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Evaluation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care (PHC)

Introduction

This evaluation, currently in its design phase, is due to commence in mid-2018. The evaluation focuses on the Australian Government’s main investment in primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, which occurs primarily through the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP).

The evaluation design phase includes design and planning meetings with people recognised for their work in the health sector, and those working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who use and do not use health services, as well as health sector workers and other key participants across all states and territories.

Please click here for more information about the evaluation design.

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The original artwork was produced by Emma Walke. Emma is a Bundjalung Aboriginal woman from northern NSW and is on the evaluation team. Here is her description of the artwork:

Because I don’t speak for every country, and because we are working across many of them, the work seeks to represent Indigenous Australia. I feel that colour makes a statement so I have used colours that can be linked to many of our communities and countries, land or sea based. The colours represent our people and the land they come from – ochres/yellows represent desert and hills and the cliffs where our ochres come from. Blues for ocean and blue greens for rivers. The circles are universal in the way they represent groups or clans of people, the markings inside some of the circles represent individuals. The dots and slashes are representational of tracks and time lines. There are a few blank circles – they represent the missing, the lost peoples. I thought I would try and incorporate the colours to show respect for them.

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The evaluation design process

The evaluation design process began in late 2017. The following diagram charts the progress and timeline of the evaluation design, and the anticipated start date of the evaluation itself.

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The structure for co-designing the evaluation is shown in the figure below. It shows that the evaluation team is working collaboratively with a group of people working across the health sector – the Health Sector Co-design Group (HSCG) – and engaging with people in communities, as part of a community co-design process. It also shows engagement with a wider group of interested people across states and territories. As part of the community co-design process, we are working towards the establishment of a Community Co-design Group for the implementation phase of the evaluation. The Community Co-design Group will be in direct conversation with the HSCG as well as the evaluation team.

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The project team

The following independent team has been appointed by the Department of Health to lead the evaluation design process. Please click on their names below for more information.

If you would like to contact the team, please email Ned at [email protected], or phone him on +61 02 6188 4487

Team leader  

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Master of Arts (Distinction).

Relevant experience

  • Over 18 years of experience in evaluation and research.

  • Team Leader on Phase 1 of this evaluation project (IAHP evaluation).

  • Lead evaluator on health sector evaluations in NZ, Australia and the Pacific.

  • Lead evaluator, Evaluation of the Child Health Check Initiative and the Expanding Health Service Delivery Initiative, NT.

  • Lead evaluator, Evaluation of the NT Continuous Quality Improvement Investment Strategy.

Lead investigator  

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Master of Philosophy (Maternal and Child Health), Doctor of Medicine (Community Health).
  • Member of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, Fellow of the College of Community Health of South Africa, Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine.

Relevant experience

  • Senior Principal Research Fellow & Professor of Public Health, Menzies School of Health Research.
  • Scientific Director, Centre for Primary Health Care Systems.
  • Lead investigator, Sentinel Sites Evaluation of the Indigenous Chronic Disease Package.
Senior indigenous health researcher  

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Social Science (Honours), PhD.

Relevant experience

  • Roxanne is from the Gungarri/Kunja nations of south-west Queensland.

  • Public health equity research, specifically the social and cultural determinants of health.

  • Extensive experience and expertise in Indigenous research impact assessment and evaluation; the implementation of quality improvement approaches in and beyond primary health care settings; family-centred care; and participatory action-oriented approaches.

Senior health consultant  

Qualifications

  • Diploma Practice Management, Certificate IV (Workplace Training and Assessment; Indigenous Mentoring; Indigenous Leadership).

  • In progress: MPhil (med).

Relevant experience

  • Emma is a Bundjalung Woman.

  • Manager Aboriginal Health, North Coast Primary Health Network, Tweed Heads-Port Macquarie.

  • Practice Manger/Deputy CEO, Bullinah Aboriginal Health Service.

  • Development Officer for Bullinah Aboriginal Medical Service.

Senior health consultant  

Qualifications

  • Currently Master of Public Health, Diploma of Community Development, Diploma of Community Service (Aboriginal Sexual Health), Certificate IV (Training and Assessment; Frontline Management; Assessment and Workplace Training).

