Ministry of Health

Respecting the Difference Evaluation

In 2018, Cox Inall Ridgeway and Urbis were contracted by the NSW Ministry of Health to evaluate their cultural competency package, Respecting the Difference. The package includes compulsory online and voluntary face to face training. Cox Inall Ridgeway worked alongside Urbis to develop the evaluation framework. The evaluation was multi-dimensional using a mixed methods approach.

Cox Inall Ridgeway led the Aboriginal qualitative component of the evaluation which included semi-structured interviews with staff at five Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and focus groups and semi-structured interviews with Aboriginal Elders and community members. The ACCHOs agreed to participate because of Cox Inall Ridgeway’s existing relationships and because the focus groups and interviews would be conducted by our Aboriginal staff members. Cox Inall Ridgeway with Urbis analysed the findings using an iterative collaborative method.

A report was delivered to the Ministry of Health and a community companion report was developed for participating ACCHOs and community members. The evaluation found that while cultural competency has improved over time more work needed to be done. The report made recommendations for improving the existing package to meet the needs of the diverse 100, 000 plus Department of Health staff. Recommendations included using online training as a precursor to face-to-face training, including local content and engaging with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander staff during the development and implementation of training.