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Table 6 Aims and outcomes of studies evaluating Indigenous community development project (n = 31)

From: A systematic review of studies evaluating Australian indigenous community development projects: the extent of community participation, their methodological quality and their outcomes

First author (year) Project aim Outcomes of study
Gauld et al. (2011) [40] Developing culturally relevant rehabilitation service for adults with acquired brain injury. Experienced increase in knowledge about and access to services for people with acquired brain injuries.
Green et al. (2009) [67] Community empowerment through arts and cultural practice Social issues addressed; Non-indigenous staff reported improved understanding Indigenous issues; community members acquiring new skills; experienced increase in supportive relationships and friendships
McMurray (2012) [49] Increase self-determination of women of the community Increased networking; improved community governance; increased livelihood opportunities.
Parker et al. (2006) [48] Introduce Indigenous games in schools to increase physical activity Process evaluation: most people were satisfied with forum, workshops and activities; project is transferred to other communities.
Murphy et al. (2004) [41] Enable indigenous people to identify positively with their culture Youth experienced acquiring wide range of skills; development of pride and connectedness to community and culture; improved self-esteem.
Hunt (2010a) [59] Encourage healing and harmony for and between (non) Aboriginal people. (Partnership Oxfam and Yorgum) Family issues were addressed; improved parenting skills; less stress; behavioural change; empowerment.
CLC (2012a) [60] Increase community understanding and control of usage of mine royalties to facilitate community development Increased community understanding and perceived and actual community control; increase perceived benefits of project and increase in projects that support the whole community.
CLC (2012b) [51] Use aboriginal royalties to support education and training initiatives Perceived improvements in school performance and increase youth employment; growing capacity and ability of committee. Observed increase in school attendance because of school excursions.
CLC (2012c) [61] Improve quality of dialysis service Service now strongly contributes to health and wellbeing of family, patients and community
CLC (2012d) [62] Develop community initiatives and plans for commercial enterprises Good relationships are built with stakeholders; increased perceived community control; creating activities for community.
CLC (2012e) [63] Establishing community development to achieve benefits from income from national parks Commitment to projects that increase community benefits; planning of projects emerged.
Taylor (2005a) [56] Build capacity of Indigenous Health Worker(IHW) to address childhood asthma and educate community about asthma. Increased skill transfer and development of IHW; increased confidence in administering own asthma medication; improved relationships doctors and IHWs
Taylor (2005b) [64] Revitalizing cultural knowledge through traditional games to improve health and build capacity. Youth experienced increased confidence. Revitalized cultural pride. Indigenous and non-Indigenous people drawn together; empowering.
Ramsay (2005a) [57] Increase awareness of nutritional need of children and improve early childhood health. Observed increased awareness nutritional needs, decrease failure to thrive kids and increase in fruits and vegetables in store. Increase confidence in buying healthy food; increase of healthier kids in community. Establishment of community garden.
Ramsay (2005b) [68] Developing and publishing literacy resources to improve literacy Publishing and increased use of picture dictionary as effective tool to teach English as a second language.
Burchill (2005) [65] Revitalizing cultural knowledge through multimedia databases and developing computer skills. Observed improvement of computer and literacy skills; increase in self-pride and pleasure; generations are drawn together.
Higgins (2005) [52] Empower Indigenous youth and strengthen links with their culture Experienced increase in job offers, improved wellbeing of youth. Reported increase in youth entering higher education; decreased expulsions.
Bromfield (2005) [55] Develop confidence, self-esteem and pride in Indigenous history, Emerging of real career pathways; observed change in children’s confidence and behaviour.
Ramsay (2005c) [66] Identify and assist emerging youth community leaders Youth getting more active in community; youth staying in school longer; observed increase in youth taking employment opportunities
Tsey (2003) [69] Improve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of individuals and families. Experienced improvements in parenting skills and confidence; improved student behaviour.
Tsey et al. (2004); [39] Restore men’s rightful place in the community Progress towards goal; increase in self-awareness and confidence; taking more responsibility in family life; no improvement in addiction problems.
Smith (2004) [53] Improving child growth and increasing community involvement. Increased understanding between community and staff of health service; increased community action; no improvements of child growth.
Lee et al. (2008) [42] Address youth substance misuse and crime and develop youth activities No changes in school attendance (2003: 55.9 %; 2005: 51.3 %), or youth apprehension (2003: 68; 2005: 75); decline in cannabis use (2001: 80 %; 2004: 74 %, p = .003), statistically significant for females (13–36 years, p = .008) and older males (>16 years, p = .007).
Tyrrell et al. (2003) [43] Improve knowledge about and management of diabetes Increase in visits to health professionals; improved adherence to diabetes management protocol; 65 % decrease in sugar purchases; increase in fruit (81 %) and vegetable (11 %) purchases; no change in biochemical control.
Guenther (2011) [58] Strengthen and empower families to help children succeed in life Non-significant increase in school attendance (48.4 to 53 %; p > .1); improvements in family environment; no improvements in parental involvement in education; children show more respect towards teachers and other children.
Salisbury (1998) [44] Improve development and delivery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Mental Health service Increase in utilization of the service (1994: 73 people; 1997: 770 people using service).
Hunt (2010b) [59] Build financial capacity in Aboriginal communities Increased knowledge, confidence and understanding of financial and money management; increase in employment and re-engagement with education.
Moran (2003/2004) [45] Establishing healthy and sustainable living environment New healthy settlement was creating; satisfaction of tenants with new buildings; dissatisfaction with level of involvement
McCalman (2005) [54] Restore men’s rightful place in the community Reduced injury and suicide rate in community; increase in self-esteem and confidence; increase in seeking help instead of going to drugs.
Jarvie (2008) [46] Improve relationship between communities and government and build community capacity. Reduction Indigenous students in lowest literacy bands (2005: 16 %; 2006: 6 %); increase in TAFE enrolments (2001: 1480; 2006: 1718); 32 % increase year 11 and 12 completions; 71 % increase of students finishing certificates and 50 % increase in diplomas; 45 % drop alcohol related hospitalisations, 13 % drop in diabetes-related hospitalisations; decrease in thefts (21.6 %) and breaks (15.8 %) from dwellings.
Shannon et al. (2001) [47] Reduce injuries in the community Significant reduction in frequency of injuries before (96; SE = 4.8) and after (65; SE = 3.08) start of the project (Student’s t = 5.07, df = 21, p < 0.001).