Centrality of Culture

Many government frameworks about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples acknowledge the centrality of culture in Indigenous health and wellbeing. The critical importance of culture underpinned the Cultural Respect Framework 2016-2026 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing 2017-2023.

However, a review of these frameworks revealed that key recommendations to support human rights and self-determination in health and mental health and wellbeing services to prevent suicide and poor mental health outcomes, trauma and grief and family dysfunction have not been implemented and resourced during the past decade.

The CBPATSISP Evaluation Framework comprises: evaluation methods and methodologies, a program logic, theory of change, and social indicators and performance indicators to measure processes and results in achieving goals and aims. Bringing together these elements within this Evaluation Framework addresses many of the gaps, inconsistencies and misguided assumptions identified in existing evaluations of program and services.

Operationalising each of these elements within the Evaluation Framework presents an opportunity to forge a new direction in evaluation to demonstrate social impact that is both far-reaching and local in addressing the goals of relevant reports and policies. The ability to demonstrate short and medium outcomes with a high likelihood of reaching long term gains over time has potential in turn to result in government, industry, philanthropic groups and communities themselves investing in programs and services that are effective, cost effective and culturally appropriate, robust and self-sustaining.