Too much ‘Dreaming’: Evaluations of the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Intervention 2007–2012

Publications

Share / Export Citation / Email / Print / Text size:

Evidence Base

Australia and New Zealand School of Government

Subject: Management

GET ALERTS

eISSN: 1838-9422

DESCRIPTION

157
Reader(s)
170
Visit(s)
0
Comment(s)
0
Share(s)

SEARCH WITHIN CONTENT

FIND ARTICLE

Volume / Issue / page

Related articles

VOLUME 2012 , ISSUE 3 (December 2012) > List of articles

  • |

Too much ‘Dreaming’: Evaluations of the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Intervention 2007–2012

Jon Altman / Susie Russell / Jon Altman / Susie Russell

Citation Information : Evidence Base. VOLUME 2012 , ISSUE 3 , ISSN (Online) 1838-9422, DOI: 10.21307/eb-2012-003, December 2012 © 2012.© The Australia and New Zealand School of Government

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Published Online: 26-December-2016

ARTICLE

ABSTRACT

The Northern Territory National Emergency Response Intervention (the Intervention) of 2007 was a  bold experiment by the Howard Government. The Intervention was developed quickly without  comprehensive policy development based on evidence or consultation. During its five-year statutory  life (ending August 2012), the absence of coherent policy logic has seen the Intervention fundamentally  reframed by the Rudd and Gillard Governments. The unprecedented and controversial nature of the  Intervention has seen extraordinary levels of monitoring, review and evaluation, but the absence of an  overarching evaluation strategy has resulted in a fragmented and confused approach. In this article, we  do not seek to critique the Intervention itself or to assess whether these multiple monitoring and  evaluation exercises have been successes or failures. Indeed, our review illustrates that in highly  contested policy areas, notions of success, failure and the evaluations themselves become politically  charged. Instead we make a series of critical observations regarding this contradictory messiness of  evaluations, using political science and anthropological frameworks to draw wider conclusions about  the nature and logic of evaluation fetishism. We conclude that evaluations of the Intervention have not  led to greater transparency, accountability and monitoring of outcomes and outputs. The Intervention  evaluations instead are consistent with the view that they are both obfuscating mechanisms and  techniques of governance designed to allay public concern and normalise the governance of  marginalised Indigenous Australian spaces.

