PROJECT SCOPE STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE IN RSD SITES IN CENTRAL AUSTRALIA. December 2010

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1 PROJECT SCOPE STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE IN RSD SITES IN CENTRAL AUSTRALIA December 2010 PROJECT DETAILS Project Title Strengthening community governance in RSD sites in central Australia Project Manager Central Land Council Project Governance Governance Advisory Committee comprising of CLC, NT ROC, NT FaHCSIA, NTG SDCU, RA, CGRIS, external expert, community members Location of Project Yuendumu and Lajamanu, then Hermannsburg Target commencement September 2010 Target completion September 2013 PURPOSE This project aims to develop a new model for solving the governance gap in remote communities. The project will work with community residents and traditional owners to create an effective and legitimate community governance mechanism that can: (a) ascertain and articulate the aspirations of the diversity of community residents, and ensure those aspirations are reflected in the Local implementation Plan; (b) provide for a strong community voice and increased participation; (c) recognise and build leadership capacity; (d) ensure government agencies, and other organisations, consultations and engagement are targeted and effective; (e) fulfil the CLCs consultation requirements for matters inside the community including s.19 leasing requests and planning consent processes; and (f) provide a model for successful and legitimate community governance that can be applied more broadly. One of the five main objectives in the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on RSD is to improve the level of governance and leadership within Indigenous communities and Indigenous community 1

2 organisations. Getting this objective right is critical for communities to be not only able to engage and negotiate with governments, but also to drive their own development and take the lead in addressing their issues over the long term. THE GOVERNANCE GAP IN CENTRAL AUSTRALIAN RSD COMMUNITIES Recent research has suggested that the cumulative impacts of recent policies of the NT and Australian Governments, most notably the NT Emergency Response (NTER) and the abolition of community councils through Shire reform, have resulted in a significant governance vacuum in communities, decreasing the capacity for local decision making and control. This problem is exacerbated by excessive government demands on limited community capacities. Disenfranchised community members are looking for new ways to be actively engaged in community life and this is matched the demand of governments, who are struggling to find an effective means to engage with remote communities in the NT. The aspirations of RSD, for strong community governance, are currently faltering in places where there are a multitude of advisory groups, but few active and resourced community governance mechanisms. Currently, Local Reference Groups are the main engagement interface being used in the development of Local Implementation Plans (LIP). Their task is to identify community aspirations for the future of the township (RSD Implementation Plan, NT). This places high expectations on Local Reference Groups to 'represent' their community, as well as further expectations on Indigenous community cohesion and capacity (that is, the ability of a community to speak, decide, negotiate and engage ). This expectation is matched in some areas by effective governing and representational mechanisms, but in others there are significant challenges. In some RSD communities, existing local organisations or governance structures are being used as the Local Reference Group, in others the Local Reference Group comprises a combination of organisational representatives and community members. In the NT context, where local community councils have been abolished under the regionalisation of local government, bringing together a cohesive and legitimate Local Reference Group that can represent community interests and engage in planning has presented difficulties. Lajamanu is a relatively unified and cohesive community with an engaged leadership, but it s residents have nonetheless expressed a deep level of disempowerment through the loss of its community council and have talked about being on the outside of current processes, with little active involvement and authority in local affairs. 2

3 In Yuendumu, low levels of community engagement were found throughout the LIP process. Similar to Lajamanu, the lack of a localised structure as a focus for consultative activity has meant the expansion of advisory requests but with no investment of authority at the local level. Further, Yuendumu residents have long raised concerns around NTER policies and there is an overall poor relationship between government and the community that is reflected in the quality of engagement around the LIPs. There has been varying degrees of engagement through the LIP process in Hermannsburg. This could be attributed to fractured community governance, along family lines. Further, the community has expressed 'meeting fatigue' and feeling over-consulted, without any resulting action or outcomes. These governance gaps and issues have resulted in some challenges around LIP negotiations and, to some extent, the overall weakness of the Governance and Leadership building block in the LIPs. There is clearly a need for government to work closely with communities to identify their governance needs and future strategies in a manner that looks to the overall aspirations of the community. To date there has not been sufficient time or resources allocated to this priority. This project aims to address the governance gap in three significant RSD communities. THE WAY FORWARD STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE The following process sets out a proposed model for the RSD communities in Central Australia and seeks to address some of the issues identified above. The project is based on successful approaches to community governance building where a developmental and participatory approach to strengthening governance capacity has been employed. This approach has been used by Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) and other governance capacity builders in communities where there have been major issues with local governance mechanisms, and has been shown by the national Indigenous community Governance Research Project to be extremely effective if sustained as a place-based initiative over time. Four key principles will underpin this work: 1. Collaboration If any new governance arrangements are to succeed they must be driven by the community but supported by government and other agencies. The project will be guided by the Governance Advisory Committee, including senior staff from ROC, NT FAHCSIA, CGRIS, NTG, independent expert and Reconciliation Australia (see Appendix A). 2. Community development approach Importantly, this project aims to provide a positive way forward utilising the CLCs community development approach which is articulated in the CLC Community Development Framework 3

