The CRCAH is committed to influencing positive changes in the way research is undertaken in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contexts. This project supported organisational change, research reform and development activity within the CRCAH. It reviewed current approaches to the research funding process and investigated possible alternative pathways, in particular those which supported a collaborative rather than a competitive approach to funding research. A steering group guided the project and contributed to the research findings and input was provided by three Aboriginal-controlled health organisations: Danila Dilba, AHC SA and CAAC.
Summary of outcomes
- Participants overwhelmingly endorsed a move to a more collaborative research approach to commissioning and applying research. This resulted in a new CRCAH model for research development, called the Facilitated Development Approach (FDA), which is a facilitated process where research priorities are identified in consultation with health service industry partners and affected communities.
- Incorporation of CRCAH stakeholders in the research process permitted reflection by the stakeholders on the processes used within the organisation. This helped the CRCAH to undertake organisational change.
- The results also have relevance to other similar settings where collaboration, rather than competition and increased research ‘user’ involvement, is desired.
Summary of project implementation
A literature review and in-depth interviews with 18 CRCAH stakeholders were conducted. The interviews sought stakeholders’ views on research funding processes and options for alternate approaches. A discussion document, supported by an extensive literature review, was provided to all participants prior to interview. An iterative process was used throughout the project, where the discussion document and interview schedule were revised as the findings emerged.
- Street, J., Baum, F. & Anderson, I. 2008, Making Research Relevant: Grant Assessment Processes in Indigenous Research, Discussion Paper No. 3 PDF [5.8 MB], Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health, Darwin.
- Street, J., Baum, F. & Anderson, I. 2007, 'Developing a Collaborative Research System for Aboriginal Health', Australian New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 31(4), pp. 372–8.
- Street, J, Baum, F, Anderson, I. 2009, 'Is Peer Review Useful in Assessing Research Proposals in Indigenous Health? A case study', Health Research Policy and Systems, vol. 7, no. 2.
- Street, J., Baum, F. & Anderson, I. 2006, 'Community Priorities and Indigenous Research Funding', 4th Biennial International Conference, Creating Healthy Societies through Inclusion and Equity, International Society for Equity in Health, Adelaide, 11–13 September, 2006