Australian research and evaluation

Highlights of Australian financial literacy research and evaluation

A selection of financial literacy research and evaluation reports undertaken in Australia.

Australian research and evaluation

2017

Start Smart - Evaluation report 2016
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
May 2017

Start Smart is a financial capability program available for free to students in Years 1-12 in schools across Australia and to students in vocational education institutions. In 2016, CBA used a mixed-method approach involving surveys and focus groups to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in schools.

  PISA 2015: Financial literacy in Australia
Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) 
May 2017
As part of its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, the OECD assessed the extent to which 15-year-olds across 15 countries and economies have the financial literacy knowledge and skills to successfully transition from school into higher education, employment or entrepreneurship. This report presents the results on Australian students' performance, and explores the relationship between these results and students' attitudes and experience.
 2016 MoneyMinded Impact Report 2016: The role of financial education in a family violence context
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University - Russell, Stewart, Kutin & Rankin
November 2016
In the year to end September 2016 more than 60,000 people are estimated to have participated in MoneyMinded education globally. This report assesses the impacts of money management education through ANZ's MoneyMinded program and explores the role of financial education in a family violence context.
  Project Superpower: Informing a strategy to engage people with their superannuation
CHOICE
October 2016
This report explores how superannuation fund members think and feel about super, how they currently engage, and what would prompt them to become more engaged. To understand how the barriers and triggers to engagement differ across different groups, it focuses on three segments: Young Adults, New Mothers and Pre-Retirees.
  Evaluating the Wesley Mission In Charge of My Money financial literacy program for vulnerable populations
Wesley Mission - Zanoni L, Warburton W, Russell R, Warburton M & Flynn L
September 2016
This report details the first evaluation of the In Charge of My Money financial literacy program, conducted by Macquarie University. As well as assessing the effectiveness of the program in improving financial knowledge and behaviour, the research also explores the usefulness of text message nudges to affirm positive money behaviours following program completion.
  Pathways to Resilience: The impact of financial conversations on the financial capability of NILS applicants
Good Shepherd Microfinance - Randrianarisoa & Eccles
September 2016
As part of the assessment of eligibility and application for a NILS loan, applicants take part in a financial conversation with a microfinance worker or volunteer. These conversations provide a combination of support, information and positive reinforcement. This research reveals that financial conversations impact on applicants' financial capability before, during, and after the conversation.
  Financial Resilience in Australia 2015
NAB and Centre for Social Impact
August 2016
This report builds on previous research on financial inclusion and exclusion and financial literacy to incorporate a holistic approach. It identifies four factors that, when working together, produce financial resilience. The research is also informing development of an evaluation framework to identify programs that are most effective at building financial resilience.
  Developing new financial literacy measures to better link financial capability to outcomes
Louviere, Bateman, Thorp & Eckert
July 2016
This project undertook to develop a pilot study and 'proof of concept' to identify sets of questions and a method to reliably and accurately measure financial capability. It focused on decision-making in three areas: loans, insurance and investments.
  Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker: Wave 4, Key Findings
ASIC and EY Sweeney Research
June 2016
The Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker looks at some key financial attitudes and behaviours of Australians. This report covers the six months from September 2015 to February 2016. The research was undertaken by EY Sweeney on behalf of ASIC.
  MoneyMinded Report 2015
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University - Russell, Kutin & Stewart; Russell, Kutin & Godinho
March 2016
In the year to end September 2015 more than 56,000 people are estimated to have participated in MoneyMinded education globally. This report assesses the impacts of money management education through ANZ's MoneyMinded program and its new program for micro-entrepreneurs in the Pacific - MoneyMinded Business Basics for SMEs.
2015 Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker: Wave 3, Key Findings
ASIC and EY Sweeney Research
December 2015
The Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker looks at some key financial attitudes and behaviours of Australians. This report covers the six months from March to August 2015. The research was undertaken by EY Sweeney on behalf of ASIC.
  Generating knowhow in later life
Brotherhood of St Laurence - Kimberley, Simons & Wickramasinghe
December 2015
This study of 32 older Australians no longer in the workforce explores the 'knowhow' they value and how they acquire it. It looks at aspects such as basic life skills, functional knowhow for managing everyday life including financial matters, health and wellbeing, later life events and transitions.
  The New Work Order: Ensuring young Australians have skills and experience for the jobs of the future, not the past
AlphaBeta for The Foundation for Young Australians
August 2015
This report identifies a range of issues impacting on work pathways for young people. It explores some of the ways policymakers around the world are dealing with similar challenges and opportunities, and articulates the benefits of enterprising skills education for young people.
