News February 15, 2022 Ninti working on Indigenous Protected Areas Program review The Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) Program has been helping Indigenous communities voluntarily dedicate their land or sea country as IPAs since 1997. IPAs combine traditional and contemporary knowledge into a framework to leverage partnerships with conservation and commercial organisations and provide employment, education and training opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) are overseeing an evaluation of the IPA Program. The evaluation will assess the extent to which program objectives and associated environmental, cultural, social and economic outcomes are being achieved. It will also guide continuous improvement in future program design. On 12 November 2021, the NIAA engaged the services of Ninti One Limited to design and carry out the evaluation. The evaluation will be conducted in two phases: In Phase 1, Ninti One will carry out a desktop review of existing information to guide the collection of new data during Phase 2. In Phase 2, new data will be collected and analysed to produce an evaluation report. This will include direct engagement with IPA managers through site visits to 10 IPAs. The evaluation report will make recommendations to the NIAA and DAWE about how to strengthen future program delivery and outcomes. Ninti One will start contacting IPA managers and key external stakeholders from mid-February 2022 to test their interest in participating in Phase 2 of the evaluation. Phase 2 is anticipated to start following ethics clearance by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. You can learn more about the process on the National Indigenous Australians Agency website here.