EON’s Thriving Communities Program is designed to be very practical and outcome focused. It is delivered fortnightly in the remote communities in which we operate over the long term, typically five years. We believe this commitment is required to deliver the sustainable positive impacts we are aiming for – including improved health outcomes, fresh food security, local capacity building and better educational engagement.

KPMG Evaluation Research Findings (2013)

The independent KPMG Report Evaluation of the Thriving Communities Program in Six Kimberley Communities (2013) delivered the following insights:

The Program Is Appropriate

  • EON takes ‘a genuine community development approach that values long term engagement over rapid delivery, local capacity-building over passive hand-outs and practical cooperation over top-down intervention’

The Program is Effective

  • ‘All Principals interviewed by KPMG expressed their support for the EON Edible Garden; not only as a means to facilitate access to fresh fruit and vegetables, but also as a valuable educational resource…”a fantastic opportunity for hands-on and interactive activities that can be linked to a range of curriculum areas”’.
  • ‘It is widely acknowledged that EON Foundation is operationally efficient and effective.’

The Program is delivering Positive Impact

  • ‘The evidence is strong that there has been a demonstrable improvement in the horticultural and healthy eating knowledge and skills of children’.
  •  ‘Feedback from stakeholders and observation from KPMG suggests that the EON Healthy Eating Program is contributing to increased awareness of the link between fresh food, nutrition and good health amongst community members’

See the 2013 KPMG Evaluation Report

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote areas were more likely than those in non-remote areas to be living in a household that had run out of food and couldn’t afford to buy more (31% compared with 20%).

    National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2012-1013

Monitoring and Evaluating EON’s Program

EON undertakes regular and rigorous Program monitoring and evaluation because we are also committed to understanding whether the Program is delivering our targeted impacts.

An Exit Evaluation Impact Review was undertaken by EON in August 2014 in five of the communities evaluated by KPMG – Beagle Bay, Djarindjin Lombadina, Looma, Noonkanbah and One Arm Point – on completion of the full five year term of the Thriving Communities Program. Its aim was to assess for the impacts of the Program with direct reference to Program participants and key Program stakeholders.

See EON’s Exit Evaluation Impact Review 2014

Key findings from the Exit Evaluation Impact Review:

Table1: Summary Sample of Student Survey Responses

STUDENT SURVEYS (118 Students aged 8-14, 50% male, 50% female)
Learnt how to grow vegetables and fruit in the edible garden89
Learnt how to cook healthy foods82
Learnt why it is important to eat healthily69
Learnt how to grow vegetables at home57
Can identify 15 of 20 fruit and vegetables displayed90
Know what 3 things plants need to grow93
Know when the produce is ready to be harvested92
Enjoy taking care of the plants in the garden94
Would like their own gardens at home90
Eat the fruit and vegetables from the garden93
Take seedlings home from the garden to plant70
Know what healthy food is93
Know what unhealthy food is87
Know how to cook something healthy85
Know how to keep the kitchen clean before and after cooking94
Like eating fruit and vegetables from the garden94
Like learning how to cook healthy meals93
Know why it is important not to eat lots of unhealthy food73
Know what is a healthy snack to buy from the store92