Evaluating the impact of the ABC's War on Waste
In the 1960s and 1970s, Australians were considered among the best in the world in dealing with waste.
Remember the Keep Australia Beautiful campaign?
Do you have a story about changes you've seen or implemented in your local government, business, school or community groups with a link to the War on Waste?
Share your story with the ABC
Unfortunately, such campaigns are a distant memory. Recently, the combined effects of population growth, consumer demand, supermarket policies and cynicism about waste and recycling campaigns has seen a surge in the waste we produce.
The only way to act against a problem of this size is to declare war.
Thankfully, that’s exactly what the ABC has done.
Airing in May 2017, the first series of War on Waste made a substantial impression on the Australian public, drawing attention to the issue of waste in an attention-grabbing and thought-provoking manner.
The first series won a number of awards, including the Gold Banksia Sustainability Award, AACTA Best Documentary Television Program and Most Outstanding Factual or Documentary Program at this year’s Logies.
At the end of that initial series and this heightened attention, the ABC conducted a massive survey of over 30,000 people, investigating the changing personal attitudes towards waste and its impact in the home.
Following the airing of War on Waste Series 2 in July and August 2018, the ABC has partnered with ISF to more deeply understand how the impact that the ABC’s War On Waste had on organisations, institutions and government can lead to top-down change, which reduces Australia's waste footprint.
This is an exciting development, as viewers increasingly clamour for independent, scholarly expertise to support the informative programs produced by the ABC.
The partnership involved support from ISF in developing a systematic process to capture stories of organisational and societal change, and a rigorous impact framework for understanding and making defensible claims about the overall impact of the two series.
(A separate project by the ABC is investigating the impact of Series 2 on the attitudes and behaviours of individual Australians.)
The ABC, with the support of student interns from the UTS Communications School, is now gathering stories and evidence of change in government, business and civil society.
They are calling on people to share stories about big changes you've seen or even implemented yourself, in your local government, business, school or community groups.
Following the ABC’s collection and analysis of impacts, ISF will review and assess the ABC Impact Report and prepare a Statement of Independent Review to be included as Foreword to the ABC’s Impact Report.
The Statement will put forth ISF’s opinion as to the quality of implementation of the Impact framework, and the level of confidence in the conclusions drawn about the impact of the ABC’s War on Waste.
This will provide a level of independence and rigour to the ABC’s efforts to measure the impact of its award-winning documentary series.
The partnership was designed such that the ABC can continue to adapt and use the Impact Framework to rigorously measure the impact of other TV and media efforts in the future, and is an example of how ISF creates lasting change towards sustainable futures through building independent capacity in our clients by passing on knowledge and skills.
This project is being undertaken by:
Jenni Downes, Senior Research ConsultantJenni has a keen interest in individual, organisational and societal change to address sustainability issues such as peak resources and climate change.
Jenni works primarily in the area of Social Change focusing on research, design and evaluation of behaviour change policies and programs. She leads the Institute’s work on improving municipal household waste and recovery outcomes, and is a regular commentator on radio and in print and online media on issues of waste prevention and recovery.
Elsa Dominish, Senior Research ConsultantElsa specialises in circular economy policy and supply chain sustainability.
At ISF, Elsa undertakes research to inform policy and industry change in the areas of metals and minerals, food and e-waste. Elsa also has a keen interest in the arts and media as vehicles for creating societal change, and research to evaluate the impacts.