Government calls on CSIRO to improve Centrelink

Five year research alliance between CSIRO and Centrelink to improve service delivery.
  • Tim Dean (Australian Life Scientist)
  • 02 September, 2009 15:42

On one hand you have data covering six million individuals in an organisation which can be described scientifically, and figuratively, as complex.

On the other hand you have scientists who relish the opportunity to dig through mountains of data, teasing out trends and making recommendations on new approaches to optimise the system.

It's a match made in heaven, at least according to Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr and Human Services Minister, Chris Bowen, MP. They've announced today the bringing of the CSIRO and Centrelink in the Human Services Delivery Research Alliance.

The aim is to draw on the CSIRO's number crunching abilities to guide Centrelink in improving its service delivery.

“CSIRO’s research capabilities will help Centrelink better predict and test which services work best for different groups of people and plan the most relevant and suitable interventions for people in need of support,” said Mr Bowen.

Senator Carr said CSIRO’s researchers were used to dealing with statistics and trends, but were jumping at the chance to study the way humans engage with government and how that can be improved.

“By combining research expertise in complex systems analytics, information technology, mathematics, statistics and socio-economic modelling, CSIRO can help improve the lives of all Australians."

According to Senator Carr, all customer information will remain anonymous throughout the research.

The Alliance will cover three main areas: The Human Services Ecosystem, Place Based Services and Technologies for Human Service Delivery.