  Evaluation Report for Financial Management Resource Support Unit
Financial Resilience - Godinho for Matrix On Board
June 2015
This evaluation assesses the efficiency and effectiveness of the Financial Management Resource Support Unit program in building the Money Management sector's capacity to adequately support clients and their families to achieve financial independence, in particular for remote Indigenous communities, over the period 2009-2015.
  Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker: Wave 2, Key Findings
ASIC and EY Sweeney Research
June 2015
The Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker looks at some key financial attitudes and behaviours of Australians. This report covers the six months from September 2014 to February 2015. The research was undertaken by EY Sweeney Research on behalf of ASIC.
  ANZ Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia
ANZ and The Social Research Centre
May 2015
The findings of the 2014 ANZ Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia. The fifth in the series, first published in 2003, this survey of 3,400 Australian adults looks at changes in attitudes and behaviours over time. The 2014 survey includes a new section considering women's financial attitudes, knowledge and financial literacy.
  Eight Years on the Fringe
Centre for Social Impact for NAB
March 2015
This report presents the story of the severely or fully financially excluded across Australia from 2006 to 2013. It highlights that financial exclusion is a stubborn problem and that people who are severely or fully financially excluded are at higher risk of poor economic, social and health outcomes.
  Stocktake of Indigenous Financial Literacy Resources
ASIC
March 2015
In 2015 ASIC's Indigenous Outreach Program undertook a limited stocktake of financial literacy resources aimed at Indigenous consumers. The aim was to scope the types of topics and formats available to Indigenous consumers, identify potential resource gaps and assist in prioritising future resource development. While not an exhaustive list, this stocktake report links to a variety of resources including booklets, flyers and audiovisual presentations translated into select Indigenous languages.
  Evaluation of MoneyMob Talkabout: Final Report
Garner & Pryor for Matrix On Board
February 2015
Building on previous evaluation reports, this report presents findings from an evaluation of the MoneyMob Talkabout services delivered by Matrix on Board in Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands in 2014. Since 2012 the program has aimed to bring two-way learning to people in remote Indigenous communities to help them positively manage their money.
  Saver Plus: A Decade of Impact
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University - Russell, Stewart & Cull
February 2015
This report describes 10 years of the Saver Plus program, which enables people on low incomes to take control of their finances, develop a savings habit and improve their circumstances. Led by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ, with government and community support, since 2004 the program has enrolled over 23,000 people across 60 locations. It represents a best practice example of a successful and effective community-business-government partnership.
  Evaluation of Saver Plus Phase 5: 2011-14
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University - Russell & Kutin
February 2015
This report presents results of the evaluation of Saver Plus Phase 5 (the period from July 2011 to June 2015), providing participant outcomes including changes in financial capabilities, financial self-efficacy, resilience and wellbeing. This is the latest in a series of evaluation reports since Phase 1 in 2004.
2014 MoneyMinded Education Workshop & Mentoring Program Evaluation
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University - Russell, Kutin & Green
This report provides the evaluation results of the MoneyMinded education workshops and mentoring pilot program developed by The Smith Family and ANZ. The pilot program, delivered in 2013 in New South Wales and Victoria, included financial education workshops coupled with a mentoring component. Results show that the mentoring reinforced content learned, assisted participants in operationalising knowledge and provided objective support.
  Factors that Influence Capability and Effectiveness: Exploring Financial Counsellors' Perspectives
(Australasian Accounting, Business and Finance Journal - v8, Issue 4)
Vyvyan, Blue & Brimble
December 2014
This study draws on the experiences of financial counsellors, who deal primarily with clients in financial crisis, to determine the drivers and inhibitors of financial capability of those most likely to need assistance with their financial affairs. Findings show that wide ranging factors contribute to financial capability and consideration of these in the design of financial literacy resources, programs and interventions may contribute to their effectiveness. Applying categories drawn from the research and theory of planned behaviour, the researchers identified 23 factors that appear to influence the financial capability of those in financial difficulty.
  Longitudinal surveys of Australian Youth annual report 2013
Australian Government Department of Education
December 2014
The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) program provides information on key transition points in young people's lives up to the age of 25 years. It follows nationally representative cohorts of young people aged 15-25 years over a ten-year period, with interviews taking place annually. The program covers a wide range of school and post-school topics, from student achievement and aspirations, to what young people do when they leave school. It is one of the few longitudinal surveys in the world that supports multiple cohorts, allowing comparisons to be made across different time periods and between cohorts at the same age
  Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker: Wave 1, Key Findings
ASIC and Sweeney Research
December 2014
ASIC engaged Sweeney Research to conduct the Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker from 2014-15. This report contains the benchmark findings about some key financial attitudes and behaviours of Australians over the six months from March to August 2014.
