As highlighted in the Productivity Commission’s ‘Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage 2016’ report, only 24 of more than 1,000 indigenous programs show clear evidence of success and meet rigorous assessment criteria.
The lack of rigorously evaluated programs in the Indigenous policy area is concerning if we are serious as a country about addressing the challenge of improving wellbeing for First Australians.
By better understanding which policies and programs work better than others – and critically why some things work and others don't – public funds can be more effectively directed.
As this Aither Think Piece highlights, programs imbedded with a robust monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement (MERI) process are more resilient to change, more often return maximum value on every dollar spent, and also allow for more effective demonstration of this value.
Only 24 of more than 1000 indigenous programs show clear evidence of success and meet rigorous assessment criteria, a new government report finds as it questions the efficiency of the $5.9 billion spent on reducing the disadvantage of First Australians. The deputy chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, Karen Chester, said she was staggered at the lack of attention paid to assessing what works, as detailed in the agency’s seventh periodic Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report. “Evaluation is missing in action and it beggars belief that it’s missing in action,” she told The Australian. “We’re spending a lot of government money for what? If we’re not evaluating expenditure it’s potentially wasting money and it’s short-changing indigenous Australia.”