Relevant experience

  • Robert is a descendant of the Bundjalung Nation on his mother’s side. His family and his extended family are from the North Coast of NSW alongside the Clarence River at Baryulgil. On his father’s side a long and rich history of descendants from Ireland.
  • 18 years working within both National/State and Local Governments working within the Aboriginal community controlled sector.
  • Research projects at UNSWs Kirby Institute for the past 4 years in Aboriginal communities across Australia.
  • Diverse range of learnt and lived experiences that he attributes to working in and with communities that are passionate about Aboriginal culture that is rich in life.
Senior evaluation consultant  

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology and Sociology); Graduate Diploma of Education; Master of Culture, Health and Medicine.
  • PhD Candidate.

Relevant experience

  • Research Fellow (Evaluation), Centre for Research Excellence in Integrated Quality Improvement.
  • Co-lead investigator, Evaluation of Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation’s Evaluation of Chronic Disease Strategy.
  • Evaluation Coordinator, Sentinel Sites Evaluation of the Indigenous Chronic Disease Package.
  • Aboriginal Healthy for Life Coordinator, Southern GP Network.
Senior health consultant  

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Social Sciences, Diploma of Social Science Research, Post-Graduate Diploma Social Sector Evaluation Research (Distinction).

Relevant experience

  • Over 30 years of experience in evaluation and research.
  • Senior evaluator on a health sector evaluation in Australia.
  • Lead or co-lead evaluator of public health, social, community, housing, youth development and employment equity projects in New Zealand.
  • Co-led development of a youth health and wellbeing outcomes measurement model.
  • Author of the New Zealand evaluator competencies and evaluation standards.
Senior health consultant  

Qualifications

  • Diploma in Criminology, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
  • Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, Fellowship Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, Fellow of the Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine.

Relevant experience

  • Clinical medicine (general practice/primary care) and public health physician in New Zealand and Australia.
  • GP in Indigenous health services in both urban and rural settings, including for Inala Indigenous Health Service in Brisbane, and Ngati Porou Hauora on New Zealand’s East Coast.
  • Health policy development, evaluation and innovation.
  • Interface between the health, social and justice sectors and in innovation for hard to reach and marginalised populations.
  • Experience in service planning and funding.
  • Quantitative and qualitative analytical skills, as well as health systems and population health perspectives.
Project sponsor  

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science, Nat Dip EnvHlth, Master of Arts (Appl) Env St.

Relevant experience

  • Experienced leader and manager, as Director of Allen + Clarke.

  • Expert in health policy development.

  • Significant project management experience.

  • Highly skilled in stakeholder engagement and management.

  • Significant experience in expert advisory, governance and leadership roles, including for WHO and the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

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Health Sector Co-design Group

The Health Sector Evaluation Co-design Group was established in late 2017 to co-design and guide the development and implementation of the Evaluation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care (PHC).

The Group brings together a wide range of experiences and perspectives from people working across the health system. Members come from a range of organisations including the National Health Leadership Forum, the Implementation Plan Advisory Group, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector, the Primary Health Networks, health service providers, state health services, the Department of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and the Department of Health. The group also includes research expertise in primary health care and co-design.

Health Sector Co-design Group (HSCG) Meeting No. 1 Communiqué – 20 December 2017

Health Sector Co-design Group (HSCG) Meeting No.2 Communiqué – 12–13 April 2018

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Community co-design process

All people involved in designing the evaluation so far – evaluation team members, the Department of Health, the Health Sector Co-design Group (HSCG) and others – have expressed a strong desire that the evaluation design process genuinely engages with a diverse group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly those whose voices are not commonly heard.

The community co-design process is evolving organically. Essentially, it is occurring in reverse to that of the co-design process with the health sector. The community co-design has started with a wider engagement process, working towards the formation of a group for the implementation of the evaluation. The health sector co-design process has started with bringing a group together – the HSCG – followed by engaging with the health sector more broadly.

In our discussions to date we have found that many people want to discuss real issues and concerns rather than the design of an evaluation. Therefore, we have identified several areas that we are discussing with people in the community to inform the evaluation design, including:

  • what ‘health’ means for people
  • where people go to see a nurse or doctor
  • who are using health services and who is missing out
  • what works well and not so well with health services
  • what is important to people about healthcare.

