NDIS Review – DANA commissions international review by global expert, Dr Simon Duffy

As part of its contribution to the review of the NDIS, DANA has commissioned Dr Simon Duffy, an expert on disability support systems and human rights, to provide an international perspective on Australian progress with the NDIS. Dr Duffy is one of the founders of the global Self-Directed Support Network and his brief biographical details are included below.

The purpose of this international review is to:

  • put the NDIS in a wider global context and compare it to other existing and emerging systems of disability support
  • identify strengths and weaknesses of the NDIS to enable improvements in the development and design of the NDIS
  • provide useful tools and evidence for the wider disability movement in order to strengthen their ability to engage in debate on these systemic issues
  • publish the report early enough to contribute to the review and to encourage further discussions with policy-makers and the disability and advocacy community

DANA will advise on key elements of this review as it progresses.

Brief biographical details 
Dr Simon Duffy is the Director of Citizen Network Research and is a global expert in disability support systems (learn more about his work here). In 2008, he was awarded the Prince Albert Medal by the Royal Society for Arts and in 2011 he received the Social Policy Association Award for Outstanding Contribution to Social Policy for his work on the personalisation of support.

Simon is currently the technical advisor to the EU funded UNIC Project on User-Centred Funding Models for Long-Term Care. He is a co-founder of UBI Lab Network, the SDS Network and the Neighbourhood Democracy Movement. Simon has also founded several other organisations and campaigns, including Inclusion Glasgow and In Control.

In 2013, Simon argued that “the NDIS could be one of the most important international developments in the advancement of the human rights of people with disabilities in recent years.” However, he also said that the scheme had several important design flaws.

In particular, in his report, Designing NDIS, he said: “I cannot think of another system which will be so prone to inflationary pressure as this model. It exploits no natural incentive for good cost control, while inviting demand pressure from every possible source. It will inevitably lead to further erosion of every type of social capital and increase over reliance on the current human service system in Australia. It will reward communities that fail to invest in people with disabilities and the accessibility of their own local organisation, places and services.”

Commenting on this commission from DANA, Simon said:

“I am honoured to have been asked by DANA to write this report and I hope to make a useful contribution to the further improvement and sustainability of the NDIS. The decision by the Australian government in 2013 to create the NDIS remains a world leading commitment to support disability rights for real. The NDIS needs to succeed and be the best it can be, not only for Australians but to provide an example for all of us.” 

Find out more, including about the Self-Directed Support Network, on the Citizen Network website.