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Mapping ADM Machines in Australia and Asia-Pacific

Focus Area: Social Services
Research Program: Machines
Status: Completed

This project aimed to map ADM machines in Social Services in Australia and the Asia Pacific to provide foundational empirical and conceptual knowledge of ADM in social services beyond Europe and North America, and into the Asia-Pacific region. Viewing ADM as an assemblage of data systems and decision-making in social-political context, this project built a knowledge base about what ADM systems are being used in social services delivery in Australia and the Asia Pacific, and how they are used, and who is affected by this.

Based on a conceptual definitions and framework of ADM systems, this project provided a detailed mapping of ADM systems used in social services in Australia, worked with academics across the Asia-Pacific to map ADM systems used in social services in their countries, and conducted a countermapping of ADM in social services in Australia. Data was collected via webscraping of government websites and reports and major and specialist IT media outlets to build a detailed history and understanding of each ADM system identified, supplemented by interviews with developers and user stakeholders.

Major outputs included the Mapping ADM systems in Australian Social Services report, as well as presentations in national and international conferences, webinars, and journal articles in leading journals, including Qualitative Inquiry.

Major benefits of this project include:
• Improved public understanding of what ADM systems are being used in social services in Australia and the Asia Pacific
• Increased focus by public institutions, like the NSW Ombudsman, to monitor and map what ADMs are being used in governmental decision-making to improve transparency
• Attention by major players, like IBM, on the way ADM systems are used in social services delivery, its impacts on service users’ wellbeing and different ways to think about the roll out of new technologies in the sector (e.g, using trauma informed practice principles).


Submission by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (AMD+S). Royal commission into the Robodebt Scheme, 2023



Female dependents, individual customers and promiscuous digital personas: The multiple governing of women through the Australian social security couple rule, 2023

Sleep, L.

Journal article

ADM in child and family services: mapping what is happening and what we know, 2022

Henman, P., Coco, B., Sleep, L.

Working paper

Mapping ADM in Australian Social Services, 2022

Sleep, L., Coco, B., Henman, P.


From Making Automated Decision Making Visible to Mapping the Unknowable Human: Counter-Mapping Automated Decision Making in Social Services in Australia, 2022

Sleep, L.

Journal article

Digital Inclusion and Social Services Delivery – Special Edition Journal of Social Inclusion, 2022

Sleep, L., Harris, P.

Journal special ed.

The importance of digital inclusion in accessing care and support in our increasingly digitised world, 2021

Sleep, L., Harris, P.

Journal article


Paul Henman

Prof Paul Henman

Lead Investigator,
University of Queensland

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Brooke Coco

Brooke Ann Coco

PhD Student,
RMIT University

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Lyndal Sleep profile picture

Dr Lyndal Sleep

Central Queensland University

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Algorithm Watch (Germany)

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