A Review of Methods for Assessing Progress Towards Closing the Gap.

Administering institution: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, ANU

External funding: Australian Productivity Commission - $156,596

Investigator(s): Valerie Cooms, Deirdre Howard-Wagner, Francis Markham, Yonatan Dinku, Mandy Yap, Elfie Shiosaki, Jill Guthrie, Matthew Gray, Nicholas Biddle, Rob Bray, Wen Su and Ben Harrap.


Overview: The Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) has been commissioned by the Productivity Commission to:

  1. review/assess the current method against three key criteria in accordance with issues and associated questions for each criterion that have been identified, and others if they arise during the review process. The key outcome of the work will be to identify potential improvements (consistent with the key criteria) to the current method for assessing progress against the Closing the Gap targets at the national level;
  2. develop an approach to measure the contribution of the states and territories to meeting the national targets, which will involve developing an approach to assess states’ and territories’ contribution to meeting the ‘national’ target;
  3. use existing data for the targets to test any identified revisions to the current method and the proposed approach to measure state and territory contributions to meeting the national target; and
  4. document the outcomes of work under elements 1 to 3 in a report with findings and recommendations and respond to any feedback on this documentation.

CAEPR’s Director, Professor Valerie Cooms, has brought together an experienced and collaborative team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers from CAEPR and the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods (CSRM) with highly-relevant collective expertise in working with data related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and in applying the principles of Indigenous data sovereignty; knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and the context in which the targets in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap are being measured; and knowledge in applied statistics and stochastic processes.

Updated:  1 December 2023/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications