Funding Reform

Funder Reform - Literature Review - Main Points

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Funding Reform by Mind Map: Funding Reform

1. Governments could operate a combination of untied base funding – that funds the core mandate of the organisation – and tied grants to fund additional outcomes desired by governments, similar to the funding arrangements developed for ACCHOs.

2. Theme 1 - Self Determination

2.1. Newcastle (NSW) case study of actually existing community enablement, which had positive civil society effects in relation to urban Aboriginal peoples and their rights to self-determination and community development

2.2. Note Local Decision Making (LDM) model developed by the NSW Government in the OCHRE Plan and how it looks on the ground in the context of governance from below, Aboriginal agency, self-determination and empowerment.

3. Theme 2 - Funding Decisions

3.1. o Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led data: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to, and the capability to use, locally relevant data and information to set and monitor the implementation of efforts to close the gap, their priorities and drive their own development.

3.2. o Shared decision-making: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are empowered to share decision-making authority with governments to accelerate policy and place-based progress on Closing the Gap through formal partnership arrangements.

3.3. Katherine West's success rests upon three pillars: pooling of federal and state funding; community control with the service run by a board of elected Aboriginal representatives; and systematic patient management including computerised care guidelines and patient recall.

3.4. o Aboriginal organisations are reluctant to seek funding from other sources due the reporting overheads.

4. Theme 3 - Cultural Safety

4.1. o Improving mainstream institutions: Governments, their organisations and their institutions are accountable for Closing the Gap and are culturally safe and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including through the services they fund.

4.2. o The Australian Government’s objective in introducing the Indigenous Affairs Arrangements (IAAs) is that over a 20–30 year timeframe: Indigenous Australians, wherever they live, have the same opportunities as other Australians to make informed choices about their lives, to realise their full potential in whatever they choose to do and to take responsibility for managing their own affairs.

4.3.  addressing the impact of systemic racism on decision-making, relationships, and risk management.

4.4. o Despite over-representation of Indigenous people within Australia’s homeless population, services for homeless Indigenous people are overwhelmingly provided by mainstream organisations and funding arrangements are characterised by an absence of non-Indigenous specific funding and a lack of Indigenous policy coordination. (Talk to the Intergov team?)

5. Theme 4 - Funding Stability

5.1. o Despite demand and commitment of end user groups, the sustained implementation of the Family Wellbeing Program in only 6 of the 60+ sites suggest the difficulties that Aboriginal organizations face in continuing to deliver programs with small, short duration grants.

5.2. o This dependence on government funding sources makes organisations and services vulnerable to policy changes and funding cuts

6. Theme 5 - Capability

6.1. o Building the community-controlled sector: There is a strong and sustainable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector delivering high quality services to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country.

6.2. o Reforms in Aboriginal affairs will require government authorities to engage with organisations and communities.

6.3. As governance capacity improves, more of the tied grants can be successively rolled into the untied base grant. Funding programs could also explicitly invest in governance development (e.g. board training) and key governance activities (e.g. board meetings, strategic plans, constituent engagement), with explicit performance indicators for these deliverables. Governance itself could thus become an important outcome, rather than a singular focus on service delivery outputs and outcomes.

6.4. A developmental approach would proactively target those organisations that are embryonic or struggling, and then utilise the funding modality to stabilise the funding environment and catalyse capability building.

6.5. o There is a need for governments to build the capacity of Indigenous organisations, as these organisations are particularly well placed to provide culturally appropriate support

6.6. o Remote Jobs and Communities Program (Community Services/Jobs). Based on consultations with government agencies and Remote Jobs and Communities Program providers, and analysis of the funding formula, the viability of the model was undermined by the lack of core governance funding, the disparity in payment opportunities between regions, and the limited terms in which community consultation was permitted.

6.7. o Katherine West coordinated care trails (Health Services). The experience of the Katherine West Health Board (KWHB) was rather one of disengagement by government and as a result government struggled to effectively see the challenges KWHB faced or recognise when KWHB was making progress. The KWHB’s experience supports the need for ongoing and tailored capacity development that is focused on enabling governance capacities that are appropriate to the conditions.

