Evaluating Indigenous programs: a toolkit for change
It is not enough just to evaluate, government must actually use the findings from evaluations to improve service delivery. Unfortunately, many government agencies ignore evaluations when making funding decisions or implementing new programs.
Analysis of 49 Indigenous program evaluation reports, found only 3 used rigorous methodology. Overall, the evaluations were characterised by a lack of data and the absence of a control group, as well as an overreliance on anecdotal evidence.
Adopting a co-accountability approach to evaluation will ensure that both the government agency funding the program and the program provider delivering the program are held accountable for results. An overarching evaluation framework could assist with the different levels of outcomes expected over the life of the program and the various indicators needed to measure whether the program is meeting its objectives. Feedback loops and a process to escalate any concerns will help to ensure government and program providers keep each other honest and lessons are learnt.
Evaluating Indigenous programs: a toolkit for change.