Culturally Informed Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Evaluations: A Scoping Review

Publication Name

International journal of environmental research and public health


Rigorous and effective evaluations inform policy and service delivery and create evidence of program impacts and outcomes for the communities they are designed to support. Genuine engagement of communities is a key feature of effective evaluation, building trust and enhancing relevancy for communities and providing meaningful outcomes and culturally relevant findings. This applies to Indigenous peoples' leadership and perspectives when undertaking evaluations on programs that involve Indigenous communities. This systematic scoping review sought to explore the characteristics of culturally informed evaluations and the extent of their application in Australia, including the use of specific evaluation tools and types of community engagement. Academic and grey literature were searched between 2003 and 2023, with 57 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Over time, there was an increase in the number of culturally informed evaluations undertaken, predominantly in the health and wellbeing sector. Around a quarter used a tool specifically developed for Indigenous evaluations. Half of the publications included Indigenous authorship; however, most studies lacked detail on how evaluations engaged with communities. This review highlights the need for further development of evaluation tools and standardised reporting to allow for shared learnings and improvement in culturally safe evaluation practices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access





Funding Number

ARC Grant #IN220100084

Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)