4 (2009), and drawing upon the community development expertise of project staff, consultants and members of the Governance Advisory Committee. 3. Recognise the rights of both community residents and traditional owners As a statutory authority under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 the CLC is well placed to be able to assist traditional owners and community residents to discuss and clarify their respective roles and responsibilities within communities. 4. Local ownership and control Local ownership and control of this project is critical. Project outcomes will only be realised and sustained if genuine local ownership and control are achieved. This approach not only offers an answer to short-term concerns about the quality of the Governance and Leadership building block in the Central Australian LIPs but also provides a critical longer-term governance development framework for the three communities. PROJECT GOVERNANCE The project will receive advice and support from the project s Governance Advisory Committee (see Appendix A + B). The GAC comprises of senior staff from: Regional Operations Centre; NT FAHCSIA; NTG, Service Delivery Coordination Unit; Reconciliation Australia; Central Land Council; Office of the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services; a specialist community governance advisor, and members from Hermannsburg, Yuendumu and Lajamanu once the project is established The diversity of stakeholders on the GAC will ensure strong links with the RSD strategy and the LIP processes. Secretariat support will be provided by the ROC/FHSCIA (see appendix B: TORs for GAC and appendix C: Responsibility and Accountability) ROC representatives on GAC will provide progress updates to the Governance and Engagement sub committee of the NT Board of Management. This could then inform the roll out of the Governance and Engagement Project and ongoing consideration of the governance needs of RSD sites. Further, reports from the project to the NT Board of Management would encourage government agencies to support governance mechanisms established through the project. 4

5 PROJECT STEPS AND OUTPUTS (also see implementation table below) Step 1. Project establishment Establish the Governance Advisory Committee, agree on project documentation and obtain funding for project officers. Obtain community consent from participating communities. Recruit project office and appoint project consultants. Step. 1 Outputs Project documentation and governance arrangements finalised Funding obtained Community consent secured Staff and consultants recruited Step 2. Exploring governance and legitimacy The CLC will use existing knowledge, relationships and anthropology to work with the community and traditional owners to discuss the aims of this project and explore concepts of effective and legitimate governance and representation, including acknowledging traditional owners/community resident dynamics, and family relationships, disputes and dynamics. This stage will use developmental processes of governance mapping and remembering governance histories (what worked, what didn t work and why in the past) and examine notions of leadership and decision making (including factors such as: men and women, elders and youth, traditional owners and residents). Step 2. Outputs Governance mapping completed Step 3. Formation of a legitimate governance mechanism (or interim arrangement where necessary) Work with the community residents and traditional owners (where appropriate) to: - progress the agreed governance mechanism; - determine the governance processes, rules and support needed for the agreed governance mechanism; - commence development of the Community Governance Plan Step. 3 Outputs Legitimate group/entity or other governance mechanism formed and internal governance arrangements and needs identified Community Governance Plan commenced Step 4. Governance mechanism becomes operational 5

