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Wednesday, September 18 • 10:30am - 11:30am
Navigating Indigenous evaluation contexts: A time for critical reflection

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James Smith (Menzies School of Health Research), Kim Robertson (Charles Darwin University), Donna Stephens (Menzies School of Health Research), Kalinda Griffiths (University of New South Wales)

The need to strengthen evaluation approaches in Indigenous evaluation contexts is well documented at national and global levels. In response, many evaluators have suggested that a greater understanding and use of Indigenist and decolonising evaluation methods is required, preferably with evidence of strong Indigenous leadership and participation. This has paralleled discussions about the importance of Indigenous data sovereignty. A deeper appreciation of the principles underpinning Indigenous evaluation work has also been a focus of recent policy and strategy discussions in Australia, with a notable increase in the development of Indigenous focused evaluation frameworks as a result. In tandem, strategies to build capacity in Indigenous evaluation (of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous evaluators), have also started to surface through research commentary and evaluation practice. Within the context of the conference theme - 'unboxed' - it is about understanding the complex interplay between values, power, culture and diversity. Indeed, perhaps there is no box at all, and an intricately woven basket is a better metaphor. Nevertheless, there are relatively few forums in which people working in Indigenous evaluation contexts have the opportunity to critically reflect on their practice. This interactive session aims to provide a safe space to openly discuss the challenges and opportunities that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous evaluators face in undertaking Indigenous evaluation work. This includes an opportunity to engage in open dialogue about the anxieties, tensions and celebrations associated with Indigenous evaluation. The session will be led by three Indigenous and one non-Indigenous facilitators that have worked collaboratively on various Indigenous evaluation projects at local, state and national levels. Key points of discussion will be documented as a communique for participants. The will be provided to the Cultural Capacity and Diversity Committee of the Australasian Evaluation Society to help inform further areas for development and action in this space.

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 →

avatar for James Smith

James Smith

Father Frank Flynn Fellow and Professor of Harm Minimisation, Menzies School of Health Research
James is the Father Frank Flynn Fellow and Professor of Harm Minimisation at Menzies School of Health Research - with much of his work sitting at the health/education nexus. Previous to this role he was a 2017 Equity Fellow with the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education... Read More →
avatar for Donna Stephens

Donna Stephens

Research and Project Manager Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Diseases Division, Menzies School of Health Research
avatar for Kim Robertson

Kim Robertson

Senior Analyst, Indigenous Policies and Programs, Charles Darwin University
Kim Robertson, is Senior Analyst, Indigenous Policies and Programs with the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership at Charles Darwin University and was a member of the Steering Group for Professor Smith’s 2017 NCSEHE Equity Fellowship investigating ways of strengthening... Read More →

Wednesday September 18, 2019 10:30am - 11:30am AEST