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SmartHelp Agency Advocacy Plan

Executive summary

The mission of the SmartHelp Agency is to successfully impact the lives of most people living with disability in Western Australia. SmartHelp Agency is a non-governmental organization that has decided to extend its practice to policy advocacy. This is because it has some recommendations on the existing NDIS policy and proposes that some changes be made. Policy advocacy is a systematic process that calls for careful planning and execution. It is widely acknowledged as one of the most challenging and also effective processes (Mattaini et al., 2020). Consequently, this report has put down all the necessary steps SmartHelp agency will take while advocating for policy change. The Large Leaps and Messaging and Framework theories of policy change are the two models that the organization believes will help put the changes into effect. This report then outlines the particular policy aspects of the NDIS policy that require alteration. For example, the waiting time for people trying to access NDIS services. Advocating for such changes ensures these individuals receive the best possible care, provision, and protection easily. Ultimately, these adjustments aim to create conditions where the market for services catering to people with disabilities may flourish and grow. The Agency believes that the new NDIS policy will allow them to accomplish this without any hitches.


To ensure that all people living with disability in Western Australia gain self-independence, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was created to fund them (Olney & Dickinson, 2019). Nevertheless, SmartHelp organization believes some aspects of the NDIS policy should be amended. The first part of this article looks at two different theories of policy change that the Agency can apply and use. In addition, the report will provide an overview of numerous Western Australian departments striving to help with the policy change. These include governmental and non-governmental agencies as well as peak bodies. After that, the report will examine what has to be altered in the current NDIS policy and provide reasons for the proposal. The report then concludes with developing a framework for the proposed policy changes. This section details the steps the Agency will take to put the new policy into effect.

Relevant policy change theories for the Agency

The SmartHelp Agency examined two different theories of policy change to shed insight into what kind of shifts may be anticipated. The first is the Large Leaps Theory, also known as the Punctuated Equilibrium Theory (True et al., 2019). Baumgartner and Brian Jones are considered the most influential members of this school of thinking. They have conceptualized this model and utilized it in agenda formulation and decision-making studies. This theory is predicated on the idea that change may occur suddenly and dramatically, marking significant breaks from the past (True et al., 2019). These significant changes are far more essential than the gradual ones, which, in most cases, do not cause a noticeable shift in the established social order. Baumgartner and Brian suggest that any one of three causes is sufficient to bring about a substantial change in a current situation. The first is if a problem is reframed differently or if previously ignored aspects of the problem are brought back to light. The second condition is when new actors are involved, such as other forces outside of the government, interest groups, or the general public. The third necessary condition for a more systemic shift is for the issue to become more urgent and to garner greater attention from the media and the general public (True et al., 2019). SmartHelp can, therefore, strive to create suitable conditions simultaneously for a possible policy change.

Messaging and Frameworks is the second theory of how public policy may be altered. This theory is sometimes referred to as the Prospect theory and was initially developed by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman (Koh & Kwok, 2022). These two thinkers created the concept that people may make rational decisions by weighing the pros and cons of many options. Through this process, people choose the option they deem most beneficial to themselves. The findings of their study demonstrated that people’s preferences change depending on how the available choices are framed or presented to them (Koh & Kwok, 2022). One way the SmartHelp organization can apply this theory is by creatively presenting their opinion on the policy change to potential decision-makers. SmartHelp may influence these individuals’ votes and win their approval by implementing this strategy.

A brief scan of departments working on supporting people with disability

Several bodies in Western Australia are responsible for supporting people with disability. One governmental department is the Department of Communities, responsible for disability policies and issues in the Western Australian State Government (Government of Western Australia, 2022). This group works to improve the lives of people with disabilities by enhancing their access to resources, community participation, and general quality of life. Support also extends to non-governmental departments, one example being Sovereign Lives Victoria. This organization currently serves as a registered NDIS provider in East Melbourne (Government of Western Australia, 2022). It provides personalized disability support services to eligible NDIS participants and their families. One peak body working in the NDIS policy is National Disability Services (NDS). The National Disability Services is the peak body in Australia for non-government organizations providing services to people with disabilities (National Disability Services, 2022). One of this organization’s missions includes making certain that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) lives up to the expectations it has set for all Australians.

Aspects of the policy worth changing

As much as the NDIS policy works to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities, the SmartHelp agency believes there are still some areas that need change. One particular aspect is the significant time needed to wait for placement while seeking access to NDIS. The current NDIS policy suggests that upon receiving a valid access request, a response should be provided within 21 days (Cortese et al., 2021). This amount of time is a lot, especially for people with disability who require urgent needs. It is also difficult for individuals without family support and carers who depend only on the scheme for provision. Therefore, this policy should change by reducing wait time for people seeking to access their services. Moreover, this policy change is essential considering that quicker access will lead to more people with disability reaching out and fast provision of support. By ensuring that these individuals can easily access the care they need, they are more likely to prevent complications and improve their quality of life. NDIS should therefore live up to its standards by being more flexible for people with disability to access it easily.

