Fields of Research (FoR)Social policy, People with disability, Family care, Sociology of family and relationships, Applied sociology, program evaluation and social impact assessment, Social change, Social program evaluation
Dr Ariella Meltzer is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact, UNSW. Her research focus is on relationships and social change, with particular interests in disability, young people, siblings and families, mentoring, peer support and supportive community relationships. She also has a core research interest in information accessibility for people with disability. Finally, she has been involved in a range of research and evaluation...view more
Dr Ariella Meltzer is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact, UNSW. Her research focus is on relationships and social change, with particular interests in disability, young people, siblings and families, mentoring, peer support and supportive community relationships. She also has a core research interest in information accessibility for people with disability. Finally, she has been involved in a range of research and evaluation across the social impact sector, including designing social impact measurement approaches and researching examples of social procurement and social impact investment.
Much of Ariella’s work seeks to unpack the idea of ‘relational service provision’ – i.e. human services that both support and are supported by the variety of human relationships which are present in people’s lives and which impact their social and economic outcomes. Her recent work in this area includes:
- Research on ‘sibling support’ (support to siblings where one has a disability), including conceptualising its service models and describing its operational conditions;
- Research about the impact of formal and informal mentoring relationships for young people;
- Research about how to understand and cultivate peer support relationships for people with disability and their families;
- Research about how relationships are conceptualised and thought about as well as operationalised and supported through policy-making;
- Research about the employment of people with disability, including the structural relationships and barriers that impact their employment outcomes;
- Research on the delivery of human services within complex conditions, including during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lived experience of dynamic service systems, such as Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Ariella works closely with government departments (federal and state), peak bodies and not-for-profit organisations throughout the disability and youth services sectors, to ensure that her research findings inform real-world impact for those delivering human services and their beneficiary groups. The success of her research is reflected in ongoing research relationships with several organisations.
Methodologically, Ariella is experienced in complex qualitative research, including projects involving multiple stakeholders, longitudinal components, complex project management requirements, multiple methods and diverse informational needs for different audiences. Her skills cross field work with people with disability and young people, analysis of complex qualitative data, social impact and outcomes measurement, and the presentation of information for different audiences.
Ariella completed her PhD at UNSW Sydney in 2015. Outside her direct research role, Ariella is a Board Member for the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability and a Research and Social Policy Advisor for Siblings Australia.
BSocSci (Hons 1st)
PhD (Social Policy) (2015)
UNSW Business School Research Impact Award (2020)
UNSW Arts and Social Sciences Dean's Award for Research Society Impact (2015)
My Research Activities
- Evaluation of the Building Employer Confidence and Inclusion in Disability Grant Scheme (Department of Social Services; Chief Investigator).
- Better acknowledging and resourcing the information accessibility sector in Australia (UNSW Disability Innovation Institute; Chief Investigator).
- Social Impact and Collaboration Services for Together4Youth (Together4Youth and the Raise Youth Mentoring Foundation; co-Chief Investigator).
- Sibling Support Provision Around the World (UNSW Career Advancement Funding; Chief Investigator).