While you’re here… help us stay here.

Are you enjoying open access to policy and research published by a broad range of organisations? Please donate today so that we can continue to provide this service.

Sensitivity Warning

First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


The many pathways of the Community Development Programme

Summary report of community voices and stakeholder perspectives from eight communities
Unemployment Social security First Peoples Work for the dole Australia

The Winangali/Ipsos consortium was commissioned by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC) to conduct case studies in eight communities to inform the evaluation of the Community Development Programme (CDP).

The CDP is a remote employment and community development service delivered by service providers. The CDP has two parts: helping people find work and allowing people to contribute to their communities to gain skills while looking for work. The CDP started on 1 July 2015. 

The CDP is a complex policy using different levers and supports designed to meet short- and long-term objectives. The short-term objective is to have all working age (18–49 years) job seekers in employment or participating in activities that get them job ready and make their communities better places to live. To achieve this, job seekers are engaged in a routine of Work for the Dole (WfD) activities for 25 hours per week for 44 weeks per year or up to an individual’s assessed full capacity to work. The long-term objective is to have sustainable transitions to work with more job seekers placed in stable employment. To improve local employment opportunities, employers are supported through, for example, the Employer Incentive and Indigenous Enterprise Development programmes.

This study aims to increase understanding the effectiveness of the CDP, with a focus on job seeker participation, engagement and job readiness; the quality of activities; short-term outcomes; and what needs to change to achieve long-term outcomes. The study draws on the views of community members, job seekers, stakeholders and service providers to consider three key questions:

  • Does the programme work as expected?
  • In what circumstances is change occurring and why?
  • What is influencing success and how can implementation be improved?

The following resources accompany this report:


Publication Details


License type:
Access Rights Type: