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Strategic review of the Victorian African Communities Action Plan (VACAP) Governance and Objectives

Agency

Victoria State Government: Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH)

Task

Conduct a review of the governance arrangements and objectives for the Victorian African Communities Action Plan (VACAP)

Evaluation Approach

To look at how to strengthen governance arrangements, CPME used systems thinking and equity and Cultural Responsiveness (CR) principles and approaches.
A purposive cross-section of twenty-seven (n=27) participants from the Victorian Government, past and current members of the Implementation committee, and members of the Victorian Public Service, Ministers and Ministerial Advisors with lived experience of VACAP were interviewed, alongside a and a desktop scan of related grey and published literature.

Description

CMPE was commissioned by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) to conduct a review of the governance arrangements and objectives for the Victorian African Communities Action Plan (VACAP).

The 10-year VACAP was developed for Victoria’s African communities with Victoria’s African communities. In 2018, the Victorian government appointed the VACAP Implementation Committee, representing a diverse cross section of the African community.

A number of social cohesion and political issues, including so called African youth crime, and the COVID- 19 pandemic led the Victorian Government to consider revising the governance arrangements to the VACAP Implementation Committee. The review looked at the Committee’s objectives and: 

  • arrangements to best support an effective partnership between the Government and African communities, 
  • governance structures and arrangements with current Victorian Government policies and 
  • best practice and codesign activities with sub-committees to enhance the Committee’s advisory role to the Victorian Government. 

Recommendations

The evidence from this Review suggested that there are varying views about the purpose of the Implementation Committee, caused by multiple restructures and high attrition rates among staff in the Victorian Government. This has led to a failure to adequately administer VACAP governance arrangements. We recommended that:

  • Governance arrangements and partnerships between the Victorian Government and African communities are fully aligned with current Victorian Government policies and best practice. 
  • New VACAP governance arrangements interact with the established role of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC). 
  • A coordinated, whole-of-government partnership structure be developed and aligned to the Multicultural Act of Victoria (2011).
  • A system of data capture and reporting be designed that enhances existing government data capture systems which generates both quantitative and qualitative evidence to support the Implementation Committees and the Victorian Government’s inclusive decision-making processes.