NACCHO Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health #NRW2020 #NationalReconciliationWeek : Download Draft @ozprodcom Strategy : New national body to evaluate success of Indigenous programs

 ” A new national Office of Indigenous Policy Evaluation would be established under a sweeping plan to overhaul the way in which programs to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians are assessed.

The ambitious plan, released in draft form on today by the Productivity Commission, would also set up an Indigenous Evaluation Council (comprising mostly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members) to advise the new office.

However, the proposals risk raising alarm among some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders about an increasing administrative burden at a time when new arrangements for Closing the Gap and the co-design of an Indigenous “Voice” have yet to be finalised.

From Sydney Morning Herald 3 June : See full story below

Although yet to see the draft commission report, I’m wary of “costly and overly bureaucratic” new administrative arrangements.

We need to cut the red tape and the over-emphasis placed on consulting First Nations representatives, and rather have them in a position to negotiate new arrangements with government, for which the new national agreement will set the foundations.

Pat Turner, who co-chairs that council and is also lead convenor of the coalition of Indigenous peak bodies, warns that her members have been seeking to “streamline government processes, not complicate them”

” This draft Indigenous Evaluation Strategy provides a whole-of-government framework for Australian Government agencies to use when selecting, planning, conducting and using evaluations of policies and programs affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Strategy puts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at its centre. It recognises the need to draw on the perspectives, priorities and knowledges of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people if outcomes are to be improved.

This draft Strategy was released on 3 June 2020.

Download the Report HERE

indigenous-evaluation-draft

In its report, the commission warns that“while governments have designed and modified hundreds of policies and programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people … the evidence about what works and why remains thin”.

 

It says evaluation of such programs has been undertaken in an ad hoc way, with badly done evaluations producing “misleading results” that can perpetuate poorly performing programs.

“Evaluation is too often an afterthought,” Productivity Commission chair Michael Brennan said. “We need to lift the bar on evaluation quality, embed it at the outset of policy design and make sure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are closely involved throughout.”

The commission’s report says the proposed new office of Indigenous Policy Evaluation (OPIE) would be established within an “existing independent statutory authority” although it hasn’t specified which one.

In addition, ‘Indigenous Evaluation Threshold Assessments’ would be carried out for new policies and programs.

The commission says its draft strategy would give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders the “option of being partners in all stages of evaluation”, with the aim of making reports “meaningful, accessible and useful for communities and decision-makers”.

It envisages the development of a “cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander evaluators within the Australian Public Service” who would receive structured training.

The commission’s report nominates seven policy priority areas, based on a refreshed set of goals which Indigenous leaders have been hammering out with federal and state governments through the joint council on Closing the Gap, due to be finalised by early July.

The Productivity Commission is soliciting feedback with a view to finalising its recommendations by October.

Draft strategy release

This draft Indigenous Evaluation Strategy provides a whole-of-government framework for Australian Government agencies to use when selecting, planning, conducting and using evaluations of policies and programs affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Strategy puts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at its centre. It recognises the need to draw on the perspectives, priorities and knowledges of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people if outcomes are to be improved.

The Commission seeks further information and feedback following the release of the draft strategy on 3 June 2020.

Submissions are due by Monday 3 August 2020.

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