This report presents the results of a first stage assessment of the impacts of recent changes to the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme on the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. It draws on interviews and discussions with 15 Aṉangu (Aboriginal) people from the APY Lands as well as staff from Bungala Aboriginal Corporation and other relevant agencies. It also utilises available administrative and census data. As a first stage assessment the aim is to develop the foundation for further research throughout 2012 and 2013. This preliminary analysis concludes that although some of the measures introduced in July 2009 have had positive impacts, the changes to the scheme itself are tending to undermine the productive capacity of CDEP and induce a return to ‘sit down money’. This is ostensibly what the government seeks to curtail and indeed what the CDEP scheme itself was designed to minimise. There may be a need for additional policy intervention to ensure that further changes to the scheme scheduled for 2012 do not exacerbate, rather than ameliorate, the multiple disadvantages experienced by many Aṉangu on the APY Lands.
Keywords: Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme, Indigenous employment, government policy, remote area development