  The Role of Undergraduate Personal Finance Education in Financial Literacy, Financial Attitudes and Financial Behaviours
University of Western Australia - Gerrans & Heaney
December 2014
This paper assesses the financial literacy of a sample of undergraduate students who completed a one-semester personal finance course as part of their undergraduate bachelor's degree course. It compares pre- and post-course assessments of a range of financial literacy measures, financial attitudes and financial behaviour intentions.
  The financial literacy of young Australians: An empirical study and implications for consumer protection and ASIC's National Financial Literacy Strategy
Ali, Anderson, McRae & Ramsay
September 2014
This article discusses the results of a financial literacy survey of senior students in Australian secondary schools. The survey tested six key areas of financial literacy skills, including knowledge of consumer rights. The analyses tested for demographic factors and attitudes  related to financial literacy. Findings are intended to assist ongoing work promoting consumer protection through financial literacy policies and the development of financial literacy education programs in schools.
  My Moola: Report from the evaluation of an Indigenous financial literacy program
Moodie (RMIT University), Diallo Roost & Dommers (Brotherhood of St Laurence) for First Nations Foundation
September 2014
From 2011 to 2013 the First Nations Foundation (FNF) worked with three Indigenous community organisations in remote and urban areas of Western Australia and Victoria to pilot the My Moola resources and partnership approaches, including the provision of training and other supports. This evaluation report presents findings on the benefits of the program for participants, and identifies enhancements that would support a broader, national roll-out of the program.
  Uplift: An Empowerment Approach to Parent Engagement in Schools
Good Shepherd Microfinance Youth & Family Service - Maury
July 2014
The findings of a pilot of an empowering process to encourage agency and confidence in parents through a process of self-identifying what effective support of their children's learning looks like, and how to measure it over time. Using Epstein's Overlapping Spheres of Influence as a frame, the parents created a vision for their children's school years, then identified actions that families, schools, and the community can take to better support their children's holistic development.
  Does financial stress impact on young people in tertiary study?
LSAY Publications - Halliday-Wynes & Nguyen
July 2014
This paper explores the financial wellbeing of tertiary students participating in the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY). This includes questions on government payments, income, credit card activity, shortage of money and saving, and how respondents are generally managing financially. An additional, smaller survey looked at the effect that financial stress has had on a student's learning, and whether this linked to study outcomes
  MoneyMinded Report 2013
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University - Russell, Stewart & Green
July 2014
In the year to end September 2013 more than 43,000 people received MoneyMinded education across 17 countries. This report assesses the reach and impact of the MoneyMinded program on participants' money management capabilities and other aspects of their lives in Australia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam.
  Financing the Future: Australian students' results in the 2012 Financial Literacy Assessment
Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
July 2014
As part of its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012, the OECD assessed the extent to which 15-year-olds across 18 countries have the financial literacy knowledge and skills to successfully transition from school into higher education, employment or entrepreneurship. This report presents the results on Australian students' performance, and explores the relationship between these results and the students' attitudes and experiences.
  Independent evaluation of ASIC's implementation of the Helping Our Kids Understand Finances initiative
ASIC
July 2014
This report was commissioned by ASIC and produced by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). It sets out ACER's independent evaluation of ASIC's implementation of the Helping Our Kids Understand Finances (HOKUF) initiative, which is now branded as ASIC's MoneySmart Teaching program.
  Financial Literacy and Financial Decision-Making of Australian Secondary School Students
Ali, McRae & Ramsay
June 2014
This study investigates how financial decision-making at a time of transition from secondary school to adult life is conceptualised by young Australians. The study found that participants are currently active in making financial decisions and thinking keenly about their futures. Participants showed a good level of awareness about the practical, financial realities of living away from home. Overall, the study found strong engagement by young people with financial issues.
  Life Changing Loans at No Interest
The Centre for Social Impact for Good Shepherd Microfinance
March 2014
This report evaluates the impact of Good Shepherd Microfinance's No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) on the lives of its recipients. This program offers no interest loans (up to $1,200) to people on low incomes for the purchase of essential household goods and services.
  Taxation and Superannuation Literacy in Australia: What do people know (or think they know)?
T. Chardon in JASSA - The Finsia Journal of Applied Finance
Issue 1 2014
This paper explores outcomes of an Australian survey of tax literacy, and reports on levels of confidence in relation to tax and superannuation issues. It highlights areas where large gaps exist between people's confidence in their level of understanding and their actual level of understanding.
