Try, Test and Learn Fund

Using insights from the Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare, the $96.1 million Try, Test and Learn Fund is trialling new or innovative approaches to assist some of the most vulnerable in society onto a path towards stable, sustainable independence.

The objective of the Try, Test and Learn Fund is to generate new insights and empirical evidence into what works to reduce long-term welfare dependence. The fund is not an ordinary grant round; it is not looking to fill gaps in program delivery or scale up existing services. Projects will be selected based, in part, on the value of the evidence that they will generate. Projects will be robustly evaluated to produce high-quality policy evidence about the effectiveness of interventions, for whom, and under what circumstances. In this way, the Fund will allow the Government to identify approaches that work, and use this evidence to transform our investment in existing programs or make the case for new investments.

The Try, Test and Learn Fund takes an open and collaborative approach to policy development. This approach is focussed on seeking new ideas from and collaborating with a diverse range of stakeholders, including the community sector, business, academia and the general public, in order to develop new ways of tackling complex social challenges. In tranche 2 of the Fund, grants will include funding to undertake co-development activities to make small adjustments to refine and optimise project design. These co-development activities will be tailored to the needs of each project and may involve collaboration with end users, the Commonwealth and other stakeholders.

The Try, Test and Learn Fund will help achieve the objectives of welfare reform—that is, to develop a modern welfare system that increases the capacity of individuals, reduces the risk of welfare dependency and maintains a strong welfare safety net.

Tranche one

The first tranche of the Try, Test and Learn Fund—open for ideas from 9 December 2016 to 24 February 2017—attracted nearly 400 submissions from individuals and organisations across Australia. The focus of this initial tranche was young carers, young parents and students at risk of moving to long-term unemployment.

Through the trial initiatives implemented in tranche one, we aim to obtain new insights into what works to improve the lives of participants from each priority group, either by helping them remain in education or enter the workforce, with the ultimate goal of facilitating them to move beyond the welfare system.

Young carers

Young students

Young parents

Tranche two

The second tranche of the Try, Test and Learn Fund is now open for grant applications.

This tranche will have a continuously open grant application period until 28 September 2018, which will allow individuals and organisations to submit proposals at any time.

The overall aim of tranche two is to efficiently test new approaches, learn from them and expand our evidence base to inform future Government policy, with the overall aim of improving lives by reducing welfare dependency.

Read more about tranche two grant opportunities.

Tranche two of the Try, Test and Learn Fund will support groups at risk of long-term welfare dependence, including the four priority groups identified below, to improve their workforce participation or capacity to work. The Department identified priority groups using Priority Investment Approach data and policy considerations, which are:

Submissions will also be accepted for other vulnerable groups at risk of long-term welfare dependence. The group will need to be identified within the data, other research or from experience in working with vulnerable people.   

For more information on tranche two and the priority groups, or to submit a grant application, visit the Community Grants Hub or GrantConnect.

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