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AIATSIS Submission – Indigenous Evaluation Strategy

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Publication date
Dr Lisa Strelein
Dr Belinda Burbidge
Ms Jaylee Martin
Tandee Wang

In the submission AIATSIS makes the following observations:

  • The development of a whole of government Indigenous evaluation strategy provides a unique opportunity to embed the principles of working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples into the assessment of performance of government policies and programs.
  • All government policies and programs impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be assessed in terms of their impact on wellbeing and the enjoyment of rights as Indigenous peoples under international law.
  • Current government programs and plans inadequately engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their aspirations, knowledge and cultures.
  • Evaluation is research and should be guided by principles and practices from the new AIATSIS Code of Ethics including strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement, co-design and governance.
  • Evaluation methodologies should reflect Indigenous ways of knowing being and doing. Qualitative, participatory approaches tend to be the most appropriate evaluation methods. However, this does not preclude the importance of quantitative approaches.
  • The use and analysis of data should not be assumed to be objective and unaffected by bias. Data analysis must be culturally informed and driven by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander priorities.
  • The regimes governing the collection, storage, use and dissemination of Indigenous data during evaluation must be designed to empower and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data governance and decision making.
  • Adequate funding and resourcing must be provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, organisations and individuals who are expected to adopt self-evaluation techniques or participate in evaluations.
  • Critical Investment in infrastructure to share evidence and lessons from evaluation, as well as capability building for communities in the conduct and use of evaluation, quality assurance and continuous improvement data, will significantly boost the impact of the strategy.