LAST YEAR my colleague Sarah Wenham and I produced a reportExternal Links icon that looked at progress made towards meeting the Australian government’s commitment to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage. We found that there was a real paucity of quality data and consequently little ability to measure any progress against the targets that former Kevin Rudd enunciated in February 2008. 

The release of Closing the Gap – Prime Minister’s Report 2011External Links icon marks the passage of three years since these promises were first made. Since then the government has committed $8.2 billion in Indigenous-specific National Partnership Agreements. But while the beautifully produced, glossy report is full of facts and numbers about how many services have been delivered and how many dollars have been spent, information on outcomes is in short supply.