6 Enable the agreed group/entity/governance mechanism (whether interim or not) to establish a relevant role in broader community processes through liaising with government agencies, and other relevant organisations. Community Governance plan finalised and accepted by project partners through the Governance Advisory Committee. Community Governance Plans inform the next iteration of the LIPs. CLC utilises the group/entity/mechanism for CLC leasing planning and other consultation processes. Step. 4. Outputs CLC to utilise the group/entity/mechanism for appropriate community consultation processes Community Governance Plan finalised Community Governance Plan informs the next iteration of the LIPs Step 5. Practice effective governance If required, undertake the necessary work to ensure the interim arrangement/group is replaced by the mechanism described in the Community Governance Plan;. Provide ongoing support to ensure that the community entity can achieve its aspirations with respect to governance and engagement and where required negotiate partnerships with government(s) and enhance community leadership and control over the decisions affecting the lives of community residents. Step 5. Outputs All interim arrangements (if any) replaced by ongoing agreed governance mechanism Group/entity/mechanism operational Community Governance Plan operational and provided with appropriate agency resources and support Step 6. Monitoring and evaluation Governance Advisory Committee to oversee independent monitoring and evaluation process, and ensure linkages to other NT governance projects and processes. This will ensure that lessons are captured and able to be shared across all RSD sites. The evaluation would be conducted as a progressive learning evaluation, not an end-point evaluation. This will ensure that information obtained from evaluation can be of immediate use in rectifying identified problems, and can inform the roll out of the Governance and Community Engagement Project. Step 6. Outputs Monitoring and evaluation framework developed and implemented 6

7 PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE The project will work in a collaborative, reflective and responsive manner with the three communities. As such the timeline, and particularly those dates in the later half of the project, will be further developed through engagement and consultation with the communities. The timeline links the step 1-6 (defined above) where appropriate. Dates Steps 1-6 Outputs Activities Responsibility September 2010 Step 1 1. Project plan and implementation 1a. GAC August meeting CLC December 2010 signed off by the GAC 2. Project Officer job descriptions completed 3. TOR completed for the consultants 4. Project funding confirmed 5. Community consent for project in L + Y 6. Project engagement strategy/toolkit completed 2a. Project Officers recruited 3a. Consultants recruited and engaged 4a. Progress through the ABA and FHCSIA 5a. Planning meetings with PO and consultants at CLC 5a. Community meetings to discuss project 5b. Small group/family group discussions as needed 5c.Governance mapping undertaken 6a. Consultation/workshop materials developed and tested 6b. Workshops and small group discussions with community residents initiated 6c. Consultation with community organisations and stakeholders CLC GAC, FHSCIA CLC, FHCSIA Consultants, PO Consultants, PO 7. Project update provided to GAC 7a.GAC meeting November 7.b Project monitoring and evaluation framework developed GAC Consultants January April Step 2 1. Governance mapping completed Consultants 7

8 (Interim) Forum/body/entity established in Y, L 2a. Ongoing consultants and meetings as necessary 2b. Determine the governance processes, rules and support needed for entity Communities, PO and consultants 3. Final report and project recommendations delivered and presented from consultancy brief provided to GAC members 3a. GAC meeting March GAC April - July 2011 Step 3 1. Map out workplan/objectives for forum/body/entity L and Y 1a. Meetings with new group and community meetings/small group meetings, as required. 1b. External negotiations with government, as various levels PO, communities PO, communities 2. Community Governance Plans drafted with community consent 3. Monitoring and evaluation framework completed 2a. Community sign off and consent provided. 2b. GAC meeting: June. Partner sign-off on Community Gov Plans 2c. Community Gov Plans inform next iteration of the LIPs 3a. Initial project monitoring undertaken. 3b. Feedback provided at GAC July 2011 PO, communities, GAC PO, consultants, communities PO, consultants July 2011 June 2012 Step New governance body work initiated. 1a. Community Governance plan adopted in service delivery arrangements of community as appropriate 1b. Work plan initiated in Y and L 1c. Monitor progress against Community Gov Plan 1d. Ensure any interim arrangements are now replaced by legitimate ongoing arrangements PO, communities PO, communities PO, communities PO, commmunities Step 1-3 (revised 2. Community consent for project at Hermannsburg. 2a. Initiate consultations with Hermannsburg 2b. Governance mapping PO PO, consultants 8

9 timeline for H) 3. Annual monitoring report completed 2c. Undertake all of the above project steps for Hermannsburg 3a. Ongoing monitoring 3b. Advisory committee meetings as required 3c. Feedback and input to other relevant governance projects as required June September 2012 Step 6 1. Final reporting, evaluation and monitoring completed. Project evaluation completed?? 9

10 10

11 Appendix A NT Board of Management NT Governance & Engagement sub-committee (BoM) ROC take reports to sub-committee Governance Advisory Committee CGRIS, ROC, NT FHSCIA, RA, CLC, governance expert, community reps GAC- Provides advice and support on project. Central Land Council Reports to GAC and seeks project clarification Consultants are contracted by a member of GAC. Project Officers employed and managed by CLC Consultants provides mentoring and assistance to POs team that works for/with the communities Yuendumu Lajamanu Hermannsburg 11

