Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Concerns about whether Closing the gap targets will be reached

A report released by the Productivity Commission this week has raised concerns about whether the Federal Government will meet the Closing the gap targets, which aim to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.



The report, http://www.pc.gov.au/research/supporting/indigenous-reform-assessment/indigenous-reform-assessment.pdf National Indigenous reform agreement: performance assessment 2013-14 monitors the progress against the Closing the gap targets, which include life expectancy, health, education and employment outcomes.



Improving life expectancy, access to preschool, and reading and numeracy rates aren't showing any change, whilst the employment target has fallen further behind. However, the report shows that good progress has been made in reducing outcomes gaps in child mortality and Year 12 (or equivalent) attainment rates at a national level.



'If we are to see improvements in outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Islander Australians we need to move further into the detail, examining which policies and programs work better than others and why. Our current focus is on settings targets and monitoring outcomes. This must be complemented by evaluation,' said Peter Harris, Chair of the Productivity Commission.



This is the first year the Productivity Commission has produced the National Indigenous reform agreement: performance assessment. The assessment was previously undertaken by the COAG Reform Council.



Links:

* View information: National Indigenous reform agreement: performance assessment 2013-14 <http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/key-resources/bibliography?lid=30655>
* View news item: Government will fail to meet five out of six Closing the gap targets: Productivity Commission <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-02/close-the-gap-report-shows-majority-of-targets-not-met/6995352>
* View media release: A change in approach is needed to improve outcomes for Indigenous Australians <http://www.pc.gov.au/research/supporting/indigenous-reform-assessment#media-release>
* View website: Productivity Commission <http://www.pc.gov.au/>

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