Improving Indigenous Australian governance: the how and what of capacity strengthening

Bainbridge, Roxanne, McCalman, Janya, and Tsey, Komla (2014) Improving Indigenous Australian governance: the how and what of capacity strengthening. In: International Society for Third-Sector Research Working Paper Series (IX). From: ISTR 2014: 11th International Conference of the International Society for Third-Sector Research, 22-25 July 2014, Muenster, Germany.

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Abstract

In this paper, capacity strengthening will be pragmatically explored in response to two key questions: what enabling approaches are accessible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian (hereafter Indigenous) organisations to effectively make governance decisions; and what approaches can facilitate partnership processes between communities and governments for improving Indigenous Australian organisational governance. In particular, it will consider 1) the need to strengthen both hard capacities such as resources, technical skills, functions, structures, equipment and so forth; and soft capacities such as values, morale, engagement, motivation, incentives and staff wellbeing; and 2) one strategy that has successfully been used to facilitate partnership between Indigenous organisations and governments - reflective participatory approaches. It will draw from reflective short case study examples in which the authors have participated to demonstrate how, where and when capacity strengthening principles have been adopted. Given the paucity of well-designed evaluations, key principles and practices that appear to work to strengthen capacity will be discussed. Key amongst these are community ownership of governance improvement, collaborative development approaches that are context-dependent and long-term partnerships between government agencies and Indigenous communities built on trust and respect. Capacity-strengthening must have a clear notion of what type of capacity is being strengthened, for whom, and how the effectiveness will be measured.

Item ID: 36950
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
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Paper published in Conference Working Papers Series, Volume IX, Muenster, Germany, July 2014

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Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2015 03:46
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169902 Studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Society @ 80%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160509 Public Administration @ 20%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 20%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940102 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Development and Welfare @ 80%
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