HCA and Murawin Consulting Commence Evaluation of the NSW Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service Program

The HCA team is delighted to announce that, in conjunction with our new partner, Murawin Consulting (led by Carol Vale), we have recently commenced a two year evaluation process to investigate the reach, impact and cost of the NSW Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Services (AMIHS) Program since it was established 15 years ago. The evaluation will focus on the program’s impact on Aboriginal babies and their mothers and seek to identify the critical success factors in the various models that have been implemented over time across the state. More information on the AMIHS program can be found here.

As would be expected with a two year evaluation project timeframe, it is very comprehensive consisting of both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis and use of both secondary and primary data sources. The evaluation effort will cover AMIHS Program implementation and outcomes. Much of the evaluation method is standard, but some use of some quite interesting and novel methods such as social network analysis and the Field Implementation Rating Scale are included in the evaluation effort.

On the quantitative data analysis side we will be conducting extensive analysis of relevant existing data sources (epidemiological and service-level data such as the Perinatal Data Collection and the Aboriginal Maternity Data Collection) as well as collecting and analyzing quantified data on the Program implementation.

Utilizing Murawin’s great capacity for consultation with Aboriginal communities, qualitative data will be collected from service providers, consumers of the AMIHS services, and other stakeholders (such as Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services). The qualitative data will add texture and insight to the findings from the quantitative data.

As comprehensive a picture as possible of the costs associated with the program will be collated and analysed and, within the limits of the data available to the project, value for money judgements made within the context of alternative options of the broader health system.

We are currently in the process of bedding down our plan for the implementation of the evaluation and preparing to conduct a workshop in August 2016 with key stakeholders to introduce the project and seek feedback on our proposed consultation tools. Over the next 6 months, as ethics approval is sought and obtained and the Evaluation Framework is completed and able to be published, a number of documents will be made available.

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