Content not available PDF Share

FIGURES & TABLES

REFERENCES

  1. Al-Yaman, F and Higgins, D 2011. What Works to Overcome Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Learnings and Gaps in the Evidence, Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare/Australian Institute of Family Studies, Canberra.
  2. Altman, J 2008. The new ‘quiet revolution’ in Indigenous Affairs, Crikey, 1 December viewed 26 October 2012.
  3. Altman, J 2009a. Beyond Closing the Gap: Valuing diversity in Indigenous Australia,   CAEPR   Working   Paper   54/2009     viewed 26 October 2012.
  4. Altman, J 2009b. After the NT intervention: violence up, malnutrition up, truancy up, Crikey, 9 November, viewed 26 October 2012.
  5. Altman, J 2012a. Stronger Futures juggernaut hits some potholes, Crikey, 1 April viewed 26 October 2012.
  6. Altman, J 2012b. NT intervention: what happened to outcomes? Crikey, 12 July 2012, viewed 26 October 2012.
  7. Altman, J and Hinkson, M (eds) 2007. Coercive Reconciliation: Stabilise, Normalise, Exit Aboriginal Australia, Arena Publications, Melbourne.
  8. Altman, J and Hinkson, M (eds) 2010a. Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia, UNSW Press, Sydney.
  9. Altman, J and Hinkson, M 2010b. Very risky business: The quest to normalize remote Aboriginal Australia. In Marston, G, Moss, J and Quiggin, J (eds) Risk, Responsibility and the Welfare State, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.
  10. Anderson, I and Sibthorpe, B 1996. The NATSIS and policy and planning in Aboriginal health. In Altman, J and Taylor, J (eds) The 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey: Findings and Future Prospects, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Canberra.
  11. ARTD Consultants and WestwoodSpice 2010. Development of Program Logic Options for the NTER, Final Report, June 2010, for Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs, Balmain, NSW.
  12. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2010. Evaluation of Income Management in the Northern Territory, Occasional Paper no. 34, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and  Indigenous Affairs, Canberra,
  13. Australian Government 2011a. Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Discussion Paper, viewed 26 October 2012.
  14. Australian Government 2011b. Northern Territory    Emergency Response Evaluation Report 2011 viewed 26 October 2012.
  15. Australian National Audit Office 2011a. Indigenous Employment in Government Service Delivery, Audit Report no. 4 2011–12, ANAO, Canberra.
  16. Australian National Audit Office 2011b. Implementation of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing in the Northern Territory, Audit Report no. 12 2011–12, ANAO, Canberra.
  17. Australian National Audit Office 2012. Australian Government Coordination Arrangements for Indigenous Programs, Audit Report no. 8 2012–13, ANAO, Canberra.
  18. Biddle, N 2012. Indigenous Language Usage, Paper 1 CAEPR Indigenous Population Project 2011 Census Papers, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Canberra.
  19. Bray, JR, Gray, M, Hand, K, Bradbury, B, Eastman, C and Katz, I 2012. Evaluating New Income Management in the Northern Territory: First Evaluation Report, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW, Sydney.
  20. Brimblecombe, JK, McDonnell, J, Barnes, A, Dhurrkay, JG, Thomas, DP and Bailie, RS 2010. Impact of income management on store sales in the Northern Territory, The Medical Journal of Australia, 192(10): 549–554.
  21. Buckmaster, L, Ey, C and Klapdor, M 2012. Income Management: an Overview, Background Note, Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliament of Australia, Canberra.
  22. Commonwealth Ombudsman 2012a. Review of Centrelink Income Management Decisions in the Northern Territory, Canberra.
  23. Commonwealth Ombudsman 2012b. Remote Housing Reforms in the Northern Territory, Canberra.
  24. Cox,  E  2011.  Evidence-free  policy  making?  The  case  of  income management, Journal of Indigenous Policy, 12: 1–98.
  25. Cox, E 2012. What’s data got to do with it? Reassessing the NT intervention, The Conversation, 25 January, viewed 26 October 2012.
  26. Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre Australia (CIRCA) 2009. Report on the NTER Redesign Engagement Strategy and Implementation, available at accessed 26 October 2012.
  27. Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre Australia (CIRCA) 2011. Report on Stronger    Futures    Consultations    2011 available at accessed 26 October 2012.
  28. Evans, C 2006. The end of ideology in Indigenous affairs, Speech by the Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Shadow Minster for Family and Community Services to John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, 10 March.
  29. Funnell, SC and Rogers, PJ 2011. Purposeful Program Theory, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
  30. Hamilton, C and Maddison, S (eds) 2007. Silencing Dissent: How the Australian Government is Controlling Public Opinion and Stifling Debate, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.
  31. Hinkson, M 2007. In the name of  the  child.  In  Altman,  J  and  Hinkson,  M  (eds) Coercive Reconciliation: Stabilise, Normalise, Exit Aboriginal Australia, Arena Publications, Melbourne.
