Measure for Measure: Tailoring Everyday Justice

Exploring targeted and effective people-centred services that are meeting legal needs across the Victorian justice and legal assistance sector.

Background: Building on evidence of gaps in meeting need

Our Data Mapping research found that the administrative data collected across the system is not enough to tell us what works to effectively meet legal needs. The Data Mapping  research highlighted the need for smarter data to better understand clients’ journeys to resolving their legal problems, providing core information that can support services to better tailor to need.

Our  Public Understanding of Law Survey (PULS) Volume 1 found that where legal need existed, 78% went unmet, even when Victorians used legal services. The data shows a mismatch between what people need and the services they are getting. The PULS findings point to the mixture of policy and practice responses needed to improve access to justice. One size does not fit all. Different causes and consequences of problems and unmet legal need call for multiple and varied solutions. PULS Volume 2 further explores these issues through investigating people's legal capabilities, and emphasises how considering capability is key to a better, more tailored fit of legal services and support.

With a sound understanding of the existing legal need through PULS, VLF’s Research team is now looking to explore what is working well to meet that need.  

Our research project, Measure for Measure, aims to identify and understand the varied solutions from across Victoria that are seen to be helping people meet their legal needs.

Project aims

The research findings will fill critical gaps in our collective understanding of what works to meet legal need – for whom, for which legal problems, and under what circumstances.

We are aiming to spotlight initiatives that are working, build understanding of the shared elements that make them work, and highlight the common barriers in sustaining and scaling up promising ideas.  

This research will provide independent evidence to inform and support the design, funding and implementation of the legal help Victorians need.

Initial phase: Participation from across the Justice sector – the Survey

For the initial phase of the Measure for Measure research we collected information from across the Victorian justice sector via an online survey.

We cast a wide net and invited a variety of Victorian justice sector stakeholders to share examples of initiatives helping people prevent or address their legal issues.

The survey captured specific initiatives, services, policies or practices that have been designed to target particular clients and communities, or to meet a particular legal need.

We were looking for initiatives that:

  • are currently operating in Victoria
  • have been running for at least 6 months, and
  • are seen to be working or show promise in meeting legal need.

We planned to draw attention to all types of examples from across the justice sector, especially those unsung initiatives or local solutions that are meeting a specific justice need. Initiatives that were working but had to stop (for instance, due to funding) are also encouraged.

The survey phase of the project is now closed.

Current phase:  in-depth interviews

After reviewing the submitted initiatives we will select a small sample to explore more deeply via an interview.

The research team will use a selection matrix of key criteria (i.e. Purpose, People, Place, Problem, Pathway), to determine which initiatives will be invited to participate in the interview stage.

The interview will be an opportunity to further explore the key themes of our research, including service design and development, effectiveness, funding, sustainability and scalability.

Providing evidence about what works to meet legal need

The final Measure for Measure research report will provide evidence-based insights into what is seen to be working to meet legal need in Victoria, and recommendations of where further work and resourcing is required to fully operationalise people-centred justice.

In doing so, the project will:

  • pull together a composite understanding of what makes justice solutions work for different clients and communities in Victoria
  • highlight the opportunities and challenges that come from tailoring services to meet legal need
  • explore barriers to implementing scalable and sustainable solutions
  • provide an independent evidence base to inform and support decision-makers, policy, services and funders to better meet the legal needs of all Victorians.

Key dates

  • mid-March: survey opens
  • April 29 5pm: survey closes
  • April-May: analysis of survey responses
  • June-July: in-depth interviews with a small number of selected participants*
  • July-September: interviews with justice system stakeholders*
  • September-December: full analysis and report writing
  • Early 2025: the final Measure for Measure report is released.

*Key dates have been updated

More information

This project is being managed and conducted by the VLF’s research team. If you have any questions about the survey or the project, please

Contact the research team

No items found.

Project publications

We have not yet released any publications this project.

Keep in touch

Email or send an online message to our teams.