Practice based best evidence: What evidence base counts when evaluating good practice in program delivery?


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Presenter:  John Guenther, Mal Galbraith, Phillip Dhamarrandji and Bonnie Moss

Date: Apr 28, 2015

Time: 11:00am to 12:00pm

Contact person:  John Guenther
T: 08 8946 7207
E: John.Guenther@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Webinar

Target audience:  Public Event

This webinar will reflect on the experiences of the Families and Schools Together (FAST) program in the Northern Territory to explore what counts as good practice more generally in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community programs.

A lot of attention has been given at policy and program implementation levels to service provision that uses ‘evidence based best practice’. There are problems with this. Firstly, there can only be one ‘best’ practice, so what room is there for other ‘good practices’? Secondly, who determines which evidence base counts? Thirdly, if practice is to be built on an evidence base, what room does that leave for experimentation or new evidence?

This webinar will explore the evaluation and program development journey for the Families and Schools Together (FAST) program in the Northern Territory, which has spanned over 10 years. First developed in the US in the 1990s, the family strengthening model used by the FAST program has a strong evidence base. It changes the way families keep kids safe and involved in learning and life.

For the program manager, an evidence base is important for several reasons: demonstrating ‘good practice’ to funders; ensuring and improving program quality; and supporting program sustainability. But what is measured as evidence of good practice may not reflect the participants' perceptions of good practice. How do program participants perceive good practice—particularly those from remote communities?

The presenters will talk about the learnings gained from program delivery, evaluation and monitoring, and the implications that follow for funders, academics, program staff and communities.

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