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.