The Community Development Programme (CDP) is an Australian Government employment and community development program serving more than 1,000 remote communities across Australia. These are typically small communities (more than three-quarters of which had a population of less than 50 people in 2011 and are often characterised by limited labour market opportunities and limited access to services.
Many CDP participants face significant barriers to employment. In March 2016, close to three in four participants were classified as having moderate to extreme barriers to employment based on the Job Seeker Classification Instrument. In part this reflects the high share of CDP participants living in very remote areas with limited labour market opportunities. Nearly 70 per cent of participants live in very remote Australia. Of those living in very remote locations, over 90 per cent identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
Commencing on 1 July 2015, the CDP was designed to improve employment outcomes in remote communities by increasing participation in work-like activities, improving employability and increasing sustainable work transitions among program participants. This report draws on administrative data to assess the effectiveness of the CDP in increasing participation in work-like activities and improving employment outcomes over its first two years of operation. To better understand the broader views and possible contributing circumstances, fieldwork was also undertaken in eight remote communities. The fieldwork was undertaken by Winangali in partnership with Ipsos.
This evaluation also comprises two associated resources: