Friday, 2 December 2016

Two insightful Indigenous policy research papers

I don’t propose to say much about these papers, but will let them speak for themselves.

The first spans two fields in which I have virtually no expertise: health and demography. The AIHW has published the following research paper:

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016. Spatial distribution of the supply of the clinical health workforce 2014: relationship to the distribution of the Indigenous population. Cat. no. IHW 170. Canberra: AIHW. Link here

With what strikes me as both an innovative and yet conceptually simple idea, it undertakes a spatial analysis of the provision of health professionals across the nation, but then overlays an analysis of the population density of Indigenous people, thus allowing a region by region assessment of the adequacy of the health workforce in servicing the health needs of the indigenous population. The conclusions are unsurprising!

The second research paper is a compilation of an introduction plus eight short notes by a number of academics assessing different aspect of the remote employment and income support arrangements. The central focus of the paper is a critique of the current CDP program. These assessments, which include extremely revealing case studies  on how the design and delivery of CDP actually affects both the providers delivering the program, and more importantly, the communities on the ground, lead inexorably to the conclusion that the program needs a comprehensive overhaul. Usefully, the contributors provide a conclusion where they discuss what a reformed or replacement program would need to look like to be effective. In my view, this Research Paper is essential reading for anyone with an interest in remote Australia.

Jordan, K. and Fowkes, L. (eds) 2016 ‘Job Creation and Income Support in Remote Indigenous Australia: Moving Forward with a Better System’, CAEPR Topical Issue No.2/2016, CAEPR, Canberra. Link here.

The Ministers media release in response to the report on CDP is available at this link: