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Monday, September 16 • 12:00pm - 12:30pm
Yuwaya Ngarra-li: Evaluating an Aboriginal community-led partnership working towards systemic change in Walgett, NSW

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Ruth McClausland (UNSW)

In this paper, I reflect on the process and lessons of developing an evaluation framework for a unique place-based partnership between an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation and a university. The Yuwaya Ngarra-li partnership between the Dharriwaa Elders Group and UNSW grew from collaboration on qualitative research projects over many years, and was formalised after the Dharriwaa Elders invited UNSW to work with them on their vision for change in Walgett, a remote town in north-west NSW. The long-term aim of Yuwaya Ngarra-li is to improve the wellbeing, social, built and physical environment and life pathways of Aboriginal people in Walgett through capacity building, research and evidence-based initiatives. The partnership’s approach is community-led, culturally connected, strengths-focused and holistic, and the evaluation framework is informed by and underpinned by these principles. Local Indigenous knowledges and community data gathering and metrics of success have primacy in the evaluation of Yuwaya Ngarra-li. Taking a developmental evaluation approach in this early phase of the partnership has proven useful. Embedding participatory and reflective processes has enabled the team to adjust and respond as the focus and role of the partnership evolves. The evaluation is seeking to document impact and change at individual, community and systems levels. I will discuss Yuwaya Ngarra-li initiatives focused on youth justice, water and food security in Walgett to illustrate how we are evaluating the conditions, elements and processes that are enabling change.

avatar for Donna Stephens

Donna Stephens

Research and Project Manager Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Diseases Division, Menzies School of Health Research

avatar for Ruth McCausland

Ruth McCausland

Senior Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences, UNSW
Dr Ruth McCausland is Director of Research and Evaluation for the Yuwaya Ngarra-li partnership between the Dharriwaa Elders Group and UNSW, and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences, UNSW. Her research focuses on women, young people, people with disabilities and... Read More →

Monday September 16, 2019 12:00pm - 12:30pm AEST