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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Indigenous Evaluation Committee Terms of Reference

Indigenous AffairsEvaluations and EvidenceIndigenous Evaluation Committee
Monday, 25 October 2021
Publication author(s):
National Indigenous Australians Agency
Publication abstract:

The Terms of Reference define the role, responsibilities and tasks of the Indigenous Evaluation Committee.

Role of the Indigenous Evaluation Committee

The Indigenous Evaluation Committee (the Committee) will support transparency, accountability and learning with regard to evaluation and program performance reporting in NIAA. Its objectives will be to strengthen the quality, credibility and influence of evaluations relating to policies and programs led by the NIAA through the provision of independent strategic and technical advice. The Committee will also provide advice on the quality and robustness of NIAA’s program performance reporting activities.

Responsibilities and tasks

The Committee will have the following responsibilities:

  • oversee the implementation of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy Evaluation Framework;
  • provide advice to the NIAA in preparing its forward program of evaluation activities and endorse the Annual Evaluation Work Plan;
  • provide technical advice and guidance for the NIAA’s evaluations to ensure they are high quality, ethical, inclusive and focused on improving outcomes for Indigenous Australians;
  • provide technical advice to the NIAA on its program performance reporting activities
  • foster leadership and assist in bringing the diverse perspectives of Indigenous Australians into evaluation processes; and
  • participate in relevant meetings and events to help promote the IAS Evaluation Framework and continual improvements in evaluation and its use.

NIAA will provide Secretariat services for the Committee, including coordinating and drafting papers for the Committee and preparing minutes of Committee meetings.


The Committee will be comprised of at least three and no more than five external members (including the Chair) and a NIAA Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Members may be based domestically or internationally.

The Indigenous Productivity Commissioner may attend meetings at the invitation of the Chair.

The Committee may invite NIAA Group Heads and representatives from other relevant government and non-government organisations to attend meetings where an agenda item is relevant to their area of responsibility. They may attend in the capacity of observer or active participant at the discretion of the Chair.

The Committee will meet three times a year in Canberra and/or through telephone/video conference as required by the Chair. It may also consider documents out-of-session at the request of the Chair.

The external members will be appointed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NIAA for a 3 year term. Members may be reappointed for an additional term. Members cannot serve more than two terms.

Accountability mechanisms

The Committee reports through the Chair to the CEO of NIAA. Committee members will assist the Chair to carry out the responsibilities and tasks listed and will be available to meet as scheduled.

Conflicts of interest

All Committee members must declare any actual, possible or perceived conflicts of interest in writing. NIAA will provide Committee members with a Conflict of Interest declaration to complete and return prior to their first meeting. All Committee members must declare their outside interests (actual or perceived) at the commencement of each meeting and as they arise out of session. Members must absent themselves from any discussions and judgments that involve activities of any individual, external consulting firm, or other organisation in which they have a financial or personal interest. All Committee members must have a sound understanding of the Australian Public Service (APS) values, set out in section 10 of the Public Service Act 1999.

Background and context

On 1 July 2019, the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) was established. In February 2018, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet released an Evaluation Framework to guide evaluation of programs and activities under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS). The Evaluation Framework aims to:

  • generate high quality evidence that is used to inform decision making;
  • strengthen Indigenous leadership in evaluation;
  • build capability by fostering a collaborative culture of evaluative thinking and continuous learning;
  • emphasise collaboration and ethical ways of doing high quality evaluation at the forefront of evaluation practice in order to inform decision making; and
  • promote dialogue and deliberation to further develop the maturity of evaluation over time.

The Evaluation Framework is principles-based and is intended to generate and use evidence of how activities funded under the IAS translate to improved outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

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