Background In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience higher rates of injury-related morbidity and mortality relative to the non-Aboriginal population. Aboriginal people are almost three times as likely to die from transport-related injury and 30% more likely to sustain serious transport-related injury. This disparity has been attributed to specific risk factors including unlicensed driving, which is considered to be prevalent in Aboriginal communities and is a significant risk factor for road trauma.
The ‘Driving Change’ program has been implemented in 12 NSW communities to reduce barriers to licence participation and increase safe and legal driving behaviour. This research presents a mixed-methods process evaluation of ‘Driving Change’.
Methods Triangulation of stakeholder interviews (n = 22), participant focus groups (n = 18) and program data (n = 720) collected April 2013 to October 2015. Descriptive and regression analyses of program data (demographics, service delivery and licensing outcomes). Framework analysis of qualitative data to gain a richer understanding of fidelity, dosage and the program context including barriers and facilitators to implementation.
Results Variation in delivery and outcomes between sites was found, but anticipated as the program is intended to adjust to meet local needs rather than be prescriptive. Interviewees reported strong support for the program, however maintaining long-term community engagement emerged as a significant implementation challenge; consequently the program intensified support for local field workers to broker collaborative relationships with communities.
Conclusions Driving Change is meeting community engagement priorities and reaching the target population. This evaluation highlights the value of involving community and government stakeholders to foster capacity building and ensure a culturally acceptable approach to reducing injury and promoting safety within Aboriginal communities.