving income support. NESA was engaged by the Australian Government to help ensure a smooth transition. NESA developed a nationwide training programme for employment service providers which incorporated a best practice approach to engagement that would support the policy objectives and improve employment outcome for parents. Over a six-week period NESA co-ordinated and delivered 25 full day seminars across metropolitan and regional Australia involving more than 1000 participants.

5. National Workforce Development project

NESA was contracted by the Australian Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council to deliver a workforce development initiative – assisting 500 existing workers across the employment services sector gain qualifications in Certificate IV Employment Services and Certificate IV Disability. NESA partnered with 12 Registered Training Organisations to ensure providers were not isolated in completing and accessing these qualifications. NESA successfully delivered formal qualifications nationwide, through face-to-face, online and distance learning.

6. Enterprise Based Productivity Places Programme

NESA was also engaged by the Australian Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council to deliver 100 qualifications in Certificate IV Career Development to existing workers across the employment services industry. NESA recruited 17 employment service providers across Australia to provide 100 practitioners to undertake the training. NESA also managed three training organisations to enable a tailored delivery approach.

7. Family Violence Toolkit

NESA was contracted to develop practice advice for employment service practitioners on servicing job seekers who are, or have, experienced family violence (victims and perpetrators). NESA worked with the sector to examine the service context including legal rights and responsibilities, real case scenarios, support options and practice needs. The kit includes concise tip sheets and go-to guides for frontline workers as well as ‘Toolbox Talks’ designed to be used in groups to develop a more in depth, collegial and reflective practice. The presentation of the material is careful to portray full diversity and promotes a ‘person centred’ approach which can make a real difference in addressing multiple disadvantage and reducing violence through access to essential support, opportunities to work and economic independence.

Contact us

Sally Sinclair NESA CEO +61 3 9624 2300 Email