12 Appendix B Membership STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE IN CENTRAL AUSTRALIAN REMOTE SERVICE DELIVERY SITES GOVERNANCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP AND TERMS OF REFERENCE The Governance Advisory Committee comprises membership at a senior level from: - the Central Land Council; - the Northern Territory Regional Operations Centre; - NTG, SDCU; - Reconciliation Australia; and - the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Northern Territory (FHCSIA NT). The Governance Advisory Committee invites participation from: - the Office of the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services; and - a governance and capacity building expert. (TBA) Further membership may extend to community residents involved in the project from Lajamanu, Yuendumu and Hermannsburg pending outcomes of the first stage of the project. Terms of Reference The Governance Advisory Committee will drive, provide advice on and support the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Strengthening Community Governance in Central Australian Remote Service Delivery Sites Project (the project) for the duration of the project. Specifically, this includes the Governance Advisory Committee: - Agreeing the project brief and implementation plan; - Agreeing the consultants brief, supporting the contracting of the consultants and monitoring their input; - Ensuring that the project meets its agreed key milestones and developing risk mitigating strategies or alternatives when necessary; - Members being available, if necessary, on behalf of their agency/organisation to provide advice or information if requested by the Central Land Council project officers and/or consultants to assist the progress of the project s aims. - Providing advice on the development of the Community Governance Plans; - Supporting the Community Governance Plans by actively seeking and advocating within relevant agencies for opportunities and resources to respond to the Plans; 12

13 - Working to ensure that the Community Governance Plan and its outcomes are supported in practice by relevant agencies/organisations in their contact and engagement with the community. - Ensuring that the project milestones, outcomes and progressive requirements are - where appropriate - inserted into the Local Implementation Plan. - Oversighting and guiding the independent, formal monitoring and evaluation of the project; and - Providing advice on progress and learnings from the project to the Northern Territory Board of Management and; - Ensuring to the best of their capacities that, at the end of the project, key project developments and further requirements of the project are supported into the future. Meetings Chair Each meeting will be chaired by a member of the GAC. The chair position will be a rotating role, with each member agency/organisation filling the role. The initial meeting will be chaired by CGRIS with a roster being developed and agreed to before the second GAC meeting. The responsibilities of the Chair are: - to facilitate GAC meetings and to the agenda is followed and agreements and actions are noted; - to ensure any actions noted in the meeting have agreed responsible parties and timeframes. - to ensure the GAC members are meeting their roles and responsibilities as outlined in the project Roles and Responsibilities; GAC Meeting Agenda The Agenda for each GAC meeting will be developed through FaHCSIA NT (as provider of secretariat support) with all GAC members given the opportunity to add agenda items. A draft agenda will be circulated in advance of the GAC meeting for comment. Schedule The GAC will meet 3 times a year over the 3 years of the project in Alice Springs. Additional meetings can be held on agreement of the GAC Secretariat Support Secretariat support will be provided by FaHCSIA NT Accountabilities Review All members are authorised to seek amendments to these Terms of Reference with consensus from all members. Roles and Responsibilities To realise the objectives and commitments of this committee, each Party has specific roles and responsibilities, as outlined in the attached Responsibility and Accountability table. Reporting Members will work together to develop and implement monitoring plans and evaluation strategies for initiatives developed by this committee. 13

14 The GAC will provide tri annual reports to the NT Board of Management - Governance and Leadership Sub Group. 14

15 Appendix C Responsibility and Accountability table Community Governance Project - Responsibility and Accountability Who Responsible for Accountable to Governance Advisory Agree on the project brief and implementation plan. NT Board of Management Committee (GAC) Agree on consultants brief, support the contracting of the consultants and monitor their performance. Provide guidance and advice on project and convene 3 meetings per year. Ensure the project meets key milestones and develop risk mitigating strategies where necessary. Provide advice and mentoring to the project officers as necessary. Support the Community Governance plans developed by seeking and advocating for resources to respond to the Plan. Work to ensure that the Community Governance Plans are supported by the relevant agencies and organisations in their contact with the community. Ensure that project milestones, outcomes and progressive requirements are, where appropriate, reflected in the Local Implementation Plan. Provide advice on progress and learnings from the project to the NT Board of Management to ensure linkages to other key governance projects. Oversight and guide an independent, formal monitoring and evaluation of the project. NT ROC Undertake a full and active role in the Governance Advisory Committee (GAC) represented by - ROC Manager. Provide the Secretariat function for the GAC. Provide formal advice on the project to the NT RSD Board of Management (BoM). Provide on the ground support to the project through the GBMs and the IEOs. Be the conduit to FaHCSIA s Indigenous Leadership and Engagement Group (ILEG). Be the interface with the overarching Governance and Leadership subcommittee of the BoM. NT FaHSCIA Undertake a full and active role in the Governance Advisory Committee (GAC) 15

