Ethical evaluation practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings
This document is considered a ‘working document’ that will be revised over time based on our experience with using it for the continuation of the BetterEvaluation project and informed by the experience from other initiatives or organisations working in this space.
We are keen:
- to receive your feedback at any time to help us improve this Ethical Protocol
- to hear how you have used this Ethical Protocol in your work
Purpose of the Ethical Protocol
To promote the full implementation of ethical principles when engaging in monitoring and evaluation activities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the aim to support M&E practices that respect the rights of, and function for the benefit of, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Content of the Ethical Protocol
This document lays out a set of principles organised under six key themes or domains which, together, represent a holistic approach to ethical M&E practice. Each principle is defined in terms of expected knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of those engaging in the design, implementation, reporting and/or use of M&E in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings. The document also specifies common barriers to ethical practice that were identified by evaluators and communities and will be further explored over time.
Intended users of the Ethical Protocol
The BetterEvaluation team –consisting of the BE core team and the members of the Project Working Group (current and future) – in their work on identifying and sharing examples of good evaluation practice from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings.
Any government agency, non-governmental or other type of organisation which wants a principles-based approach to applying ethics and wants to put this into practice. They can learn from this Ethical Protocol and further adapt it to their specific type of work and context.
How to use the Ethical Protocol
The BetterEvaluation team will use the principles and associated practice guidance to identify and verify examples of good evaluation practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings.
Others can use it as an example of how to put principles into practice. The Ethical Protocol can be applied across various contexts, evaluation methods and approaches.
It is intended as a companion document to:
- Australian Evaluation Society (AES). Code of Ethics. AES, 2013. Available at www.aes.asn.au The AES Policy on the Application of the Code of Ethics, as adopted by the AES Board on 12 December 2000, states that upholding the Code is a condition of AES membership. The Code does not currently cover specific statements related to ‘Indigenous groups or communities, or other cross-cultural issues and issues of cultural safety’ as was noted by AES members in a recent survey.
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). 2019 Revision of the AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies, Consultation Draft. “These guidelines apply to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research including research activities relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections. In the Australian context, research has generally been defined as ‘investigation undertaken to gain knowledge and understanding’ and casts a wide net in terms of what constitutes research. Research includes not only academic research carried out in and by universities and publicly funded research agencies, but also archival research, evaluation, quality assurance, social marketing, government policy and program design, and re-use of data for public policy and clinical trials, among others.” (p.8).
The BetterEvaluation Ethical Protocol builds on these (and other) existing Codes/Guidelines to support practical application within the context of monitoring and evaluation activities.
Gibb B, Babyack S, Stephens D, Kelleher K, Hoger D, Vale C, Peersman G (2019). Putting ethical principles into practice. A protocol for ethical evaluation practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings. Melbourne: BetterEvaluation, Working Document - Version 1, August 2019.
'Ethical evaluation practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings' is referenced in:
- Evaluation practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings :