Dr Julie Finlayson
The Success in Indigenous Community Organisations project was primarily funded by the Australian Collaboration. The project initially involved thirteen case studies to assess “initiatives in local Indigenous organisations that have helped to promote community wellbeing or to overcome disadvantage." The aim was to identify the lessons that might be learned from these successes. The Australian Collaboration and AIATSIS agreed that, while the symptoms of Indigenous disadvantage have been widely reported, inadequate attention had been given to examples of Indigenous creativity and leadership in tackling problems and that a report focusing on such successes would be of considerable value to Indigenous people and Indigenous policy makers and find a ready audience.
Our project starting point is that successful organisations must first build foundations for sound management and robust corporate governance. They also pay attention to governance of service delivery. In program terms a ‘successful organisation’ delivers efficient, effective services providing value for money. Successful organisations have internal characteristics which may be discerned through research although external performance indicators such as meeting service targets, providing effective professional service delivery and robust corporate governance are key success indicators. These aspects are critical, not least because public funds are provided for delivery of public services. However, in the community service sector attention to governance of service delivery is equally important and an indicator to success.
This publication is intended for funding agencies and government policy and program developers.
The project resulted in three major reports: Maps to success, this one (Organising for success: policy report) and Indigenous partnerships in protected area management in Australia: three case studies.