Another aspect that NDIS should consider is the selection of its Board members. NDIS should consider recruiting a person with a disability or someone with personal experience with a disability to serve as a board member. This will strengthen the NDIS’s focus on each individual’s needs. It will also give more proof of increased representation of persons with disabilities. In addition, it will help the organization become more robust and better meet the needs of the people it serves. The board will benefit greatly from having a member who can speak to the difficulties experienced by those in a comparable position. This is because these individuals have realized that providing people with disabilities the same opportunities as everyone else is crucial to achieving independence. Another aspect the NDIS should change is the present roadblocks for NDIS participants looking for work (Ryan & Stanford, 2018). Even though this policy acknowledges that people with disability are central to improving the NDIS, the participants should also be recognized. This aspect should change by removing the roadblocks and prioritizing the employment of the NDIS members. It is essential to change this aspect for these members to access a wide variety of assistance. This policy should be finalized by offering a more excellent choice and control for participants in obtaining support.

Beginning plan for policy change

For the Agency to complete a successful policy change, it must first create a team to support the effort. This can go back to the mentioned theories of policy change, where the right conditions create an environment for change. One condition being attention from the media or other prominent influencers. Therefore, the Agency will work hand in hand with governmental media and influencers like honorable political leaders, community members, and leaders. This will work on publicizing the policy changes to influence a course of action. Collaborating with media stations like West Digital Television and Westlink Australian TV channels will contribute majorly to pushing for a policy change.

Furthermore, the Agency will work with the families, carers, supporters, and providers of people with disability. These providers could be large companies, small not-for-profit organizations, and charities. Partnering with the mentioned groups is because each has different areas of experience and expertise. Therefore, various skills will help the Agency get to know as much as possible about the mission and will receive advice too. They will also help fund emerging policy change requirements, including high campaign operations costs. Furthermore, the Agency will employ ways to campaign for the policy change, including lobbying and mobilizing allies. SmartHelp will practice these forms of the campaign by inviting decision-makers for meetings or writing to them about policy changes. This is where the theory of messaging and frameworks will come in. Specifically, it suggests that the presentation of an advocacy plan should be creative to influence decision-makers’ choices.

Moreover, the Agency will employ strategies such as establishing personal contacts with those who influence the policy. A personal connection could be the key to successful advocacy, including changing policy. Therefore, the Agency will create a personal relationship with policymakers, opinion leaders, legislators, and local elected and appointed officials. This strategy will make the organization’s voice heard and maintain credibility far more significant than if the contact was only name or face. Another strategy is to educate the supporters and opponents of the campaign goal. This is also important, as knowing the agencies’ supporters and opponents will help know when to change or modify the overall plan, strategies, or tactics.

Additionally, there are several groups that the Agency will target for the policy advocacy plan. They include organizations that deal with the concerns of the public. One such organization is Amnesty International. This is an Australian-based lobbying group with a long history of persistent campaigning on various issues to protect and advance human rights. (Amnesty International, 2022). Another target group is the Australian Fabian society. This organization has been at the forefront of research and debate into progressive public policy reform for many years (Australian Fabians, 2022). These groups appear to have shared interests, goals, and characteristics with SmartHelp Agency. Therefore, they will play an essential role in influencing policy change. They are also the groups most likely able to bring about the change defined in the campaign goal.


Advocating for a change in public policy is a lengthy process that needs careful planning. As a result, this report has outlined various ways the SmartHelp agency will advocate for change in specific NDIS policies. It has analyzed Large Leaps and the Messaging and Framework theories of the policy change and ways the organization can use them. Additionally, the report provides a brief scan of governmental and non-governmental departments that will support advocacy efforts. The report has also indicated how the Agency will inform and influence decision-makers on the policy change. The aim is to get them to agree that the NDIS policy has to be altered in the suggested way. This strategy and others are discussed in the beginning plan for policy change which completes the report. The goal of the drawn plan is to reach a point where all persons with disabilities can effectively access support from NDIS effectively.


Amnesty International. (2022). Amnesty International. Amnesty International.

Australian Fabians. (2022). Mission and history.

Cortese, C., Truscott, F., Nikidehaghani, M., & Chapple, S. (2021). Hard-to-reach: The NDIS, disability, and socio-economic disadvantage. Disability & Society36(6), 883-903.

Government of Western Australia. (2022). Department of communities. Western Australian Government.

Koh, S. G., & Kwok, A. O. (2022). Prospect Theory. In Encyclopedia of Tourism Management and Marketing. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Mattaini, M. A., Esquierdo-Leal, J. L., Ardila Sánchez, J. G., Richling, S. M., & Ethridge, A. N. (2020). Public policy advocacy in culturo-behavior science. In Behavior science perspectives on culture and community (pp. 385-412). Springer, Cham.

National Disability Services. (2022). Policies & strategic directions.

Olney, S., & Dickinson, H. (2019). Australia’s new National Disability Insurance Scheme: Implications for policy and practice. Policy Design and Practice2(3), 275–290.

Ryan, R., & Stanford, J. (2018). A portable training entitlement system for the disability support services sector.

True, J. L., Jones, B. D., & Baumgartner, F. R. (2019). Punctuated-equilibrium theory: explaining stability and change in public policymaking. In Theories of the policy process (pp. 155-187). Routledge.


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