From 28 October 2015 to 13 November 2015, a total of 17 public forums were conducted by the Department across the country. The public forums discussed the revision of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) Guidelines.
The forums provided stakeholders with an opportunity to contribute to improving the effectiveness of the IAS and in particular to strengthening the Guidelines. During the consultations, stakeholders were specifically invited to provide comments on the following proposed changes to the Guidelines:
- separating key IAS information into three distinct documents – Programme Guidelines; Grant Guidelines; and Application Kit/s
- improving the online Application Form
- clarifying the avenues to apply for IAS funding by establishing three clear mechanisms – Department Approaches Provider (direct source);Department Invites Applications (open or restricted grant rounds); and Community/Provider initiated Proposals (to replace the current demand-driven process)
- providing more clarity about the five IAS Programmes
- improving the Selection Criteria to assist applicants frame their funding proposals including examples for each.
Over 500 people attended the forums and many valuable suggestions were provided from across the country. As a result of this feedback, several important revisions have been made to the IAS Guidelines. The revised Guidelines:
- allow organisations to apply at any time
- are less prescriptive
- enable an applicant, when proposing several activities that are not closely related to submit more than one application
- enable community/provider initiated proposals to be discussed with local PM&C Network Offices, so that applicants can obtain advice on how their proposal fits with regional priorities and the level of prior to applying
- provide less red tape for current providers. A smart form will be introduced so that information already held by the Department can be automatically populated (e.g performance reports); and allow applicants to work offline, save their smart form on their PCs before finalising and upload their application into the Department’s automated system.