6.8. Block funding is no panacea. Given the diversity of context, capabilities and the difficulties of backing innovative grant systems, it is reasonable to expect some failure. But seeing such contexts only through the lens of risk, deficit and chronic governance failure undermines the prospect of local capability or accountability developing

6.9. There are examples of remote Indigenous organisations that have been funded through a block grant system for their core functions. There is potential to expand this approach and trial other innovations that have been tested internationally. This paper considers the circumstances under which block funding could be adapted to the unique context of remote Indigenous communities in Australia

6.10. o few existing public funding modalities reward performance or provide incentives

7. Theme 6 - Collaboration

7.1. o Conditions that enabled [program] scaling were government policies and the availability of funding support and control; leadership by Aboriginal Elders and others and associated networks; and research evidence which built credibility for the program.

7.2. o Experience has shown that within the framework of the ATSIC Act, Commonwealth, State and local government can work together through a process of service agreements, pooled funding and integration of programs and services.

7.3. • Pooling budgets through the Better Care Fund can lever closer collaboration between sectors and services. Shared vision and leadership are essential to develop and foster this closer collaboration. Although some successes were reported, the study highlights that there are major cultural, operational and territorial barriers to overcome.

8. Theme 7 - Lessons from Health

8.1. Mothers who can afford private health insurance – typically wealthier, urban and non-First Nations women – therefore receive additional benefits of private care, which further exacerbates inequity between these groups of mothers and babies. The increasing out of pocket costs associated with obstetric care may create a financial burden for women to access necessary care or it may cause them to skip care altogether if the costs are too great.

8.2. Our study provides a critical review of the mechanisms by which revenues are raised, funds are pooled and their impact on the way health care services are purchased for mothers and babies in Australia. Australia’s maternal health system is financed via both public and private sources, which consequentially creates a two-tiered system.

9. Theme 8 - Community Development

9.1. New Public Management (NPM) has had the effect of containing and remapping their [Aboriginal community-based organisations] distinct role in society and hindering their capacity to engage in community development.

9.2. Rebecca Gooley, a remote area nurse who manages primary health care for KWHB has also developed a greater appreciation for the diversity of Aboriginal culture, with the region boasting nine language groups. Ms Gooley says the flat organisational structure of KWHB helps in removing the "silos and ivory towers" that so often plague the health sector. "The key thing is the teamwork," she says. "It's not a GP-centric environment. The community is the centre of what we're doing."

10. Theme 9 - Power Sharing

10.1. o The continued demand-driven transfer of empowerment programs requires policies that enable Aboriginal control of funding and Aboriginal leadership and networks.

10.2.  clear recognition of the need for change in 'business as usual'.

10.3.  building of alternative structures and methods to enable effective power sharing (consistent with the requirements of parliamentary democracy).

10.4. o Community Participation Agreements in Mutitjulu (Family & Community Services). Smith (2008) clearly attributed the failure to the Australian Government’s inability to overcome internal interdepartmental politics. During this review, government officials otherwise recalled capability problems and fragmentation within community governance which also prevented agreement being reached locally.

11. Theme 10 - Governance

11.1.  sustainable commitment and authorisation.

11.2. o It argues that these arrangements are capable of being implemented within existing legislative arrangements in line with supporting coordination initiatives being pursued under the authority of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

11.3. o The paper discusses the emerging idea of regionalism, the development of Indigenous governance as a connecting mechanism between self-determination and the way services are delivered by all spheres of government, and outlines a new framework of governance incorporating Community Working Parties that bring together community representation and service delivery agencies on a planning platform.

12. Theme 11 - Accountability

12.1. While it is not possible to claim that block funding will necessarily result in organisations becoming more capable and accountable, the international experience is that the block-funding modality can result in heightened public engagement in local politics, including downward accountability, as occurs in democracies generally.

12.2. o funding arrangements do not generally require receiving organisations to be accountable to their constituents

12.3. o performance indicators are imposed, rather than negotiated