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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.


Weaving knowledges

Knowledge exchange, co-design and community-based participatory research and evaluation in Aboriginal communities
Aboriginal customs Cultural awareness Indigenous knowledge Community development Australia
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Weaving knowledges (report) 1.08 MB

As with co-design, CBPR, community participatory research (CPR) or participatory action research (PAR) are broadly defined as processes which involve the community (as end-users, intended beneficiaries, or stakeholders) in the planning, design and management of research and evaluation projects.

Kendall, Sunderland, Barnett, Nalder, and Matthews (2011) have argued that research has to be recalibrated to reflect the needs of First Nations people, including respect for Aboriginal ways of knowing.

Key findings:

  • In the context of research and evaluation, the term co-design has come to mean the active engagement of research participants, end-users of services, and beneficiaries of intended programs in designing, implementing and evaluating services and products
  • s. In the case of evaluation and research in Aboriginal contexts, co-design requires the close and ongoing involvement of communities in designing and carrying out evaluation and research work that is both meaningful and engenders respect, empowerment and ownership.
  • First Nations affairs policy is complex, due to a multitude of factors including history, colonisation, ideology, politics, race relations, geography, and socio-economic marginalisation. It is therefore reasonable to suggest that Western science and academic research are unlikely, by themselves, to provide a holistic picture or a complete understanding of this inherent complexity or of the pathways necessary to turn Aboriginal marginalisation around.
  • Too often, evaluation is thought about and done only after a project has been implemented. That approach is flawed. Evaluation should be an ongoing and dynamic part of the project itself.
  • At the heart of effective co-design are ongoing joint reflection and reciprocal learning.
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