How we will work with you

In each project, our first step is to meet with you to discuss your needs and confirm the most appropriate approach and a detailed workplan for your project.

The following characteristics underpin our approach in all projects.

  • Collaborative but independent: We work with clients and stakeholders to ensure projects are strategic and respond to identified and emerging needs, risks and opportunities. At the same time we maintain the distance required to produce credible evaluation, research and review findings and policies and plans that balance diverse stakeholder interests.
  • Planned but flexible: We start out with a schedule of tasks to meet project deadlines, but revise this in response to changes in your policy and/or operational context, as well as emerging needs and opportunities.
  • Rigorous but real-world: We select the right design for data collection to suit your context – the questions you need to answer, the certainty with which you need to answer them, your timeframes and available resources. The burden of data collection is always balanced against benefits.
  • Policy-relevant but not captured: We provide advice and solutions that address strategic priorities and can be implemented in the real world. But we’re not captured by the status quo. We look for opportunities for innovation and improvement.
  • Sensitive and culturally appropriate: We adhere to ethical guidelines and protocols for data collection, storage and use, respecting all participants, and following relevant cultural protocols. When working, with Indigenous communities, we engage our long-term Indigenous associates and work in partnership with Indigenous communities, consistent with the [insert guidelines names]. When working on policy for people with disability and mental health issues, we follow the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’.

We have policies, processes and systems to ensure we meet your needs. For each project, we put together the team with the combined technical capability, policy knowledge and prior experience to successfully deliver the project. A Principal Consultant is allocated to each project to provide oversight and quality control at all stages. An experienced staff member provides project management, ensuring all tasks are implemented effectively and on schedule, and keeping you informed so there are ‘no surprises’. ARTD Directors ensure the project team has the required management support, facilities and resources.

Working with Indigenous communities

Since 1989, ARTD has worked with Indigenous stakeholders across Australia to design, deliver and evaluate social and human services policies and programs in their communities. In this time, we have developed a network of experienced Indigenous associates and organisations to support our work in this area.

We have close and long-standing relationships with two Indigenous associates, Simon Jordan and Tracey Whetnall, and work with a broader network of associates through project opportunities. 

We also have a strategic partnership with Charles Darin University’s Northern Institute, which has significant experience and expertise in collaborative evaluation with Indigenous peoples and cross-cultural research and evaluation. This partnership combines our skills in public policy with the Northern Institute’s network of associates, including Indigenous researchers, and leverages our shared realist approach to understanding the value of public policy and programs.

When working with Indigenous communities, we work closely with Indigenous program stakeholders and always follow the principles outlined by the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AITSIS) Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies. In practice, this means that we:

  • recognise the diversity and uniqueness of peoples and individuals
  • recognise Aboriginal rights to self-determination and rights to control of research about their communities
  • respect Aboriginal knowledge, practices and innovations
  • establish relationships through consultation and negotiation and recognise that consultation is an ongoing process and should achieve mutual understanding
  • ensure free, prior and informed consent for research participants
  • enact Aboriginal people’s the right to full participation appropriate to their skills and experiences
  • ensure research be of benefit to the community and reflect needs and interests of community
  • share the research findings with the researched community.

Working with people with disability

We are committed to the principles of choice, voice and control and believe that all people, no matter their ability, should be included in the development and evaluation of policies and programs that affect their lives.

We have successfully consulted with people with disability for a range of projects and developed resources to improve access and inclusion for people with disability. You can see our disability sector work here

We often work with associates and partner organisations to support our work in this area. We are currently seeking new partnerships with disabled people’s organisations. If you are interested in partnering, please contact us.