Defining & optimising the economic and social return on investment of telephone cancer information and support services (CISS) for all Australians

An NHMRC partnership project of the social return on investment (SROI) of Cancer Council Victoria’s 13 11 20 service.


Provide policy makers, funders, donors, providers and researchers with much needed evidence on the value of telephone cancer information support services.


Nine studies using mixed methods to measure costs and benefits using a SROI framework: in-depth analysis of recorded calls, focus groups, surveys, financial proxies, value games, Delphi study, discrete choice experiment, ‘what if’ analyses.


Generating empirical data to: (i) calculate the ‘economic and social value’ to ‘value invested’ ratio; and (ii) improve cancer outcomes and return on investment for all Australians through identifying different strategies to deliver, promote and target telephone cancer information support services Australia wide. Inform evidence-based decisions on the direction and delivery of services and future funding levels needed to achieve optimal outcomes for all Australians affected by cancer.


Cancer Council Victoria

Cancer Council Australia

Victorian Department of Health

Breast Cancer Network Australia

Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia

The University of Newcastle

The University of Melbourne

Flinders University

La Trobe University

Monash University

More than one million Australians live with cancer and its effects and over 50% report unmet supportive care needs. To meet these needs, non-government organisations have developed telephone cancer information and support services to provide evidenced-based, emotional, informational and practical support to people affected by cancer and the broader community. These services are under increasing financial pressure and given competing demands for limited charitable funds there is a pressing need to determine the value of the services for our partners and wider stakeholders.

This novel and rigorous program of research will determine, for the first time, the economic and social return on investment of an oncology nurse-led CISS in Victoria. Working with our partners, we will conduct a social return on investment analysis, a type of cost-benefit analysis, to answer this complex and challenging question.

This nationally and globally significant research will provide policy makers, funders, donors, providers and researchers with much needed evidence on the value of CISS.



Funding for this research has been provided from the Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Project grant [APP2005191] scheme and contributions (financial and/or in kind) from Cancer Council Victoria, Cancer Council Australia, Victorian Department of Health, Breast Cancer Network Australia, and Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia.

Project Updates

SROI 131120 Project Update Newsletter Dec 2023