Consultation period

9 December 2016 - 9:00 am To 24 February 2017 - 5:00 pm

The Try, Test and Learn Fund Policy Hack

The Department of Social Services (DSS) held a Policy Hack on 10 February 2017 in Melbourne aimed at developing innovative proposals for the Government’s $96 million Try, Test and Learn Fund. Proposals need to assist people in the initial priority groups (young carers, young parents and young students), who are at risk of long-term welfare dependence, to find work.

Attendees of the Hack were provided with a Participants’ Handbook:

An overview of the outcomes of the Hack is also available:

What is the Policy Hack?

The Policy Hack was an opportunity for our stakeholders to work with the Department and each other to develop innovative policy ideas that could be funded under the Try, Test and Learn Fund. Issues relating to each of the priority groups were presented and discussed at the forum. Participants worked in small groups to workshop possible solutions, with the aid of champions and mentors, and ideas were pitched to an expert judging panel. The Hack included 93 participants with roughly a 30/70 split of government to non-government attendees, including young people with recent relevant experience. Participants were divided into ten teams and each team produced a policy proposal that may be further considered for funding through the Try, Test and Learn Fund. To our knowledge, this was Australia’s first social policy hack and participant feedback indicated that it was a successful, collaborative event.

The Try, Test and Learn Fund Handbook provides detailed information about how the Fund works, including how ideas will be selected through the written submission process for further co-development and funding.

Legal aspects and intellectual property

The Policy Hack was an ideas sharing, generating or refining event aimed at creating innovative social policy in an informed, collaborative and consultative way.

Participation in the Hack was on the condition that participants sign a Participation Deed which provides the legal framework for the Hack and in particular describes the licensing arrangements for the Department’s use of the intellectual property generated in any ideas shared, generated or refined at and after the Hack.