Our theory of change

We are moving away from a deficit discourse to a more positive and empowering representation of our women. Our theory of change produced a model that enhances Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women personally and professionally, and provides the tools needed to live a life of choice.

The core elements of the model revolve around connection to culture, belonging, healing, personal and professional development, including career development, business development and mentoring support. Together, this multifaceted and strongly connected, predominantly on-line support system, will result in strengthening the social capital of our women, enhancing their economic independence and amplifying their voice.

We are also connecting with, and engaging, our Allies (non-Indigenous women), who want to learn, share and contribute to the changes we wish to see in our society. Through these connections we can help to facilitate genuine reconciliation.

We are working towards all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women being better able to contribute strongly in a society that values our voice, our choices, our contribution and our culture.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) is an important part of the Ember Connect program. Its main purpose is to provide evidence of impact as well as contribute to the program’s iterate learning.  A key aim is to ensure that important and relevant information both qualitative and quantitative is provided in a structured and informative way to tell a cohesive story of Ember Connect’s contribution to change.

Accordingly, MEL seeks to:

  • provide evidence of overall program performance
  • provide information key result areas and program component outcomes
  • highlight areas for improvement and further development
  • Demonstrate evidence-based success stories and lessons learned within the Ember Connect program and with partners and direct and indirect beneficiaries

Our Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan

We have developed an MEL plan to align with our annual operational plan, in keeping with the longer-term strategic plan for the charity. The MEL plan:

  • Allows our program to work more effectively and efficiently towards achieving results, outcomes, and outputs.
  • Organises plans for data collection, analysis, use, and data quality.
  • Outlines specific strategies and tools to encourage informed decision making.
  • Organises the different MEL activities that must take place to ensure program effectiveness, efficiency, and learning.
  • Engages the Ember Connect team so they are part of a continuous improvement approach to implementation

Monitoring and analysing our activities

Our team monitors the platform activities on a monthly basis to ensure a balance of effort across all key result areas and their underpinning components. From this we can better understand our member’s areas of interest, need and priority.

The primary tool for outcome monitoring is the annual Ember Connect Survey. The Survey is designed for members and allies to self-report the contribution to change they can attribute to the platform. Analysis of survey responses will inform the way different cohorts of members and allies are benefiting from the platform. Our inaugural annual Ember Connect Survey is scheduled to go out to members and allies in August 2023.


Internal evaluation of the Ember Connect program will occur on an annual basis, with an comprehensive external and independent evaluation planned to occur at least every four years.

The criteria for evaluation are:

  • Coherence – How well does the program intervention fit its context?
  • Effectiveness – Is the program intervention achieving its objectives?
  • Impact – What difference is the program intervention making?
  • Relevance – Is the program interventions doing the right things?
  • Sustainability – Will the benefits last?
  • Efficiency – How well are resources used?


Monthly activity and engagement data analysis reports are presented to the Ember Connect Board. An annual performance report addressing the key performance indicators of the respective key strategies in addition to the high-level outcomes identified in the results framework will be produced. This report will contribute to the charities Annual Report.

Ember Connect wishes to acknowledge the many Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and we honour their deep continuing connection to land, sky, waterways and community.

We pay our respects to our Elders past, present and emerging who illuminate our journey to truth-telling, culture and conservation, which remains stronger than ever.