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Capacity building in Indigenous policy-relevant health research

This project brought together some of Australia’s leading experts in Indigenous health research to build capacity to address one of the nation’s most pressing concerns. It aimed to develop a critical mass of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers who combine advanced quantitative skills with a keen understanding of the needs of policy makers. Also, to develop researchers who are able to undertake the type of research and critical analysis that is necessary to improve the evidence base for Indigenous health and social policy and, ultimately, reduce the health disadvantage faced by Indigenous Australians. 

The primary objectives of the CIPHER project were to:

  1. Increase the output of high quality, policy relevant, critical social analysis and research relating to Indigenous health.
  2. Establish the processes and methods to develop and sustain a genuine intellectual partnership between researchers and policy makers in the field of Indigenous health.
  3. Improve research transfer through strengthened linkages between researchers and policy makers, and through a better understanding of the relevant networks and how and where blockages may occur.
  4. Increase the number of Indigenous researchers who successfully complete postgraduate qualifications.
  5. Improve key data collection instruments and systems to ensure optimal utility for policy and planning.
  6. Improve understanding of a number of technical issues that impact on data analysis and interpretation.
  7. Increase the quality and quantity of research proposals in population health and health services.
  8. Substantially increase the evidence base for Indigenous health and social policy and, ultimately, increase the capacity for improving public health and health service delivery.

Capacity development operated through two distinct processes. One is at the individual level, targeted to the specific needs of each team member. The second process involved developing the capacity of the group as a whole through an Annual Learning Conference cycle.

Related resources

Project leader

Joan Cunningham, Ian Anderson, Ross Bailie, Jenny Lewis and Tony Barnes

Administering institution:

Menzies School of Health Research

Completion date:

1254319200