“The Australian National Audit Office’s report on the Indigenous Advancement Strategy proves that the Strategy was deeply flawed from the very beginning, Centre for Independent Studies Indigenous Research Program Manager Sara Hudson said.
The Audit Office’s finding that the department’s grants administration processes fell far short of the standard required to effectively manage a billion dollars of Commonwealth resource is consistent with the findings of a Centre for Independent Studies research report Mapping the Indigenous Program and Funding Maze, which documented that billions of dollars were being wasted on Indigenous programs due to a lack of evaluation and accountability”, says Ms Hudson.
“My research found only 8% (88) of 1,082 programs had been evaluated,” Ms Hudson said.
“This finding was further corroborated by the release of the Productivity Commission’s report in November last year which found that of the thousands of Indigenous programs funded by government only 24 had been rigorously evaluated.”
“The Federal government’s announcement today of $10 million a year over four years to implement a formal evidence and evaluation framework is an acknowledgment that the current method of delivering programs is not working,” Ms Hudson says.
“But the lack of evidence on the effectiveness of Indigenous programs is something the Australian government has been aware of for some time now. For years government has claimed to be focused on delivering evidence based policy, this has largely been empty rhetoric.
If the government is serious about making a difference to Indigenous Australians lives, simply providing more money to evaluators will not be enough. The government must use the findings of the evaluations to improve the way programs and services are funded and delivered,” Ms Hudson said.
Sara Hudson is Manager of the Indigenous Research Program at The Centre for Independent Studies and author of the report Mapping the Indigenous Program and Funding Maze, published in August 2016.
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