Review of the Multicultural Mental Health Project

Project Type - CALD Health, Mental health


  • 2008


The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) engaged Health Outcomes International (HOI) to undertake a review of the MMHA project. The review was been commissioned nearly one year into the new Funding Agreement. Stakeholders were informed by DoHA in November 2008 that this review (to be finalised in 2008-09) would identify priorities and future scope of work. 

The overall aim of the review was to determine the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of the Project. In doing so, the review aimed to determine whether MMHA was:

  • achieving the outcomes that were originally identified
  • internally structured in a manner whereby the responsibilities and decision making process is clear, ethical and transparent
  • operating appropriately, effectively and is sustainable under the current model
  • identifying appropriate priorities and scope of work for future consideration.

The specific objectives of the review include the provision of analysis and recommendations with regard to:

  • effectiveness, suitability and sustainability of the current program model 
  • effectiveness, representation and suitability of the governance and accountability model of MMHA,
  • effectiveness of the financial and service management structures and identification of any areas requiring improvement 
  • review of program planning and needs analysis design and processes:
  • identification of priorities and scope of work for future consideration 
  • current reporting requirements including identification of clear and meaningful performance measures for future consideration and implementation.

The review process was underpinned by the following key methodological approaches:

  • a comprehensive review of all available relevant documentation and data, including financial information
  • development of a review framework detailing the review methodology and data collection tools to be used to answer the review objectives
  • consultations with key internal and external stakeholders including:
    • Department of Health and Ageing (as project funder);
    • Sydney West Area Health Service Management (as contract holder);
    • MMHA staff (as funding recipient);
    • CALD consumers and carers (as project stakeholders);
    • MMHA National Partner agencies/organisations such as Beyondblue (as project stakeholders); and
    • State and Territory Partners such as state health departments (as project stakeholders).
  • synthesis and analysis of information obtained from the documentation review, financial assessment and stakeholder consultations in order to inform conclusions regarding the efficacy and effectiveness of the project and formulation of recommendations regarding the future viability of the project.

This report was commissioned to inform the thinking of the Department in the development of possible strategies for the support and development of addressing the needs of the transcultural community of Australia with respect to mental health issues and suicide prevention.  The project provides the conduit to inform policy direction in these respective portfolios specific to the transcultural community as well as providing a means of trialling projects and ensuring that the transcultural community and service sector supporting this community have an effective voice in the development and implementation of said national strategies.  

HOI produced a comprehensive and evidence based final review report. The Review report focused on the following five key areas: 

  • Project governance and accountability
  • Project model
  • Project planning
  • Project financial and service management
  • Project reporting and performance measures.