What is Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC)
ILC is a part of the NDIS that provides information, linkages and referrals to connect people with disability, their families and carers, with broader systems of support.
ILC is all about inclusion – it’s about creating connections between people with disability and the communities they live in. Unlike the rest of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), ILC doesn’t provide funding to individuals. ILC provides grants to organisations to carry out activities in the community.
The NDIS has been delivering Information, Linkages and Capacity building (ILC) initiatives since 2017 through a grants process and through Partners in the Community.
ILC is the component of the NDIS that provides information, linkages and referrals to efficiently and effectively connect people with disability, their families and carers, with appropriate disability, community and mainstream supports. ILC will also ensure the NDIS establishes and facilitates capacity building supports for people with disability, their families, and carers that are not directly tied to a person through an individually funded package (IFP). ILC will also promote collaboration and partnership with local communities and mainstream and universal services to create greater inclusivity and accessibility of people with disability.
ILC does not stand alone to meet the aims outlined above. This Framework needs to be considered along with other policies and legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act, the Carer Recognition Act, the National Disability Strategy, the Integrated NDIS Market, Sector and Workforce Strategy and the quality and safeguards framework. ILC also needs to be considered along with the Applied Principles and Tables of Support that guide the interaction between the NDIS and mainstream supports (e.g. health, mental health, justice, education, transport, housing, and aged care sectors). It will also need to be considered along with systemic and individual advocacy and legal representation.
ILC supports can be funded through a range of mechanisms, provided they are outcomesbased and encourage the development of a competitive and innovative market, that allow the NDIS to target its funding to achieve intended outcomes transparently and efficiently. The ability to choose an appropriate funding mechanism allows the scheme to target funding carefully to respond to systemic issues that impact on outcomes for participants, nonparticipants, support sectors and the scheme.
ILC funds supports, determined as necessary by the scheme, which are not funded through a person’s IFP, but are instead funded by the scheme, either through its own internal operations or by directing funding to a third party, such as a service provider.
Flexible ILC funding could foster change and improvement in the support provided to people with disability in communities and by mainstream services, by leveraging off best practice for support delivery, or commencing new initiatives as the market develops and local support needs change.
ILC supports can be funded through a range of mechanisms. Funding may, for example, be most appropriately provided through:
- Bulk purchasing arrangements
- A contract for support
- Grants for short-term capacity building programs or building works to improve community accessibility
- Staff employed by the NDIS to deliver a particular service for example planners, assessors; or
- Local Area Coordinators with access to a small amount of funds to enable purchase of one-off low cost supports (such as small items of equipment or individual capacity building), and to seed fund community capacity building and community inclusion activities. This can enable the NDIS to ensure that people who have very low cost support needs and do not require a long term relationship with the NDIA through an individual plan can receive once off support that prevents them having to apply to be a participant without the need for intensive eligibility and planning processes.
Social capital, provided predominantly through philanthropy and volunteers, is instrumental in increasing the capacity of organisations to deliver supports to people with disability, their families and carers. The NDIS should encourage social capital and activities under ILC should facilitate its involvement, where appropriate.
ILC could also foster a competitive and innovative market through:
- A variety of procurement processes, for example seed funding organisations to harness social capital and philanthropy; or
- Local Area Coordinators having access to a small amount of funds to enable purchase of one-off supports or to seed fund community capacity building, community inclusion activities or individual capacity building. The aim would be to establish a culture of small-scale innovation and experimentation.
ILC funding mechanisms should have accountability measures linked to outcomes. Some examples may include:
- supporting people with disability to exercise choice and control and navigate systems
- sustaining families and carers in their caring roles
- improving access to the community and mainstream services; and
- increasing the evidence base on effective early intervention and prevention.
There are five streams of ILC which provide support to people with disability, their families and carers, and community and mainstream services. The streams are:
- Information, Linkages and Referrals
- Capacity building for mainstream services
- Community awareness and capacity building
- Individual capacity building
- Local area co-ordination (LAC)
Examples of activities under the five streams are explored below. Whilst the streams are considered separately, they could be implemented with consideration to a variety of service delivery models, including multi-stream combinations.
Stream one: Information, linkages and referrals
Information, linkages and referrals will connect people with disability, their families and carers with appropriate disability, community and mainstream supports. People usually need information before they can access services and supports. The types of information that people with disability, their families and carers, may seek include:
- information about specific disabilities and the impacts of diagnosis
- information about targeted supports for people with disability, their family and carers, as well as generic community-based supports
- information on specific disabilities that aims to help people with disability, as well as their families and carers, to best use available supports to promote independence and enhance their capacity to self-navigate service systems
- support to use existing information sources or relevant organisations to get information
- information that addresses the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities through the context of location and background; and
- information that addresses the needs of Indigenous Australians and their respective language, social or nation groups
For people with lower level support needs associated with psycho-social disability, ILC will link people into relevant