Online Project Showcase

AWRAE — Aboriginal Women’s Research Assistant and Evaluation Training Program

  • Organisation:

    Aboriginal Biodiversity Conservation Foundation

  • ABN or Auspicing Organisation:

    19 612 097 864

  • Scope of Activity:


  • Geographic Location:

    Pilot in Carnarvon and Broome/Derby

  • Target Groups:



Funding Information

  • Total Funding Required (AUD):

    $267,100 (for year one)

  • Current Funding (AUD):


  • Funding Needed (AUD):

    $61,100 (for year one)

  • Tax Deductability Status (DGR):


  • Tax Concession Status (TCC):


  • DGR Additional Information:


  • Other Funding Partners:

    Telstra Foundation, Ian Potter Foundation, Indigenous Land and Sea Council, Olsvik Foundation, various AEGN donors, WA Department of Communities (small travel grant)

Project Information

  • Project Commencement Date:
  • 06 Jan 2019
  • Project Completion Date:
  • 06 Jun 2021
  • What issues are addressed?:
  • Currently, women in remote Australia face limited on-country employment opportunities. In tandem, nonprofits and government organisations face difficulty in gathering accurate data, recruiting remote evaluators and assessing the value of their remote programs. Indeed, in the report "Mapping the Indigenous program and funding maze", the Centre for Independent Studies examined 1082 programs and found that “less than 10% (88) of these 1082 programs had been evaluated (either during or after implementation), and of those programs that were evaluated, few used methods that actually provided evidence of the program’s effectiveness.” Thus, from both an employment and an evaluation perspective, there is high need.

    This project allows women to have employment opportunities on country AND ensures programs operating on country are well-evaluated, thereby maximising community empowerment and minimising the chance that a program with low benefit continues. This aligns with the work of the newly-formed National Indigenous Australians Agency that aims to provide statistical analysis of data, evidence and research to inform policy and programs.
  • Project Description:
  • ABC Foundation is launching a new social enterprise that pushes the boundaries of Indigenous Data Sovereignty while increasing community empowerment. Specifically, ABC will contract Clear Horizon evaluation firm to co-design a training program with Indigenous women in remote communities (beginning with Carnarvon and Derby/Broome) to teach them to be evaluators of the programs operating within their communities. The training will be culturally secure and hands-on with embedded mentoring and support (including creche support and school-hour timeframes).

    This program goes beyond a training model; once women have learnt the skills of planning, data collection and analysis, they will -- with support from Indigenous consultants at Clear Horizons and Workplace Mentors from local Employment Services Providers -- work on contract evaluations. The business model calls for three types of client engagement:
    (1) one-off evaluations (NGOs, government);
    (2) ongoing evaluations (for instance, six-monthly surveys of NGO clients) and
    (3) whole-of-community evaluations (e.g., all land management projects or family services occurring within an area).
    Over 71 women in these communities were consulted in August 2019 and training is scheduled for September 2020 (in accordance with any national and state COVID travel restrictions and regulations).
  • Alleviating suffering / disadvantage?:
  • This project allows women to have employment opportunities on country AND ensures that programs operating on country are well-evaluated, thereby minimising the chance that a poorly-run and/or inequitable program would continue.
  • Changing Policy, Practices & Systems?:
  • The AWRAE project promotes the concept of Indigenous Data Sovereignty.

    “Thank you for sending this around. It is impressive. It not only could serve as a tool to measure how services or research are impacting on marginalised groups but it is a great example of Indigenous data sovereignty which is a very powerful movement to get First Nations people to take control of their own data,: it’s collection, analysis and interpretation. When this happens effective change for good happens in communities and groups.” - Fiona Stanley

    “I see this project in particular as investing in the capacity building of our community” - Cherie Sibosado

    The Australian government is currently undertaking a review of its Indigenous Evaluation Strategy—the initial draft points to a dearth of Indigenous evaluators—so why not begin with the ladies?
  • Investing in or empowering women?:
  • The AWRAE Training project promotes the concept of Indigenous Data Sovereignty, which refers to the right of Indigenous peoples to exercise ownership and control over Indigenous Data, including the creation, collection, access, analysis, interpretation, management, dissemination and reuse. Women will be employed and assume leadership roles (e.g., co-designing evaluation plans, assisting with sourcing future clients, presenting at national conferences).
  • Media / Promotion?:
  • The project will be promoted on the webpages and in social media of all partners and major funders.
  • How is success evaluated / measured?:
  • Indicators of short-term success:
    • By June 2021: If the pilot generates enough interest to attract funding for years 3-6.
    • By June 2021: If the state and/or Commonwealth government begins to contract AWRAE services
    • By June 2021: If 24 or more women have been trained and 8 evaluations have been completed
    • By June 2022: 85% are engaged in EET 12 months post-project and at least six women go onto further
    evaluation-related career options.

    Indicators of long-term success:
    • By June 2025: If the social enterprise is self-sustaining, i.e., returns >$1 in profit.
    • By June 2025: At least 21 trained women have joined the Australasian Evaluation Society (and/or are pursuing
    a career in evaluation). This would double the current AES Indigenous membership.
    • By June 2029: The number of high-performing programs (as defined in conjunction with clients) in AWRAE
    communities increases (via improvement, consolidation or termination of poor programs) by at least 30%.

Contact Information

  • Contact Person:

    Squirrel Main

  • Email:

  • Website:

    Click Here

  • Phone: