BY Amy Lawton, along with Olivia Hamilton (formerly WESTIR Limited) and Cheryl Jackson

The evaluations of the Aboriginal Family Planning Circle (AFPC) program have been featured in the March 2020 edition of the Evaluation Journal of Australasia (EJA). WESTIR Limited undertook evaluations of the AFPC program in 2015 and 2017, and the journal article is a follow-up to the presentation given at the Australian Evaluation Society (AES) International Evaluation Conference in 2019.

The journal article, entitled ‘Aboriginal Family Planning Circle evaluations: Empowering Aboriginal communities in evaluating and future-proofing Aboriginal-led community programmes’, is authored by WESTIR Limited researcher Amy Lawton, along with Olivia Hamilton (formerly WESTIR Limited) and Cheryl Jackson (formerly Marrin Weejali Aboriginal Corporation).

The article provides detail on two evaluations undertaken on the AFPC program. The first evaluation was undertaken to provide an assessment of how effective the AFPC program had been for participants and to identify program aspects that could be improved or developed. The second evaluation was undertaken to examine whether the AFPC program had continued to meet its objectives and address some knowledge gaps, particularly the estimated savings and return on investment that the program created for the out-of-home care system in NSW. Along with the methods, findings and recommendations of the two evaluations, the article outlines a number of key lessons learned from undertaking culturally responsible evaluations. This includes the importance of adequately resourcing Aboriginal program evaluations in the community service sector.

WESTIR Limited would like to thank the co-authors, peer reviewers, staff at Marrin Weejali Aboriginal Corporation and the EJA editorial team for their support in bringing this journal article together.

Access to the journal article is restricted but a direct link to the abstract can be found here.

For more information about the full journal article, please contact Amy Lawton, Social Research and Information Officer at WESTIR Limited directly on (02) 9635 7764 or amy@westir.org.au

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