16 NTG, SDCU CGRIS Reconciliation Australia Independent Governance Expert CLC Communities Consultants represented by - Regional Director South. Provide advice on funding sources. Provide local knowledge and expertise. Provide input on broader leadership and governance initiatives in the NT. Participation by the Office of the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services at the invitation of the GAC. OCGRIS key role is to observe planning and strategic investments in communities and provide advice on good practice. OCGRIS can also facilitate discussions and linkages to agencies to assist in achieving outcomes. RA provides senior representation on the GAC, participates in GAC meetings and fulfils its requirements as a GAC member. RA will provide guidance, advice and project support as negotiated throughout the project life. Providing senior representation on the GAC. Providing project reports to the GAC and relevant funding body. Obtain consent from the communities to participate in the project. Develop the job description and employing the project officer/s. Manage the work program of the project officer/s. Managing all of the day-to-day operational aspects of the project. Ensuring the project officer/s and the consultants work as a team. Managing and acquitting project funding. Developing appropriate community tools and materials. Participate in the project. Steer the work of the project officer and consultants. Decide on the priorities of the community and reflect these in the Community Governance Plans. Provide representation to the GAC. Mentoring and assisting the project officers Utilising participatory planning processes to engage the community, including through governance historical mapping and development of the community governance plan. Preparing reports for the GAC. Funding body as per the funding contract GAC GAC, and the contracting agency 16

17 Project staff Working with the communities to implement all aspects of the project, including the governance mapping and development of a Community Governance Plan. Ensure the project meets agreed milestones. Provide practical assistance to community entities, including meeting support, preparation of materials and information, documenting outcomes and following up on agreed actions. Respond to, and take advice from, the communities. Monitoring progress against key achieve project milestones and the agreed Community Governance Plans. Report to the CLC, including to Executive and Council Attend and present at GAC meetings as appropriate. Liaise with all project partners and provide regular project reports and communications. Participate in monitoring and evaluation processes. CLC directly Indirect accountability to the GAC Community 17

18 18

19 Appendix D Role of Staff Main duties of project coordinator (with similar duties for the project officer but less responsibility for overseeing and policy matters, and more on community level work) 1. Under the direction of the Manager, Policy and Research, oversee the effective implementation of the CLCs community governance program in Lajamanu, Yuendumu and Hermannsburg. Policy and Methodology Development 2. Assist the CLC, and community members involved in this project, to understand relevant Australian Government policy frameworks, and provide input to policy processes and development as required by the Manager, Policy and Research. 3. Work directly with agreed communities to implement the community governance project, with a focus on building an effective and legitimate community governance entity/mechanism and developing and implementing Community Governance plans. 4. Document and refine the methodology associated with this project with specific reference to the CLC Community Development Framework, and material relevant to other successful governance projects. Project Management 5. Provide advice, supervision and direction to the community governance project officer. 6. In conjunction with the community governance project officer, undertake consultations and provide practical assistance in each community, including: - logistical and administrative support for meetings - providing information and advice - documenting meeting outcomes and following up on agreed actions - developing, or assisting community members to develop, appropriate tools and community education materials as required; and - managing project equipment and assets. 7. Ensure the community governance project meets agreed project milestones, including actions agreed under the Community Governance plans. 8. Provide input and project data to the independent monitoring and evaluation process as required. 9. Provide project reports and advice to the Manager, Policy and Research, and the Director, Executive and Council as required. 10. Provide project reports and advice to the Governance Advisory Committee, attend meetings as required and liaise with project partners as needed. 11. At the request of the Manager, Policy and Research, prepare external communications about the project including through newsletters, articles, papers and submissions. 12. Represent the CLC and the project at meetings and forums as required. 19

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