  32. HM  Treasury  2011.  The  Magenta  Book:  Guidance  for  Evaluation  available at     accessed 26 October 2012.
  33. Hunter, B 2007. Conspicuous Compassion and Wicked Problems: The Howard Government’s National Emergency in Indigenous Affairs, Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, 14 (3): 35–51.
  34. Hyatt, S 2011. What was neoliberalism and what comes next? The Transformation of Citizenship in the Law-and-Order State. In Shore, C, Wright, S and Pero, D (eds), Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power, EASA  Series, Berghahn, Oxford, 205–223.
  35. Langton, M 2012. It’s a knockout, The Monthly, October: 8–10.
  36. Lattas A and Morris, B 2010. The politics of suffering and the politics of anthropology. In Altman, J and Hinkson, M (eds) Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia, UNSW Press, Sydney.
  37. Lovell, M 2012. A Settler colonial Consensus on the Northern Territory Intervention, Arena Journal, Stolen Lands, Broken Cultures: The Settler Colonial Present, 37/38: 199–219.
  38. Macklin, J 2012a. Delivering More Jobs and Job Opportunities for Aboriginal People in the Northern Territory, media release, Federal Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs viewed 26 October 2012.
  39. Macklin, J. 2012b. Income Management in the Northern Territory, media release, Federal   Minister   for   Families,   Community   Services   and   Indigenous    Affairs viewed 30 November 2012.
  40. Macoun, A 2012. Aboriginality and the Northern Territory Intervention, PhD thesis, School of Political Sciences and International Relations, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
  41. Maddison, S and Denniss, R 2009. An Introduction to Australian Public Policy: Theory and Practice, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  42. Marsh, D and McConnell, A 2010a. Towards a Framework for establishing Policy Success, Public Administration, 88(2): 564-583.
  43. Marsh, D and McConnell, A 2010b. Towards a Framework For Establishing Policy Success: A Reply to Bovens, Public Administration, 88 (2): 586-587.
  44. McDavid, J 2009. The Lay of the Land: An Academic Point of View, Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 24(1): 5–9.
  45. Morris, B and Lattas, A 2010. Embedded anthropology and the intervention: Cultural determinism and neo-liberal forms of racial governance, Arena Magazine, 107: 15–20.
  46. Mulgan, R 2006. Truth in Government and the politicization of public service advice, Policy and Governance Discussion Paper 06/2, Asia Pacific School of Economics   and   Government, The Australian National University, Canberra accessed 26 October 2012.
  47. Northern Territory Coordinator General for Remote Services (Havnen, O) 2012. Report: June 2011–August 2012 accessed 26 October 2012.
  48. Northern Territory Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse (Anderson and Wild, Chairs) 2007. Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle, ‘Little Children are Sacred’, Northern Territory Government, Darwin.
  49. Northern Territory Emergency Response Review Board 2008. Report of the NTER Review Board, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Canberra.
  50. O’Brien Rich Research Group 2011. Stronger Futures Quantitative Analysis  Report accessed 26 October 2012.
  51. Hansard, Supplementary Budget Estimates 2011–2012, Cross Portfolio Indigenous Matters, 22–23.
  52. Power, M 1999. The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  53. Roughley, A 2009. Developing and Using Program Logic in Natural Resource Management: User Guide, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra, ACT; Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra, ACT.
  54. Rudd, K 2008. Prime Minister: Address to Heads of Agencies and Members of Senior Executive Service, 30 April.
  55. Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (SCRGSP) 2011, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2011, Productivity Commission, Canberra.
  56. Shore, C 2011a. Espionage, Policy and the Art of Government: The British Secret Services and the War on Iraq. In Shore, C, Wright, S and Pero, D (eds), Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power, EASA Series, Berghahn, Oxford.
  57. Shore, C 2011b. Introduction Section II Studying Governance: Policy as a Window onto the Modern State. In Shore, C, Wright, S and Pero, D (eds), Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power, EASA Series, Berghahn, Oxford.
  58. Shore, C, Wright, S and Pero, D (eds) 2011. Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power, EASA Series, Berghahn, Oxford.
  59. Shore, C and Wright, S 2011. Conceptualising Policy: Technologies of governance and the politics of visibility. In Shore, C, Wright, S and Pero, D (eds), Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power, EASA Series, Berghahn, Oxford.
  60. Slotte, I 2012. Submission no. 252 to Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill  and  two  related  Bills,    viewed 26 October 2012.
  61. Sullivan, P 2011. Belonging Together: Dealing    with the Politics of Disenchantment in Australian Aboriginal Affairs, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.
  62. Toohey, P 2008. Rewrite Takes Sting out of NT Report, The Australian, October 15,  .
  63. Waterford, J 2011. When medicine doesn’t work double the dose? Canberra  Times, 13 November, on 30 September 2012.

EXTRA FILES

COMMENTS

  • |