Strengthening food systems with remote Indigenous Australians: stakeholders’ perspectives

Alison Rogers, Megan Ferguson, Jan Ritchie, Christel Van Den Boogaard, Julie Brimblecombe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    It is well accepted that actions to enhance food security and nutrition outcomes in remote Indigenous Australian communities have limited success when focusing on single factors and could far better be addressed by working across the whole food system. The formation of multi-sector groups to collectively work towards improved food security could facilitate this approach. This study sought to elicit the perceptions of a range of stakeholders on the enablers, barriers and perceived benefits of a multi-sector participatory approach that was developed and trialled with four communities to improve food security. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from 60 persons and transcripts were examined using thematic analysis. Findings revealed that there is support in engaging a diverse range of stakeholders in a process of community-led action to support incremental improvement. The employment and support of local community co-ordinators, the multi-sectoral and structured approach, the use of participatory tools, and the facilitation approach were identified as key enablers. Main barriers cited were competing demands and time restraints while a slowing in momentum and lack of timely communication of actions for follow-up were areas needing improvement. Perceived changes in the availability and accessibility of healthy food and improvements in retail practice were believed by participants to derive from (i) creating a supportive environment; (ii) bringing people together; and, (iii) increasing knowledge and capacity. This study offers insight into understanding where the opportunities are in supporting a multi-sectoral approach to improving food security in remote Indigenous Australia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-48
    Number of pages11
    JournalHealth Promotion International
    Volume33
    Issue number1
    Early online date16 Jul 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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