Evaluation of the Child Health Check Initiative and the Expanding Health Service Delivery Initiative - Final Report

3 Background and context

Evaluation of the Child Health Check Initiative and the Expanding Health Service Delivery Initiative - Final Report

Page last updated: 17 April 2012

The NTER emerged from a long-standing set of concerns about the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people, generating a level of awareness that demanded action. An understanding of these influences and the impact that they had on the development of the CHCI and EHSDI programs provides important contextual information for this evaluation.

This section examines the social and political actions and events leading up to the NTER, including an exploration of the sense of urgency that accompanied the announcement of the NTER measures. It considers the following dimensions that are important aspects of the policy development process (Kingdon 1984):

  • the understanding of the problem
  • the availability of particular policy solutions
  • the political ‘window’ or opportunity that enables a solution to be put into operation to address the problem.
The design of the CHCI did not follow normal policy protocols and was not based on any current and specific policy documents. The absence of coherent policy documentation makes it difficult to pinpoint the original policy thinking and rationale for the CHCI. We interviewed participants in the NTER and CHCI development process to identify some of the policy drivers for the intervention and worked with published accounts of the intervention development and media statements that provided insight into the views of the key players and decision makers during the development phase of the NTER. There was consistency across the findings, giving us confidence that the policy indicators we used for the evaluation (in the absence of an agreed policy position) were appropriate and relevant.

During our interviews with a number of key informants we were given information about the decision making processes of government in the events leading up to the NTER. The disclosure of internal government processes, if published, may potentially violate public servants’ code of conduct. We have been unable in some cases to directly report on the information we were provided.

A timeline in Appendix D includes many of the events leading up to the implementation of the NTER, as well as significant dates for the CHCI and the EHSDI since the announcement of the NTER.

3.1 The NTER—the CHCI and EHSDI story, assumptions and theory
3.2 Policy implementation

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