We are mindful there is already a lot of research and understanding about these areas, including among the project team and the HSCG, and will also be drawing on this to design the evaluation.

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The IAHP

The Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) is delivering $3.6 billion over four years from 2017/18 to 2020/21 to improve:

  • access to culturally appropriate comprehensive primary health care for Indigenous Australians, and
  • areas of critical need through targeted investment that are expected to accelerate progress in reaching targets.

The IAHP:

  • Funds organisations to deliver PHC to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Funds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific initiatives to address issues such as maternal and child health, smoking, mental health, and drug use
  • Seeks to strengthen the health system so that it works better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Please see the Department of Health’s website for more information on the IAHP.

The Department of Health can be contacted via the Strategic Investment, Data and Evaluation Section (Indigenous Health Division) inbox: [email protected]

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Latest news

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What’s happening now

We have held some preliminary design and planning meetings with people recognised for their work in the health sector, and those working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who use and do not use health services.

We are now meeting with both health sector workers and other key participants across all states and territories, including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Community service providers
  • State and territory peak bodies for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS)
  • Primary Health Networks
  • State and territory Departments of Health
  • Other experts.

Members of the project team and HSCG are also meeting with a range of community people, including those who use a range of primary health care services and those that do not or get their primary health care in some other way.

Feel free to have your say here.

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Have your say

To respond to some questions we have about the design of the evaluation, please click the ‘Have your say’ button below. This will take you to an online form.

To ask us a question, or contact us with any other comments about the evaluation design, please click the ‘Ask us a question’ button or email us at [email protected].

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Reports

No publications yet.

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FAQs

Click on a question below to view the answer

The evaluation will focus on the Australian Government’s main investment in primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, which occurs primarily through the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP). The IAHP:
  • Funds organisations to deliver primary health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Funds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-specific initiatives to address issues such as maternal and child health, smoking, mental health, and drug use.
  • Seeks to strengthen the health system so that it works better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Department of Health wants to know whether the IAHP is delivering the desired results. More broadly, it wants to:
  • Learn how well the primary health care system is working for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Demonstrate the difference that the IAHP makes.
  • Inform efforts to accelerate improvement in health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Inform revisions to the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.
  • Support adaptive management and continuous improvement in primary health care service delivery.
  • Gain a better understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community needs and aspirations.
The evaluation is being designed by an independent team of evaluators and researchers. As well as reviewing documents and literature and mapping existing data to evaluation questions, the design process includes:
  • Co-design processes with a group of health sector and evaluation specialists and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Seeking input from a wider group of people working in primary health care across Australia.
The co-design process is happening from November 2017 to April 2018. Stakeholder and community engagement will occur from March to April 2018. The evaluation design will be finalised in May 2018. Once the evaluation design has been approved, the evaluation will be implemented over four years. Those involved in the co-design processes will continue to be part of the evaluation.
During the design phase, the evaluation team will be meeting with people in states and territories to seek views and ideas to inform the evaluation design. Those not able to meet with the evaluation team, and anyone else with an interest in the evaluation design, can submit their views and ideas through an online platform which includes a number of questions. The online platform can be found here. There will be many more opportunities for people to participate during the four-year evaluation.
The independent team of evaluators and researchers is a collaboration between:
  • Evaluation consultants Allen + Clarke (Ned Hardie-Boys, Robyn Bailey and Matt Allen).
  • Robert Monaghan, from the Bundjalung Nation and Monaghan Consulting.
  • Associate Professor Roxanne Bainbridge, a Gungarri Aboriginal woman from Central Queensland University.
  • Emma Walke, a Bundjalung Aboriginal woman, and Professor Ross Bailie and Jodie Bailie, all from the University Centre for Rural Health (University of Sydney).
  • Dr Julia Carr, a public health physician and GP from Brisbane.
The project team is working closely with a Health Sector Codesign Group.  A list of members of this group can be found here.
Ned Hardie-Boys, Telephone: 02 6188 4487, Email: [email protected]
The Department of Health can be contacted via the Strategic Investment, Data and Evaluation Section (Indigenous Health Division) inbox: [email protected]
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