Empowerment as a strategy for wellbeing in Indigenous settings: developing tools to systematically evaluate outcomes [ 2005 - 2006 ]

Research Grant

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Researchers: A/Pr Melissa Haswell-Elkins (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Andrew Wilson Prof Christopher Doran Prof Ernest Hunter Prof Komla Tsey
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Brief description This project will add significant strength to one of Australia's key initiatives in the promotion of health and well-being, namely the Family Well Being Program . This program was developed by a group of Aboriginal people based in Adelaide in order to specifically address the effects of colonisation on the emotional health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. It is a nationally accredited course and has been delivered in a wide variety of settings and participating groups. Previous evaluation using in-depth interviews, focus groups and course evaluation forms have revealed long lasting increases in participants' life skills and problem-solving capacity, thereby making them better able to help themselves and the young people around them to deal with emotions and life's challenges. Changes are particularly profound among individuals who have completed the full Four Stage Program (40 week course) and their families and communities. Up to now, the impact and outcome of the Family Well Being Program has not had a way of being objectively measured in the way that other health promotion programs have. This is partly due to the complexity of its aims; empowering people to take control of their lives, as opposed to trying to directly change behaviours that place them at risk of illness. It is also because the definition, pathway and results of becoming an empowered person, group and community are not completely understood and are likely to be expressed differently from one social and cultural group to another. This current project aims to gain a clearer understanding of the meaning, experience, outcomes and values people attach to empowerment; then use this information to design tools to help assess the effectiveness of programs that seek to stimulate empowerment. Activities will include further analysis of existing qualitative data, workshop discussions, piloting tools and implementing them within communities with ongoing Family Well Being programs.

Funding Amount $AUD 403,100.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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