What does Responsibility and Credibility mean?
Responsibility and Credibility acknowledges that the department must do better at satisfying internal and external stakeholder requirements in a timely manner. It is crucial to engage Aboriginal learners, students, their families, and communities around the diverse and many ways government can be more accountable in decision making, especially when collecting cultural data, stories, views and reporting this data publicly.
Communication of data collection and results should be in accessible formats to adequately engage all stakeholders. All information collected from Aboriginal learners, students, families, and communities, should be communicated, confirmed and validated with those consulted and reshared in a timely and appropriate way before formal use or publication.
Ensuring the legitimacy of the knowledge generated by an evaluation process by those involved or impacted by the process is an important aspect of responsible, credible, and responsive practice.
What are some practical examples I can use to embed this Guiding Principle?
Practical application of this Framework will look and feel different across the many contexts and environments of the NSW public education space. Everyone is encouraged to embrace the Framework and determine what the Guiding Principles mean for our work.
- To support and increase the validity in evaluation and day-to-day practice it is important to embrace Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing. This can be done through genuine consultation with Aboriginal people by understanding Place, building authentic and trusting Relationships and having a Yarn. Remember – this takes time and is a process that should not be rushed.
- Communication of findings of any information gathering process should meet the needs of all stakeholders. Think written communication, visual communication, spoken communication, and so on. This should promote transparency and can enable a shared understanding for all stakeholders. As an example, it is good practice to return to those involved in evaluation post fieldwork and ask, “Is this what you said?”, "have we missed any important steps?". One way to achieve this is to share a copy of a “what we heard” document prior to the drafting of an evaluation report or school plan.
- Say what you do; do what you say. Following through on the implementation of recommendations and commitments will build trust, build credibility, and enable respectful Relationships that are critical to success in Aboriginal public education. It is good practice to ensure that all involved in an evaluation receive a copy of the evaluation findings. It may be that this is a shortened version of a longer form report.
- Being Responsible and Credible requires that we also provide a report back to Aboriginal students, families and communities to inform them of any actions as a result of the evaluation they have participated in. It is often the case that we do not share the outcome of an evaluation and this where we have an opportunity to change. Examples of how to do this include weblinks to a report, personally mailing hard copies of a report or hosting a webinar for those that are interested in attending.
Perspectives on Responsibility and Credibility and its importance
Allison Alliston, Executive Principal, Taree High School, Connected Communities, talks about the importance and value of Responsibility and Credibility in her role.
Gemma Millar, Principal Project Officer, Reconciliation Action Plan discusses the benefits of embracing Responsibility and Credibility.
Sally Kubiak, Director, Premier’s Priority, Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships talks about the importance of accountability in evaluation.