REALISM IN INDIGENOUS SETTINGS: IMPLICATIONS FROM THE REALIST CONFERENCE


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Presenter:  Mr Michael Torres and Associate Professor Emma Williams

Date: Nov 01, 2017

Time: 11:00am to 12:30pm

Contact person:  Pawinee Yuhun
T: 08 8946 7465
E: pawinee.yuhun@cdu.edu.au

Location:  CDU Casuarina Campus, Building Yellow 1, Level 2, Room 48

Target audience:  All audiences welcome.

The Evaluation and Knowledge Impact Team at the Northern Institute would like to invite you to a presentation to be held on Wednesday 1st November 2017.

REALISM IN INDIGENOUS SETTINGS: IMPLICATIONS FROM THE REALIST CONFERENCE

Realist evaluation approaches were developed in Western social settings by British researchers– Ray Pawson and Nick Tilley. One of their key insights was that interventions work differently in different settings and for different groups. Instead of asking ‘does X intervention/program/policy work’, a more sensible question is to ask ‘For whom does X work (or not), in what contexts and how?’. A 2016 presentation (Williams and Westhorp) made a case for realists also paying attention to the research or evaluation context for each project, and the research/evaluation mechanisms and outcomes they generate. This is of special importance in evaluations conducted in Indigenous settings.

The Brisbane international realist conference, the first held outside of Europe, includes a stream of papers and workshops focusing on the use of realist approaches in Indigenous settings.  Amongst other things, the conference asked Indigenous evaluators to consider how (and how not) the realist approach aligned with Indigenous values, ways of knowing and ways of sharing information. Participants were asked whether and how this might be different in remote, relatively traditional communities compared to urbanised populations. Two participants present conference findings and recommendations for the future. There will be time for discussion.

About the presenters:

Michael Torres comes from the Jabirr Jabirr clan, whose country lies between Broome and Beagle Bay on the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. Michael has worked for over 30 years in social service, including mentoring, family/domestic violence, respectful relationships education, and men’s healing initiatives. He now heads the recently incorporated Darwin Indigenous Men’s Service, which provides a culturally safe space to strengthen spiritual, social and emotional well-being. It aims to break the cycle of family violence, improve well-being and re-position men as protectors and supporters of family and community. Michael is also an artist and author; he has twice won Northern Territory literary awards. He is interested in the potential of realist approaches, but shares others’ concerns that Aboriginal knowledge may be misunderstood by external researchers and evaluators who do not understand cultural ways of communicating, and who fail to recognise that community needs and aspirations may differ from external perceptions.

Associate Professor Emma Williams leads the Evaluation and Knowledge Impact team at Northern Institute and was Co-Chair of the 2017 International Realist Conference.  She has used realist approaches in multiple projects in Indigenous settings, in health, education and justice settings.

*No cost to attend.

RSVP by Tuesday 31st October 2017. For video link and administrative enquiries or to RSVP, please contact:

Pawinee Yuhun
Research Associate
NORTHERN INSTITUTE
P: +61 8 8946 7465



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