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ILC Secrets to Success

The next Information, Linkages & Capacity Building funding round is set to open any day now. Successful grant writer Elizabeth McGarry explores the context of this next round and shares her tips for ILC success.


Updated 15 Apr 20247 Aug 2017

We still require much broader support to move Australia closer to becoming a more equitable society for people with disability. Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) is the key element of the NDIS that acknowledges that we need to address these inequities and challenge the broader community to provide increased opportunities for participation.

The ILC highlights five key outcomes as enablers to achieving the NDIS vision that you need to understand to succeed in highly competitive grants process. The outcomes are that people living with disability:

  • Are connected and have the information they need to make decisions and choices.
  • Have the skills and confidence to participate and contribute to the community and protect their rights.
  • Use and benefit from the same mainstream services as everyone else.
  • Participate in and benefit from the same community activities as everyone else.
  • Actively contribute to leading, shaping and influencing their community.

This year ILC kicked off with 63 grants being awarded (41 nationally and 22 in the ACT).  Another national funding round is due to be released this month with jurisdictional rounds to follow -

  • SA & NSW: commencing 1 July 2018
  • VIC, QLD, TAS & NT: commencing 1 July 2019
  • WA: TBA

Understanding ILC is one thing, being successful with a grant application is quite another. Although it is a very competitive field, it doesn't mean good ideas don’t have the chance to fly.  The best place to start is to get your head around the ILC Policy Framework and Commissioning Framework as well as the grant guidelines and to remain focused on the fact that achieving measurable outcomes is the primary driver of the NDIS.

If you have a project idea you believe fits the ILC approach then it is absolutely critical that you firstly undertake this preliminary work and then begin to examine how you could deliver on as many individual ILC outcomes as possible.  

People applying for an ILC grant would also be wise to consider whether they hold expertise in areas of greater complexity, such as specialist disability knowledge, specific groups of people, cross regional relevance, rural and remote experience and implementing a co-design model (people with disability driving project implementation).

Explaining why your proposal is important, who will benefit and how it will achieve success, is just as important as what you intend to do.

Consider opportunities that will enhance the core work of others rather than taking responsibility for what is fundamentally their primary role, such as services provided by education, health, transport, local government, banks, real estate agents, retail, sporting clubs, leisure centres, the arts. 

Remember to highlight why your organisation above others, has the expertise to successfully deliver on your proposal. Past demonstrated experience is better than knowledge alone.

Partnerships are important however, when cobbled together at the eleventh hour are rarely successful.  It is important to examine your current and past collaborations and partnerships to determine how they could enhance your capacity to deliver on your proposal.  Bring your partners along with you from concept development to proposal sign-off – don’t leave it until your proposal is fully developed before inviting others to come on board.

Remember that the NDIS is all about driving positive change for people with disability, so you guarantee that from start to finish their participation in your proposal is genuine and not just tokenistic.

The ability to effectively measure your success as well as the challenges you encounter, is critical to understanding and articulating how your processes will contribute to reaching your proposal’s outcomes. Not only is it helpful now, but will provide learnings for future opportunities. Wherever possible establishing an external evaluation process is the best way to go.

Don’t skimp on you budget but be realistic. Under quoting in the hope of being successful, is disastrous. You need to take into account all probable expenses so that you not only avoid jeopardising intended outcomes but also minimise undue stress on all involved.

Have we captured your imagination? We will let you know as soon as the next national ILC funding round is announced.


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