Desktop evaluation of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI)

Project Type - Mental health, Program evaluation and review


  • 2016


The Australian Government, Department of Health (the Department or DoH) appointed Health Outcomes International (HOI) on 1 December 2015 to conduct a desktop evaluation of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI).

This small scale desktop evaluation sought to assess whether the original objectives of the NPDI were achieved; to help inform future policy development relating to perinatal depression; and to guide future Commonwealth investment decisions in the area.

The primary focus of the evaluation was on the implementation and effectiveness of the National Partnership Agreement (NPDI programme) with specific assessment of the major milestones completed in the three year period 2012/13 to 2014/15) including:

  1. Provision and uptake of screening.
  2. Provision and uptake of support and care for women.
  3. Provision and uptake of workforce training and development for health professionals.
  4. Research and data collection.
  5. Delivery of community awareness activities.

Key components of our methodology included:

  1. The scope of the evaluation was limited to state and territory reported activities in the three most recent years of the NPDI (2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15).
  2. HOI developed an evaluation framework to guide the conduct of the evaluation. The framework has been designed to be multidimensional matrix comprising:
    1. Three evaluation domains - implementation; effectiveness; policy implications; and
    2. Five project outputs

HOI presented our findings to the Department of Health in a Final Evaluation Report in March 2016, presented a range a data to summarise the activities undertaken by the various States and Territory Governments under their respective investment plans against each of the five NPDI project outputs areas.

Our report also identified a number of key policy learnings resulting from the NDPI.