Independent evaluation of RASPJI and PING
Client: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts
The Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts engaged ACIL Allen to evaluate the Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation (RASPJI, delivering the Innovation Fund, Cadetships and Scholarships) package and Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program, part of a package of measures to support Australian media businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The evaluation assessed program design, delivery, outcomes achieved and improvement opportunities.
Overall, most stakeholders who received grant funding were satisfied with their involvement in the programs. They considered the programs to be helpful in supporting the Industry during a period of transition (with respect to RASPJI) and crisis (with respect to PING). Opportunities were identified to better coordinate, sequence and promote the programs to amplify the impacts and public value delivered, ensure similar programs clearly identify and target areas of need, consider the design of the funding formulas and guidance provided to applicants, and better design the programs to focus on outcomes.
The evaluation has and will continue to inform the Department’s future policies and grant programs, and represents a commitment by the Department during the House of Representatives Inquiry into Australia’s Regional Newspapers.