MG Corporation: Improving employment outcomes in remote Australia

Co-development of a program logic and evaluation plan for an Aboriginal-led employment program

MG Corporation represents the Miriuwung and Gajerrong people who have native title over 14,000 square kilometres of land in the East Kimberley region of North Western Australia. MG Corporation is party to the Ord Final Agreement (OFA) with the State of Western Australia which entitles the corporation to Tourism, Pastoral and agricultural activities. Its representative status as well as its OFA entitlements means that MG Corporation has a unique political presence and ability to negotiate within the East Kimberley region.

An MG led initiative, 100+ Jobs, seeks to trial a different way of working with job seekers, employers and government which prioritises Aboriginal ownership. By taking a tailored approach to pursuing sustained employment for 100 people who are currently long-term unemployed, the program aims to draw on existing strengths and support social norms related to employment as well as family stability.

Having made significant progress on program development over several years including obtaining input from community members and leaders, MG Corporation wanted to work with CEI to test and refine their thinking. In close partnership with MG Corporation, CEI worked with a range of key stakeholders to revise the program logic for the 100+ Jobs program and develop an evaluation plan from the outset of the program.

CEI’s work included facilitating workshops to obtain input from MG Corporation leaders and staff, the Empowered Communities backbone organisation as well as representatives of the federal and state governments. CEI used the information collected through this stakeholder engagement process to work with MG Corporation to develop a detailed program logic, agree upon the aims of the evaluation and develop a plan to implement the evaluation including providing recommendations for data collection tools.

The 100+ Jobs has now launched and CEI’s work will be used to guide the activities of frontline staff, generate lessons to inform program adaptions and understand program effectiveness. This was a unique project which drew not only on CEI’s evaluation and knowledge translation expertise, but also our ability to work effectively on projects with strong community connections and our understanding of the relevant policy-making context.