A strong community of
First Nations evaluators

The AES is committed to strengthening and building First Nation peoples’ evaluation capacity in culturally safe evaluation theory, practice and use. We will work with our members to ensure that there is a strong community of First Nations evaluators and that evaluations are culturally safe in both process and product. We are committed to leading the evaluation community on reconciliation.

What we want to achieve

Our commitment to creating a strong community of First Nations evaluators is reflected in the increasing number of Indigenous evaluators at Board level and the influential work of the Indigenous Culture and Diversity Committee. Our Reconciliation Action Plan provides us with clear direction. We are committed to supporting emerging First Nations evaluators through the conference support grants and promoting excellence in Indigenous evaluation through the our annual awards.

As outlined in the current strategic plan, our aims are:

  • A strong community of First Nations evaluators
  • Career pathways for First Nations evaluators
  • Commissioners value culturally safe evaluation
  • Evaluations are culturally safe in both process and product
  • All evaluators are culturally competent
  • Cultural competency is an essential evaluation competency
  • Ethical practice is followed

How you can assist

Explore your options by clicking on the list.

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AES First Nations Cultural Safety Framework

The Indigenous Culture and Diversity Committee of the AES proposed and advocated for the creation of a cultural safety framework. The development was supported by a reference group, consisting of the Indigenous Culture and Diversity Committee and representatives from other AES committees.

The AES First Nations Cultural Safety Framework is intended to:

  1. Outline principles of culturally safe evaluation.
  2. Provide practical guidance on the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders in the evaluation process.
  3. Provide practical guidance on what contributes to culturally safe evaluation in all phases of the evaluation process, from design through to implementation, reporting, and translating the learnings into policy and practice.
  4. Identify the outcomes that can be achieved through full and consistent implementation of the Framework.

During 2022, the AES will conduct virtual workshops on applying the Framework. 

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NEW! Evaluation literature informing the Framework – A companion document

During the Design stage of the Framework, a background paper was written as a foundation for the co-design work between the authors and the Project Reference Group, which presented the outcomes of:

  • a review of the evaluation literature for documents related to culturally safe, culturally competent, and/or culturally appropriate approaches to evaluation practice
  • a review of the purpose, scope, structure and content of national frameworks relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across health, education, research or evaluation fields that made references to culturally safe, culturally competent, and/or culturally appropriate practices.

This companion document describes the outcomes from the review of the evaluation literature, which represents the literature available as of October 2020

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AES Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan

The AES Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (September 2018–September 2019) is a deliberate recognition of our history, acknowledging the hurt and trauma of the past, in order to heal and find a positive and constructive way forward as an inclusive organisation; one that recognises the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.

The RAP was developed by a dedicated working group which included four Aboriginal people and two First Nations people from the Pacific.

We strongly encourage you to actively engage with the initiatives and activities presented in the RAP. 

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External resource:
Lowitja Institute Tools to support Culturally Safe Evaluation

As evaluation has not always led to positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Lowitja Institute has developed a set of tools for supporting culturally safe evaluation. These help ensure that evaluations are planned and implemented in a way that is safe, respectful and valuable for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in whatever role they have in the evaluation process. 

Four tools are available for supporting cultural safety evaluation, each with guidance for use.
Tool A: Addressing cultural safety throughout evaluation
Tool B: Addressing racism within evaluation
Tool C: Community-led co-design of evaluation
Tool D: Critical reflection on evaluation

NOTE: This set of tools is published by Lowitja Institute and available for purchase on the publisher's website - see link below. This information is being provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a formal endorsement or approval by the AES. The AES bears no responsibility for the accuracy or content of the publication. Contact Lowitja Institute regarding content and/or purchase.

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AES commemorates NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week

NAIDOC22  NRW2022 Twitter Cover Image

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this nation. We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands in which we conduct our business. We pay our respects to ancestors and Elders, past and present. We are committed to honouring Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters and seas and their rich contribution to society.