Research Institute

Net Balance’s Research Institute creates real solutions to solve real problems that create lasting impact. Our clients include corporate's, government and not-for-profits.

Our mission is to be the preferred partner for research, development & innovation. We work with our clients to solve problems and achieve valued outcomes. Our solutions create better societies.

The Institute through the Net Balance Foundation also conducts research for public knowledge and offers RD&I at reduced rates to enable smaller not-for-profit organisations to access our expertise.

Below are some examples of our current research projects.

Creating Shared Value Green Paper

Net Balance has continued its contribution to the debate and discussion around creating shared value (CSV) with the release of Australia’s first research into the area. Responding to the growing interest in CSV and wanting to examine how it is applied in the Australian context, Net Balance released its preliminary report in 2013. The Net Balance study looks at how Australian companies are integrating CSV, which is aimed at generating profit by addressing social or environmental issues, into their corporate strategy. The research was undertaken with the support of NAB, Lion, BT Financial, PwC, PwC Indigenous Consulting, Nestle, Toyota and Stockland.

Coops and Mutuals Green Paper

The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals and Bankmecu commissioned the Net Balance Research Institute to investigate the The roles for co-operative and mutuals in delivering Australian public services.  The report forms the basis for continuing partnership between the Net Balance Research Institute and the BCCM to investigate the role and comparative advantage of cooperatives and mutuals as a new business model for creating shared value.

To further the research, an industry taskforce has been established to oversee the development of a Green Paper on the role of co-operatives and mutuals in delivering public services in Australia. 

The research undertaken to date, and the experience in the UK, shows that co-operatives and mutuals have the potential to generate better social outcomes, greater value for money, higher returns on investment and greater economic and social resilience than government agencies or the private sector.

Comparative advantage of Coops and Mutuals

Net Balance Research Institute is undertaking a complementary research project, commissioned by the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, to measure and report the comparative advantage and added value of co-operatives and mutuals to the private sector.

The research will address the current lack of recognition, measurement and reporting of the comparative advantage and added value of mutual and cooperative organisations.

An output of the research will be the development of a framework to assist co-operatives and mutuals systematically measure and report their comparative advantage, which will be tested using two case studies - Teachers Mutual Bank and the Barossa Co-Op Store.


NDS Outcomes Framework

Net Balance Research Institute has been commissioned by National Disability Services to develop a framework and tools to assist disability service providers to measure and report the social outcomes they achieve through delivering services. This project aims to promote and encourage a more independent and thriving NGO sector whilst maximising choices and opportunities for people with a disability, their families and carers. 

Major project outcomes include:

  • Providing NGOs with the resources to accurately measure and improve their social impact
  • Assisting NGOs to provide people with a disability, their families and carers, more choice and opportunities by being able to demonstrate their impact
  • Helping NGOs to attract and form partnerships with potential investors, including government, by providing them with a methodology to demonstrate their social impact
  • Assisting disability service providers to demonstrate their impact to attract potential investors and partnerships and/or identify potential fundraising opportunities.

These will be critical in the enabling the successful transition of NGOs to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in 2018.

Total Value Creation Framework

To contribute to the thinking on measuring shared value, Net Balance developed a Total Value Creation Framework. The framework aims to help companies measure and report the total value they create – economic, social and environmental value – from their products and services, in dollar terms. 

Two key strengths of the framework are that it explicitly defines:

  1. The human intellectual, environmental and social & relationship value that is created by a shared value initiative
  2. The value created for all the stakeholders that are materially affected.

The ability to measure the total value generated from shared value initiatives is essential in the long term success of a company. Measuring the total value and impact of initiatives, will build stronger relationships and trust with stakeholders, identify improvements to initiatives to create more value as well as secure funding for future initiatives. In time, total value creation may also be further incorporated into the valuation of companies along with financial performance and brand value.