2013 StartSmart Evaluation: Summary Observations and Recommendations
Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for the Commonwealth Bank Foundation
2013
In 2012-13 the Australian Council for Educational Research undertook an evaluation of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation's StartSmart financial education program, focusing on the primary and secondary portions of the program. The evaluation involved 470 participating educators (representing approximately 8,000 participating students). This report summarises the findings and recommendations made.
  StartSmart Impact Report
Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for the Commonwealth Bank Foundation
2013
In 2012-13 the Australian Council for Educational Research undertook an evaluation of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation's StartSmart financial education program, focusing on the primary and secondary portions of the program. The evaluation involved 470 participating educators (representing approximately 8,000 participating students). This report presents an assessment of the impact of the program on students in four areas important to successful financial education.
  Evaluation of MoneyMob Talkabout: Progress Report
Pryor & Garner for Matrix On Board
December 2013
This report presents findings from an evaluation of the MoneyMob Talkabout services delivered by Matrix On Board in Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands in 2012 to 2014. The program aimed to bring two-way learning to people in remote Indigenous communities to help them positively manage their money.
  Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, Australia, 2011-12
Australian Bureau of Statistics
October 2013
See report on ABS website
The 2011-12 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is an international survey coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to provide a greater understanding of the availability of key skills in society and their use at work and at home, in participating countries. This ABS release contains the Australian survey results.
  National Financial Literacy Stocktake Survey
ASIC
October 2013
ASIC conducted a National Financial Literacy Stocktake Survey from May to August 2013, to provide a snapshot of financial literacy initiatives in Australia. This report summarises 112 initiatives submitted by 64 organisations in response to the survey and thus provides a snapshot of current financial literacy offerings in Australia.
  Social Return on Investment forecast of the Indigenous Money Mentor program
Net Balance - Ravi & Siddiqi for NAB
October 2013
This report presents the results of a Social Return on Investment forecast undertaken on NAB's annual investment in the Indigenous Money Mentor (IMM) program. The IMM program aims to build the financial capacity of Indigenous people, by providing face to face practical financial support and options to people on low incomes and facilitating access to microfinance products where appropriate.
  Westpac Kids and Money Report
Westpac
July 2013
See media release on Westpac website
This report presents the findings of over 1000 online interviews conducted with parents of children aged 4-18 across Australia, examining attitudes towards children earning and saving money. The survey was commissioned to support the launch of Westpac's iPhone App Pay Pig.
  Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning in Australia
J.R. Agnew, H. Bateman and S. Thorp in Numeracy
Vol. 6, Issue 2 2013
This study examines the relationship between financial literacy and retirement planning using a measure that includes questions requiring numeracy. The study finds that aggregate levels of financial literacy are similar to comparable countries, with those who are young, least educated, not employed, and not in the labour force most at risk.
  Measuring Financial Exclusion in Australia
The Centre for Social Impact for National Australia Bank
June 2013
The findings of the third NAB Survey Measuring Financial Exclusion in Australia. Based on a survey of 50,000 Australians, supplemented by data from an additional 1500 online interviews, the 2013 Report includes sections on the use of insurance, the demographic profile of financial exclusion and a summary of current initiatives aimed at addressing financial exclusion.
  MoneyMinded Report 2012
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University - Russell, Stewart & Cattlin
May 2013
In the year to September 2012 almost 35,000 people took part in MoneyMinded education across 15 countries, including Australia. This report assesses the reach and impact of the MoneyMinded program on participants' money management capabilities and other aspects of their lives.
  StepUP Loan Program: A Little Help Goes a Long Way
The Centre for Social Impact for Good Shepherd Microfinance and NAB
April 2013 
This study assesses the impact of StepUP low interest loans on the lives of its recipients. The StepUP program, an initiative of Good Shepherd Microfinance in partnership with the National Australia Bank, delivers low-interest loans worth up to $3000 to low income earners in order to alleviate the effects of poverty and provide a pathway to financial inclusion.
  Evaluation of the Money 4 Wellbeing Pilot Program
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University - Russell & Green for The Smith Family
March 2013
This report provides an evaluation of The Smith Family's Money 4 Wellbeing pilot program. The program aimed to improve the financial capability of young people aged between 18 and 24 from disadvantaged backgrounds, developing healthy psychological attitudes and behaviours around financial decision-making and money management. The program comprised 6 educational workshops delivered over 6 weeks followed by 12 months of mentoring.
