Re-imagining Evaluation: A Culturally Responsive Evaluation Framework

What is the Re-imagining Evaluation Framework?

The Re-imagining Evaluation Framework highlights the importance of centring Aboriginal[1] students, their families, and their communities at the heart of evaluation methodology and processes. It is only by incorporation of culturally relevant principles and authentic consultation that we can truly understand what is and is not valued, and what is and is not working, for Aboriginal students, their families, and their communities in public education across all settings. From early childhood to the tertiary and VET sectors, everyone has a role to play.

In developing the Re-imagining Evaluation Framework, departmental staff have:

  • partnered with a team of researchers from the Office of Indigenous Strategy and Leadership, the Wollotuka Institute, the College of Human and Social Futures, and the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education at the University of Newcastle; and
  • brought together Senior Aboriginal staff from across the department and key stakeholders from the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc. (NSW AECG), NSW Teachers Federation, NSW Primary Principals Association, and NSW Secondary Principals Council.

The Re-imagining Evaluation Framework is underpinned by six Guiding Principles. These Guiding Principles are designed to be accessible for everyone; for our early childhood, public school, and post-school pathways students, staff, families, and communities, as well as our education staff. The Guiding Principles are a call to find new ways of working together – sharing stories that provide important context and translating that into actions across the department.

These Principles are not new, they are good practice principles generally in evaluation. What we ask is that they are considered upfront, before we design, before we consult, before we consider our work to improve outcomes across education.

Embedding these Guiding Principles in evaluation and everyday practice will help to support and enrich the educational journey for Aboriginal students and non-Aboriginal learners and students and to improve our practice.

The Guiding Principles are:

Find out more about the Guiding Principles and how our staff are incorporating these into their everyday work

This Framework and Guiding Principles are aimed at challenging existing assumptions and power relationships in education, signalling a new way of doing business, understanding the impact of potential of our work, and re-defining culturally responsive practice in Aboriginal education.

Please note, this Framework is a living document and experience with culturally responsive work will continue to develop over time. The first step on our journey to be more culturally responsive is to raise awareness of the Framework and Principles.

The Re-imagining Evaluation Framework and Factsheet are now available, please click on the links below:

Let's hear from our staff about why the Framework is important

Murat Dizdar, Secretary, NSW Department of Education talks about the importance of the
Re-imagining Evaluation Framework and our role in promoting meaningful change.

Murat Dizdar, Secretary, NSW Department of Education on the importance of the Framework

Listen to Karen Jones, Executive Director, Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships launch the
Re-imagining Evaluation Framework and talk about how implementing its Guiding Principles help us to focus on delivering the difference for students

Karen Jones, Executive Director, Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships launching the Framework

What other resources are there to support my journey?

A number of organisations have also developed resources to support culturally responsive evaluation. These include:

Want to know more?

Share your feedback through the QR code so the Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships Directorate Team can ensure that we are building the resources you need to be culturally responsive in evaluation and school planning.

QR code to give feedback to the Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships Directorate Team QR code to give feedback to the Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships Directorate Team

If you would like a presentation for your Directorate, please contact

What is coming next?

Did you know that there are three evaluations underway already implementing the framework? This is so we can further develop and refine the resources we need to do this work well and facilitate change. The evaluations currently underway are:

  • Evaluation of Strategic School Support - HSC Attainment for Aboriginal Students led by Teaching Quality and Impact
  • The evaluation of Initiatives to improve HSC attainment for Aboriginal students while maintaining cultural identity (2019-2023)
  • The Review of the Connected Communities Strategy (phase 2)

[1] The term Aboriginal is used in the Re-imagining Evaluation Framework document to refer to both Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students and staff in NSW for brevity and readability. Where the terms ‘Indigenous’ and ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’ are used instead, they reflect the terminology used in the cited documents and policies.


  • DoE


  • Aboriginal Education and Communities
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • DoE
  • Web page

Business Unit:

  • Aboriginal Education and Communities
Return to top of page Back to top