Research focus

An infographic of the research undertaken by SoDA Lab. 

Society 4.0 

This term defines life during and after artificial intelligence, digitisation and high-powered data analytics. Our research in this area traces the social and economic impact of these changes and the analysis we can perform will be invaluable as society becomes increasingly digitised and automated.  

This research is used by the Thriving in Society 4.0 program.  

Mental health and wellbeing‌ 

This is a growing challenge for community and workplaces. Our research focuses on these challenges, such as whether there are large areas of unmet needs in the workplace and how people can access necessary support.  

This research is used by the Community Mental Health and Wellbeing program.

Social connections 

Social connections can positively affect health and wellbeing, such as by fostering community development or building resilience in crisis. Our research explores key aspects of social connections, acknowledging the changing nature of contemporary social life. 

This research is used by the Social Connection program.

Families and children 

Focusing on positive attitudes to women, children, families and diversity, our research uses data to understand how community initiatives can improve lives. We are integrating community data with data on demographics, transport, housing, employment and government initiatives. 

This research is used by the Digital Inclusion program

  • Data CO-OP

    SoDA Lab is part of a Data CO-OP that shares data and capabilities to create collective impact. The CO-OP uses public and private data sets to work with domain experts, community leaders, data custodians, researchers and data scientists.

Current projects and partnerships

We are partnered with Family Life, Alfred Health, Australian Childhood Foundation and the Royal Women’s Hospital to drive the development of the Children and Parent Centre of Excellence (CAPCE), serving vulnerable children and families in the Bayside Peninsula region. CAPCE is a pilot program designed to demonstrate how a place-based, connected, infant-focused, expert early intervention service can simultaneously generate improved outcomes for vulnerable infants exposed to trauma and their families. It may also provide cost savings to the government.  

We’re actively working with CAPCE partners to identify and map available data that can be provided to support data-driven service delivery of this pilot and associated knowledge building. One of the key outcomes of the work to date is a Responsible Data Sharing Framework, designed to enable sensitive data to be shared across CAPCE partner organisations.

The Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) is a collaboration of governments and territories, government agencies, and the World Health Organization (WHO). It was formed to support the effective implementation of digital health services. GDHP has identified several ‘benefits categories’ of digital health including:  

  • digital health quality and efficacy 
  • digital health end-user experience 
  • population health trends and secondary uses 
  • digital health efficiency and return on investment 
  • digital health equity. 

In collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency, we’re undertaking a rapid review of the literature on benefits realisation categories and proximal measurements of digital health services. 

Aligning with the Victorian Government’s Ending Family Violence 10 Year Plan, we’re part of an exploratory study, ‘Social Outcomes of Policy — Helpful Intelligence and Analytics (SOPHIA)’, that seeks to understand family violence outcomes in Victoria using novel data analytical techniques. 

This work is also part of our Digital Inclusion research program

 Completed projects and partnerships

Mobile devices and social media platforms drive new forms of humanitarian action and voluntary service. This project involved transforming Instagram activity into data by classifying people’s vernacular expressions of humanitarian action and understanding the contexts, situations and targets of those actions.

This work was also part of our Digital Inclusion research program.

This project measured informal employee social networks before a restructure by the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet. We co-designed a plan for change and then measured the restructure impact via another network assessment. 

Social resilience is the capacity for groups and communities to preserve and sustain their wellbeing in the face of adverse challenges. We collaborated with the City of Glen Eira to integrate socio-economic, urban and social media data into a multifaceted social resilience model for various groups and communities. The outcome provided a blueprint for identifying community priorities and tailoring social services based on community needs. We also developed several data dashboards that provide comparisons of Glen Eira suburbs with other councils.

Explore our other key capabilities

Want to engage with the SoDA Lab?

Get in touch by calling +61 3 9214 8180 or emailing

Contact us