Evaluation of Bushfire Recovery and Community Development program

St Vincent de Paul Society NSW


The 2019-2020 bushfire season in NSW was the worst the state has recorded. Over the course of a few months, 26 lives were lost, 2448 homes destroyed and 5.5 billion hectares of land burnt.

St Vincent de Paul NSW is a lay Catholic organisation with more than 45,000 members and volunteers. The organisation works to assist people in need and combat social injustice across Australia. In response to the 2019-20 bushfires, it developed a program designed to support affected communities.

The Bushfire Recovery and Community Development (BRCD) Program was designed to improve community and individual resilience and disaster preparedness capacity, help strengthen community cohesion and increase individual sense of wellbeing, and support local government rehabilitation, regeneration and productivity.

NSF Consulting was commissioned to evaluate the program, in particular, its relevance, efficiency and effectiveness in meeting its intended outcomes.


We conducted face to face consultation with key staff and program volunteers, interviewed 30 key stakeholders from the six participating regions around NSW, and analysed program data and the organisation’s data collection methods and systems.

A strategic evaluation report was prepared, detailing the findings from the evaluation and providing recommendations for St Vincent de Paul NSW, should they embark on a similar community development approach to disaster recovery again in the future.

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