Outreach Programs Evaluation Report
Our outreach programs aim to reduce the disparity in access to health services between metropolitan and regional and remote areas of Australia. The outreach programs include:
- Medical Outreach Indigenous Chronic Disease Program
- Rural Health Outreach Fund
- Visiting Optometrists Scheme
- Eye and Ear Surgical Support Scheme
- Healthy Ears – Better Hearing, Better Listening
- Heart of Australia.
In 2022, the organisation Health Policy Analysis evaluated:
- the delivery, efficiency, and effectiveness of the outreach programs
- the coordination of activities across programs
- whether the programs achieved their intended outcomes.
The evaluation found the programs are working well. Stakeholders consistently acknowledged the programs’ essential role in increasing access to a range of health services for communities where they otherwise would not have been available.
Australian Government response to the evaluation report
The Australian Government welcomes the findings of the evaluation and acknowledges the importance of programs that reduce the difference in service access between Australians living in metropolitan and rural and remote Australia.
To learn more, see the Australian Government response to the Evaluation of Outreach Programs Report.
IAHP primary health care system evaluation
We are evaluating our investments in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care through the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP).
We expect the evaluation to speed up progress towards Closing the Gap in health inequality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
Indigenous primary health care systems evaluation
We engaged Allen + Clarke Policy and regulatory specialists to:
- assess how appropriate and effective primary health care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are
- inform us as we refine primary health care under the IAHP.
The evaluation aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by:
- helping the health system respond better to their needs
- improving the IAHP and how it works with the broader health system
- helping different levels of the health system (local, regional, state and national) learn from each other and work together
- getting stakeholders and evaluators together , so they can co-create the evaluation process and actively participate in the evaluation itself.
Allen + Clarke has been working with the Indigenous health sector to co-design the evaluation.
An initial co-design phase was completed in mid-2018 with a monitoring and evaluation design report.
The implementation phase runs until 2022-23. Collaboration with the Indigenous health sector continues throughout implementation through:
- a Health Sector Co-design Group made up of key stakeholders, which meets twice a year
- site partners for the evaluation, which includes Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and Primary Health Networks (PHN)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Partnership Forums.
A central part of the evaluation design has been establishing sites partners which will:
- allow Allen + Clarke to assess the impact of the IAHP on the ground
- provide a national picture of what Australian Government investment is achieving.
Spanning urban, regional and rural Australia, up to 17 sites will participate in the evaluation. Sites were chosen in consultation with stakeholders. Stakeholders include the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Partnership Forums in each state and territory.
A site is an area within a boundary recommended by the forums in each state and territory. Sites include local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs), PHNs, communities and all relevant stakeholders.
Tackling Indigenous Smoking evaluation
Our Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) program aims to reduce tobacco use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Monitoring and evaluation for the TIS program involves:
- local evaluation of activities and project outcomes – done by participating organisations
- national evaluation of all the components of the TIS program – done by organisations that we commission.
The national evaluation report for 2015 to 2018 is available.
The Australian National University is conducting an impact and outcomes assessment. The assessment will identify what impact locally-tailored population health activities have on smoking rates and related indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
This quantitative evaluation includes the analysis and reporting of relevant data from:
- the Mayi Kuwayu study: national study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing
- the Australian Bureau of Statistics
- the National Perinatal Data Collection
- continuous quality improvement measures from ACCHSs
- other datasets that include the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
See more on TIS monitoring and evaluation.