2012 Measuring the Impact of Microfinance 'Money Conversations' on Financial Capability: A trial study
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service - Corrie for the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)
December 2012
The aim of this project was to develop and trial which indicators and data collection methods best measured the impact of a 'money conversation' (which takes place during a microfinance application) on the financial capabilities (money management skills, knowledge and behaviours) of microfinance loan applicants. Preliminary results were encouraging in showing that for many people there is an improvement in financial capabilities as a result of the financial conversation.
  Making Money Count More: An evaluation of Making Money Count
Sinclair Consultants Pty Ltd for Mission Australia and the Citi Foundation
February 2012
This report presents the findings of an evaluation of the Making Money Count program. Delivered by Mission Australia (with support from the Citi Foundation) in Campbelltown and Wollongong in New South Wales, the program is a financial education program targeted at disadvantaged adults and young people (aged 16 and over).
2011 ANZ Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia
ANZ and Roy Morgan Research
December 2011
The findings of the fourth ANZ Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia. The survey of over 3,500 adult Australians focussed on behaviours indicative of a person's financial literacy, and links between those behaviours and a person's demographic characteristics.
  Case Study Evaluation of the MilbaDjunga (Smart Money) program
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University - Russell, Yoosuf & Cattlin for ASIC and Queensland Department of Education and Training
November 2011
This report presents the findings of case study research on the delivery and learning outcomes of the consumer and financial literacy program, MilbaDjunga (Smart Money). The case study includes six schools, from a total of 17 trial schools across Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia that used the program in 2010 or 2011.
  Measuring Financial Exclusion in Australia
The Centre for Social Impact for National Australia Bank
May 2011
This research aims to measure financial exclusion in Australia, and in doing so to define and deepen the understanding of financial exclusion in Australia and its relationship with social and economic disadvantage. It is based on on a number of sources, including a survey of over 50,000 Australians.
  Money Matters in Times of Change: Financial vulnerability through the life course
Z. Arashiro for Brotherhood of St Laurence
April 2011
This research identifies some of the needs that financially vulnerable people in Australia are facing around four life events or transitions: moving from school to work, being out of work, becoming a single mother, and retiring and ageing. It also identifies the strategies these people apply to deal with those needs.
  Evaluation of Yarrabah and Palm Island Money Management Services
James Cook University - Robertson & Clough for Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN)
April 2011
FaHCSIA implemented a range of financial management initiatives in partnership with Indigenous communities as part of the Financial Management Program (MMP). This evaluation assessed whether ICAN's MMP programs and strategies were implemented as planned in the communities of Palm Island and Yarrabah. It also looked at their contribution to improving financial inclusion of individuals living in these communities.
  Financial Literacy and Behavioural Change
ASIC
March 2011
A stock-take of what ASIC and others have learned about financial literacy to date based on research about people's financial knowledge and behaviour, and the strategies and tools that might influence financial decision-making. It includes a comprehensive list of other financial literacy research sources.
2010 Evidence Versus Emotion: How Do We Really Make Financial Decisions?
Citi Australia and The Australia Institute
December 2010
Drawing on the results of an online survey of 1,180 adult Australians in October 2010, this report assesses the variety of ways Australians make financial decisions. It draws on the emerging field of behavioural economics to shed light on why people do not behave as rationally as economics textbooks would suggest.
2008 ANZ Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia
ANZ and the Social Research Centre
October 2008
The findings of the third ANZ Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia. This survey of 3500 adult Australians monitored the benchmark measures, including direct measures of financial literacy, and attitudinal and behavioural information.
Financial Literacy: Women Understanding Money
Financial Literacy Foundation
April 2008
This report examines the gender findings from Financial Literacy: Australians Understanding Money data (see report below). In particular, it focuses on the 4,138 women aged over 18 who were surveyed in the original study.
2007 Financial Literacy: Australians Understanding Money
Financial Literacy Foundation and DBM Consultants
September 2007
The findings of a survey of 7,500 Australians aged 12 to 75 who were asked to self-assess their money management ability, understanding, attitudes and behaviour.
2005 ANZ Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia
ANZ and AC Nielsen
November 2005
The findings of the second ANZ Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia. This survey of 3,500 adult Australians monitored the benchmark measures, including direct measures of financial literacy, and attitudinal and behavioural information.
2003 ANZ Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia
ANZ and Roy Morgan Research
May 2003
The findings of the first ANZ Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia. A survey of the financial literacy levels of more than 3,500 adult Australians conducted to establish benchmarks for the ongoing measurement of financial literacy across the Australian population.

Last updated: 05 Jun 2017