The role of evaluation is a crucial part in the context of indigenous people as it requires effective skills and knowledge. The AES recognizes the demand for professional evaluators in certain to modify the engagement of indigenous people in the society (Australasian Evaluation Society, 2013). The professional evaluators require to develop trustful relationships with the indigenous society and understand the requirements of their respective policy areas. The role of evaluators involves maintaining coordination between the team, framing the methodology, examining documentary informants, examining observations, discuss the process, current issues and develop appropriate outcomes with stakeholders, and composing the reports based on collected information and data (Grey, Putt, Baxter, & Sutton, 2016). The evaluators also liable to be part of the judgment group and must give disclosure to the current problem.
The process that falls outside the professional evaluation may result in a lack of appropriate information and evidence. Those groups may also fail in applying approaches to the problem and situation. The evaluators are appointed to develop a flexible framework desired outcome which should be beneficial for the participants and concerned population while lack of evaluation skills and knowledge may drive negative results or maybe be listed as failed cases of evaluation (Morelli & Mataira, 2010).
By developing professional designation for evaluation, the policies for indigenous people can be reshaped and the evaluators can become the voice of aboriginals’ rights. Moreover, the professional designation can enable indigenous society to receive better government services by developing accountable and transparent guidelines (Scougall, 2006). However, professionalization may alter the overall ongoing system which requires high cost and can reduce the availability of resources because of low capital left for the procedure.
As an evaluator of the task, the chief priority is to collect accurate and liable information and statistics about the subject. The professionals believe that evaluation may help in enhancing the development of public domain and methodologies. For an efficient and proper evaluation needs of the project and stakeholders must be defined initially. A proper process by default requires more time and effort then predicted (Abele, 2013). Hence to overcome the problem with effective means following considerations are to be taken:
Clarifying the purpose of the plan to its participants and stakeholders.
Thus developing, processing, and propagating will be the chief ingredients of the evaluation process in the context of indigenous people.
The current situation of Australia in the context of indigenous people shows that these populations constantly facing discrimination and exclusion from societal rights. The chief consequences are low literacy rate, poverty, and higher health risk factors. Health risk factors include higher smoking rates, alcohol consumption, short life expectancy, food insecurity, unavailability of resources, etc. Records of 2014-15 disclosed that 39% of the indigenous people aged 15 years and above were daily smokers while 3 % were occasional smokers and 22% were ex-smokers. Apart from these, there are several health inequalities and inequities like low-income household rates, inaccessibility of health services, and ignorance towards health. About 13.3% of indigenous people had to experience physical violence in the household as reported in 2014-15 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016). The female victims were higher in number as compared to males. Moreover, almost every third individual in 10 had to go through homelessness during their lifetime mostly adults.
The most critical identical gap in the health and wellbeing of aboriginal is the social risk factors and social determinants impact in this context (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017). Consequences like unemployment, low literacy rate, average income, unacceptability, and others are the chief factors resulting in poorer health of the population. For example, low-income earners are not capable of affording health services and thus, not able to receive benefits of such services. Social determinants are restricting these people to access health facilities due to lack of transport services, higher costs, unavailability of services in respective regions, etc (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014).
The total Australian population is comprised of 3% of indigenous individuals approximately. There was an estimated figure of 686800 indigenous population residing in secret dwellings out of which 90% were identified as aboriginals and the rest were Torres Strait Islanders. The population continuously moving towards urbanization, around 79% of indigenous people started living in non-remote regions which were only 76% in 2008. New South Wales and Queensland are the two major cities where more than half the indigenous population lives i.e. about 31% and 29% respectively (Anderson, 2006). The only place with the majority of the population living in remote areas was Northern Territory i.e. about 79%. Below are some subjects in which the evaluation process need to be considered:
To elicit indigenous views on the defined problems, the step to be taken is to explore the history of the indigenous population and concerned matters. To improve the health status of the community, the polices need to be reshaped. An ethical study and well-planned research have to be done to minimize the impact of negative consequences on Indigenous society.
The core competency is defined as a collection of capabilities, knowledge, practices, and required resources for a profitable evaluation process. The Australian Evaluation Society has three domains of core competencies:
The AES cultural competency domain involves cultural awareness in the context of participants and stakeholders. The understanding of cultural perspectives, reforms, and principles are the key concepts that fall under cultural competency. Cultural competencies also demand the skill of promoting and examining the tradition of indigenous society (Christie & Campbell, 2014). The practice ensure gives the facility to use evaluation findings in decision making. All the essential needs required to evaluate in culturally diverse norms are covered by these competencies. Indigenous people resist coordinating with the evaluation process as are very well comfortable with their situation. There is a requirement to develop strategies for promoting and involving indigenous people in the procedure is must make them aware of the situation and its impact. Several efforts should be practiced assuring cultural importance and develop evocative outcomes for the participants and stakeholders (Blagg, 2011).
The study of indigenous societal issues elevates complex scientific and practical barriers. The problem of interaction and evaluating health ethics in the indigenous context creates critical issues in collecting appropriate information and concluding the results. The evaluators in the past have disclosed that how tough it is for them to conduct an evaluation process considering the indigenous community as the participants. The health risk factors affecting all age groups of the aboriginal community (Hunt, 2013). Inferior health is a developing issue in adults, children, and females of the indigenous community. This results in increased hospitalization and death rates among indigenous people. Hence, interaction, lack of knowledge, and unemployment are the major barrier in collecting information from the community. Another challenge is to engage indigenous people in the ongoing context to provide better services. To make indigenous people responsive and adaptive with emerging changes in the matter to concern for the evaluators (Blignault, & Williams, 2017). Moreover, these people have less interest or capabilities to be involved in government processes. Hence to develop their interest is another hard task in gathering information.
History on engagement between this population and government agencies discloses the violent conflict, compelled dispossession, and dislocation. Understanding and language also demonstrate a type of barries as it reflects the improper communication between the evaluators and the indigenous community (Stewart, & Jarvie, 2015). These barriers lead to an inappropriate and insufficient collection of information and hence the department fails to conclude proper findings of the evaluation. Moreover, the studies have also shown that despite establishing efforts to minimize the impact of such barriers, evaluators continued to work with the available information which results in false or improper findings. Cultural diversity also contributed as a form of barries to the process (Grey et al., 2018). These statistical inadequacies of desired information developed multiple challenges in converting findings into solutions.
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Anderson, K. J. (2006). After sprawl: post-suburban Sydney. In E-Proceedings of: Post-Suburban Sydney: the City in Transformation Conference.
Australasian Evaluation Society (2013) Evaluators' Professional Learning Competency Framework. AES, Melbourne.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014) 4736.0 - Information Paper: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Perspectives on Homelessness, 2014
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016) 4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2017) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework. AIHW, Canberra.https://www.pmc.gov.au/news-centre/indigenous-affairs/health-performance-framework-2017-report-now-available
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