This week, the State Government published the first detailed analysis of government service provision and outcomes for Indigenous people living in the Kimberley and the Pilbara.
The mapping of government-funded services and outcomes is a major initiative of the State Government’s regional services reform and one of 10 priority actions in the Resilient Families; Strong communities roadmap.
The University of Western Australia were engaged to undertake the research, which is the first systematic, comprehensive approach to map Indigenous expenditure and outcomes between geographical regions.
Executive Director, Regional Services Reform Unit, Paul Isaachsen said the study highlights the need for government policies and programs to take into account the significant differences in demographics, geography and economy in the regions and between regions, in order to provide services that achieve positive outcomes.
“We need a collaborative approach between government agencies, organisations and communities to develop place-based services that meet the needs of Aboriginal people living in the regions.” Mr Isaachsen said.
“These findings are already informing service assessments and planning across the new Department of Communities, of which the Reform Unit is part.”
This initial study will provide a baseline for future analyses of trends, and act as a reference point to whether outcomes have improved and/or if government spending has been effective.
Director, UWA Centre for Social Impact, Professor Paul Flatau said studies like this are essential, as progress cannot be measured without a starting point.
“The development of an Indigenous outcomes framework that can be applied at the local level is crucial. We need to know what services are needed, where they are needed, who they are reaching and most importantly what change they affect.
“The study shows that Indigenous outcomes differ significantly between areas within the Kimberley and the Pilbara, highlighting the need for local area assessment. For example there are significant differences in education, health and employment outcomes between sub-regions.
“The study highlights that health expenditure accounts for the highest share of Indigenous-specific government spending in the regions.” Professor Flatau said.
The full report and associated expenditure and outcome maps can be found at: http://regionalservicesreform.wa.gov.au/p/expenditure-and-outcomes-mapping
Researchers Professor Paul Flatua and Dr Ami Seivwright. Courtesy of The University of Western Australia.