Paul Flatau


  • The University of Western Australia (M263), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Crawley


  • 169 Citations
  • 8 h-Index
1991 …2019

Personal profile


I commenced as the Chair in Social Investment and Impact and Director of the UWA Centre for Social Impact (CSI UWA) at the UWA Business School in December 2010.

CSI UWA is a Centre of the UWA Business School and part of a national collaboration with The University of New South Wales and Swinburne University of Technology. Together, the three universities form the Centre for Social Impact, which takes a systems approach to developing innovative solutions to the biggest social challenges today, with a vision for a better Australia tomorrow.

The CSI UWA is a catalyst for change in our world, creating and delivering education that transforms, research that informs best practice, and public engagement that inspires and mobilises change makers.

The CSI UWA is concerned with the design, financing, provision, and leadership of social programs and with the assessment and evaluation of the social impact of programs. Its key aim is to develop the research evidence base around actions that create beneficial social impact and developing policy and community dialogue around that impact. Social impact refers to all forms of significant change experienced by individuals and communities. This includes income and labour market impacts, education impacts, social inclusion and relationship changes, mental and physical health effects, and overall impact on quality of life and well-being.

The CSI UWA introduced the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact (GCSI) in 2011. The four units in the Graduate Certificate examine modern theory and practice across the four pillars of work of the UWA Centre for Social Impact, namely, social impact assessment, social investment, social leadership and social innovation and enterprise. These units also form part of the Flexible MBA at UWA. In 2015, an undergraduate unit Changing the World: Social Innovation, Finance and Enterprise was introduced. This unit provides an introduction to the concepts and practices from the field of social impact, inspiring students across all disciplines to make a difference in their own unique ways. The unit highlights how innovation and entrepreneurship are solving major global social and economic challenges such as hunger, poverty, and homelessness and asks whether we are achieving social progress in Australia and internationally. It considers the rise of social entrepreneurship, the shift to a focus on collaboration, and the role of corporate social responsibility and impact investing in creating new opportunities for generating positive social impact.

Around 40 research projects have been undertaken or are being undertaken since the Centre was established.

Paul has over 100 publications in the fields of labour economics, the history of economic thought, and the economics of social policy and has an excellent national competitive research grant track record. He has made significant contributions to the analysis of social and economic outcomes and social impact and the effectiveness of programs and interventions in a number of fields including poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and housing.

A feature of his work is that he actively engages in policy and industry discussions and seek to build knowledge and debate around important issues in a variety of domains. Over the last seven years as Director of the CSI UWA, he has established an extensive program of public lectures, workshops, breakfasts and conferences that have brought the University to the WA and Australian corporate, NFP and government sectors. he initiated the CSI UWA Social Impact Festival that now reaches over 4000 people through a two-week program of events.

Paul has widespread teaching experience across all domains in economics, has developed and taught units in the management and social and public policy fields and most recently implemented the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact.

Paul holds a PhD in Economics from Murdoch University, an M.Ec. from UWA and a B.Ec. from Sydney University.

Roles and responsibilities

Position: Director of the UWA Centre for Social Impact in the UWA Business School.

Teaching: The co-ordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact since its inception in 2011. Co-ordinator of units in the GCSI. Co-ordinator of Changing the World: Social Innovation, Finance and Enterprise (BUSN1102).

Currently supervise PhD DBA students.

Future research

Programs of research include:
1)Outcomes measurement in the NFP sector (with Bankwest Foundation)
(2) The Journey to Social Inclusion program - A Randomised Controlled Trial Analysis
(3)Impact investment for affordable housing and social enterprises.

Funding overview

Selected Recent Research Grants since 2010:

Inquiry into the Funding and Delivery of Programs to Reduce Homelessness Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute

Evaluation of St Vincent's Hospital Homeless Health Services University of Western Sydney

Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) Mark II 2015 to 2018 Sacred Heart Mission

The Funding and Delivery of Homelessness Services - Case Study Evidence Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

Who Supports the Homeless? An Exploration of the Funding of Australian Homelessness Services Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute

A Research Program Supporting Development & Growth in the Community Sector in Western Australia Bankwest Foundation

Facilitating Capacity Building in the Australian Not-For-Profit Sector through Improved Work Learning ARC Linkage Projects 2013

Facilitating Capacity Building in the Australian Not-For-Profit Sector through Improved Work Learning Ernst & Young 2013

Evaluation of Platform 70 Project University of New South Wales ex NSW Department of Family & Community Services Housing 2013

Understanding Social Impact Bonds Lotterywest

Michael Project Research Study Mission Australia

Evaluation of Horizon House Service St John of God Health Care

Sustainable Mining Development - leveraging regional mining investments for socio-economic development International Mining for Development Centre

Understanding Decision Making in the Not For Profit Housing Sector - Longitudinal & Comparative Components Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute

Intergenerational Homelessness & use of Supported Accommodation Assistance Program Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

The cost effectiveness of sustaining tenancies of formerly homeless clients with high needs Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute

Understanding Leadership Strategy & Organisational Dynamics in the Not For Profit Housing Sector University of New South Wales ex Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute

Evaluation of the Inner City Youth at Risk Project and Inner City Assertive Outreach Service NSW Health Administration Corporation

Social Enterprise in Western Australia: Structures, Processes and Activity WA Department of Premier & Cabinet

The Misha Project Mission Australia

The Social and Economic Impact of Indigenous Employment and Indigenous Business Activity BHP

BHP Social Baseline Study

Refugees, Housing and Social Inclusion in Australia Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute

The Cost of Homelessness and the Benefit of Homelessness Programs: A National Study Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute

Homelessness and Services and System Integration Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute 2011

The Costs of Youth Homelessness in Australia ARC Linkage

Social Inclusion Through Community Embedded Socially Supported University Education ARC Linkage

Previous positions

The Commonwealth Treasury, Canberra; Senior Research Officer, Budget Policy Section, General Economic and Financial Policy Division.

Murdoch University; Associate Professor, Murdoch Business School

Current projects

Sacred Heart Mission (SHM) Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) Mark II 2015 -2018 Randomised Control Trial

Bankwest Foundation: Outcomes Measurement in the Community Sector

ARC Linkage Project - Facilitating Capacity and Work Learning in the Not-for-Profit sector
The Costs of Youth Homelessness

50 Lives 50 Homes Project

Industrial relevance

Commonwealth Treasury Canberra

Teaching overview

MGMT5516 Social Impact: Entrepreneurs and Social Innovation

MGMT5615 Selected Topics in Management: Demonstrating Social Impact

BUSN1102 Changing the World: Social Innovation, Finance and Enterprise


The economics of social policy
Labour economics
The history of economic thought

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Projects 2011 2019

Research Output 1991 2017

Chronic homelessness in Melbourne: The experiences of Journey to Social Inclusion Mark II study participants

Miscenko, D., Vallesi, S., Wood, L., Thielking, M., Taylor, K., Mackelprang, J. & Flatau, P. 2017 Australia: Sacred Heart Mission. 36 p.

Research output: Book/ReportOther output

1 Citations

First examination of varying health outcomes of the chronically homeless according to Housing First configuration

Whittaker, E., Dobbins, T., Swift, W., Flatau, P. & Burns, L. Jun 2017 In : Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 41, 3, p. 306–308

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Health Services
Mental Health
Hospital Emergency Service
Public Health

Harnessing the Potential of Linked Administrative Data for Homelessness Research

Wood, L., Vallesi, S. & Flatau, P. 2017 In : Parity. p. 43-45 30(3)

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Open Access