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Review of Local Decision Making

The Local Decision Making (LDM) initiative under OCHRE, is in its tenth year of working with Aboriginal communities across NSW. With this milestone in mind, Aboriginal Affairs NSW (AANSW) took the opportunity to independently review the initiative. The Review looked at the strengths of LDM and the opportunities for improving its capacity to meet its objectives and deliver on its potential. The Review also mapped current AANSW policies against the ongoing Closing the Gap (CtG) priority Reforms and Targets. The Review will be used to inform actions taken to strengthen and improve LDM.

The Review consisted of two parts, with separate independent consultants engaged to develop the following documents:

Literature Review

This element of the Review looked at published and unpublished literature relevant to LDM to provide an outline of how LDM can inform, and evolve with, other initiatives and emerging policy settings, including CtG and the Voice. This review was undertaken as part of the process of building a body of evidence to underpin the strengthening of the LDM model, and identify opportunities for structural transformation within LDM.

The Literature Review made several recommendations, noting that the design of LDM is strongly aligned with advancing self-determination for Aboriginal communities. Evidence is increasingly pointing to self-determination as key to achieving positive outcomes for Aboriginal communities.

The report also identified focus areas for strengthening the implementation of LDM, including building capacity of both government and regional alliances to understand and apply LDM processes.

Strategic Mapping

The second part of the Review undertook a strategic mapping exercise to demonstrate the alignment of outcomes between OCHRE – especially Accords negotiated by Aboriginal Regional Alliances - and the priority reforms and targets under CtG.

The strategic mapping clearly demonstrates that LDM Accords closely align with CtG socio and economic targets and priority reforms. Joint delivery of the outcomes committed to in Accords will support the delivery of CtG in NSW. A PowerPoint presentation summarises strategic mapping work undertaken.

This Review, along with other evaluations of LDM, validates the approach the initiative has taken to government engagement with Aboriginal communities. Importantly, it makes clear that LDM complements other work being done by the NSW Government under the CtG priority reforms and socio-economic targets, continuing to transform and strengthen the relationship between the NSW Government and Aboriginal people in NSW.

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