Principles and Protocols for the BetterEvaluation team

A brightly coloured dot painting with a large spiral in the centre

Ten foundational principles and protocols will guide BetterEvaluation core team and members of the project working team (present and future) in their engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The team will adhere to:

Principle 1 – Respect

We recognise and respect the custodianship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over their land and water and the right to protect, maintain, control and benefit from their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Intellectual Property (ICIP).

ICIP examples include stories about sites or country, cultural, ceremonial, ecological or botanical knowledge, or language.

Protocol:

  1. □ BetterEvaluation acknowledges that all rights relating to any ICIP incorporated in material or otherwise held on the website remain with the Traditional Owners or custodians of that ICIP.
  2. □ BetterEvaluation will ensure the respectful treatment of ICIP at all times in accordance with the reasonable instructions of the Indigenous peoples involved.

Principle 2 – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Control

We recognise and respect the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to self-determination and to be encouraged and empowered in decision-making processes.

Protocol:

  1. □ BetterEvaluation has a Steering Committee that includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and/or organisations  and that makes strategic decisions in relation to the materials shared by BetterEvaluation, ICIP material, and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  2. □ BetterEvaluation relies on this Steering Committee as the appropriate authority body representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander evaluators and contributors.

Principle 3 – Communication, Consultation and Consent

We are committed to obtaining the voluntary prior informed consent for the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s ICIP in our resources. This involves time, ongoing negotiation, consultation and informing custodians about the implications of giving consent.

Protocol:

  1. □ BetterEvaluation will seek permission of relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders for the use of resources that contain ICIP.
  2. □ BetterEvaluation will provide information in an easy to understand format to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contributors a full understanding of all the benefits and risks of sharing resources on the BetterEvaluation website.
  3. □ BetterEvaluation will allow sufficient time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to make a decision about the use of resources and/or ICIP.

Principle 4 – Interpretation

We support the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be involved in the interpretation of their culture as the primary guardians and interpreters of their cultural heritage.

Protocol:

  1. □ BetterEvaluation will ensure the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander providers of ICIP can access, control and manage their ICIP to ensure currency, correct terminology and that the resource does not affect the culture of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander group or expose confidential, personal or sensitive material.

Principle 5 – Integrity and Authenticity

We recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the right to maintain the integrity of their ICIP.

Protocol:

  1. □ BetterEvaluation will give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contributors the opportunity to identify whether any ICIP in existing materials supplied by them is not suitable for sharing on the BetterEvaluation website.
  2. □ BetterEvaluation will place ICIP notices on the website to inform users of the rights of Traditional Owners and custodians, when accessing material through the BetterEvaluation website.
  3. □ The BetterEvaluation Steering Committee for this project will provide regular and ongoing guidance in the governance of ICIP on the website.

Principle 6 – Secrecy and Confidentiality

We acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the right to keep secret their sacred and ritual knowledge in accordance with their customary laws. Privacy and confidentiality concerning aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s personal and cultural affairs should be respected.

Protocol:

  1. □ BetterEvaluation will consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to ensure existing resources do not contain secret, confidential or sensitive material.
  2. □ BetterEvaluation will give the privacy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people high importance at all times.

Principle 7 – Attribution

We recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities have the right to be acknowledged and attributed for their contributions of ICIP material and other intellectual creations to BetterEvaluation, where relevant.

Protocol:

  1. □ BetterEvaluation will acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, communities and organisations for their participation and assistance in relation to BetterEvaluation, where relevant.
  2. □ The BetterEvaluation Contributor Agreement gives contributors the opportunity to provide details of traditional owners or custodians of ICIP incorporated into existing resources.

Principle 8 – Benefit Sharing

We recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities have the right to an equitable share of the benefits1 derived from or based upon use of their ICIP and their contributions to BetterEvaluation.

Protocol:

  1. □ BetterEvaluation aims to ensure benefits that come as a result of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples sharing their ICIP will flow back to the community.
  2. □ BetterEvaluation will consider how it can share benefits with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contributors and discuss details of benefit sharing upfront.

Principle 9 – Maintaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures

We acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are not static, and that measures need to be taken so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can protect, maintain, and revitalise  their cultures.

Protocol:

  1. □ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contributors will control and manage the curation, access and use of ICIP held on the BetterEvaluation website, in accordance with the laws, customs and protocols of their members.
  2. □ The BetterEvaluation Steering Committee for this project and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders will allow current and future generations to advise on ICIP held by BetterEvaluation.

Principle 10 – Recognition of Ongoing Rights

Australian policy and law should be used to recognise and protect ICIP on the BetterEvaluation website, including through the use of contracts, protocols, and policies for better recognition.

Protocol:

  1. □ BetterEvaluation will ensure that it complies with the cultural protocols of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contributors and this Policy in relation to the curation, access, and use of ICIP held by BetterEvaluation.
  2. □ BetterEvaluation will incorporate cultural notices identifying limitations on use of ICIP on the BetterEvaluation website, in accordance with the conditions identified by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contributors and stakeholders.
A brightly coloured dot painting with a large spiral in the centre

Artwork by Maria Stephens, an Arrabi/Binning woman who speaks the Iwaidja language.

'Principles and Protocols for the BetterEvaluation team' is referenced in:

  • Framework/Guide

    • Evaluation practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings :