Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Evaluation of Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) and associated Working on Country programs


SVA Consulting was engaged to support the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) to understand, measure and value the social economic, cultural and environmental changes generated by five IPAs, and their associated Working on Country programs.

Role we Played

SVA Consulting applied SROI methodology to five IPAs – Warddeken (NT), Birriliburu & Matuwa Kurrara Kurrara (WA), Girringun (QLD) and Minyumai (NSW) – two of which also benefit from Working on Country funding.

To undertake this evaluation we:

  • Interviewed 143 stakeholders across four states and territories in regional and remote Australia to understand the changes experienced as a result of the program
  • Analysed this information in conjunction with financial data from the communities and secondary research materials
  • Modelled the financial value of the social, cultural, economic and environmental outcomes generated through each IPA
  • Conducted a comparative analysis to identify the key drivers of value and teased out implications for the future of IPAs, including appropriate co-investment models to increase the flow of capital to the Indigenous land and sea management sector.


The evaluation provided PM&C with a rich understanding of the outcomes generated by the IPAs and associated ranger programs. It showed the social, economic, cultural and environmental value of those outcomes and their alignment with PM&C’s strategic policy priorities. It also identified implications for the future of the First Australian land and sea management sector and provided PM&C with a road map for future policy innovation.