Evaluations of the Australian Government’s investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care through the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme

In 2017 the Department engaged independent consultants to undertake two overarching evaluations of the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) to assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of primary health care (PHC) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to inform implementation and refinement of the IAHP. These evaluations mark the first in a rolling series of comprehensive evaluations of the IAHP to accelerate progress towards Closing the Gap in health inequality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the rest of the Australian population.

Page last updated: 06 December 2018

Evaluation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PHC

Allen and Clarke Policy and Regulatory Specialists (Allen and Clarke) have been engaged to co-design and implement an independent evaluation of the Australian Government’s investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care with the Indigenous health sector.

This evaluation is taking a whole of system, person centred approach. It aims to support the health system to improve access to quality and effective primary health care services so that it is more responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. While the focus of the evaluation is the IAHP, the scope of the evaluation will necessarily include the IAHP’s relationship with other parts of the health system and draw on the perspectives of stakeholders at different levels of the system, and will also facilitate learning across these levels.

The evaluation has two phases:

A central part of the evaluation design is the establishment of up to 20 place based, system-focussed site studies to assess the impact of the IAHP on the ground as well as provide a national picture of what is being achieved through Australian Government investment. The sites will be established in consultation with stakeholders including through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Partnership Forums in each jurisdiction.

The purpose of the evaluation is to drive real change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health and wellbeing through supporting improvements in the IAHP and its interactions with the broader health system. It aims to facilitate learning and action within and between different levels of the health system – local, regional, state and national. This will be achieved by establishing regular feedback loops throughout the evaluation, including reporting back to sites and at the national level and by implementing interactive methods such as co-creation sessions and cross-cutting collaboratives that bring different stakeholders together in a shared learning space.

The co-design approach will continue through the implementation phase of the evaluation through:

  • A Health Sector Evaluation Co-design Group comprised of key stakeholders working across the health system to facilitate a robust and high quality evaluation design and implementation. Communiques from recent meetings (December 2017 and April 2018) of this group are also available. The Group meets biannually and the next meeting will be early in 2019.
  • Groups of community based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who will bring diverse perspectives and experiences from using (and not using) primary health care services including biannual Community Co-Design Group sessions from 2019-20.
  • A Technical Reference Group of independent experts.

Key information about the evaluation is available on the Allen and Clarke website at (www.IPHCeval.com).

Economic Evaluation

The Economic Evaluation consists of two phases: