This publication provides an overview of the second meeting of the International Group for Indigenous Health Measurement held in Canberra, Australia on 28–30 November 2006. The International Group for Indigenous Health Measurement includes a range of people who are involved in this arena, including people from indigenous organisations, national statistical agencies, departments of health, and research institutions from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States who are committed to working together to ensure the highest quality collection, dissemination, and use of data related to indigenous health.
The Introduction to this report describes the development of the International Group for Indigenous Health Measurement, then presents an overview of indigenous population statistics for each of the four countries, highlighting difficulties in data definitions and data collection processes, indigenous/non-indigenous disparities in infant mortality and life expectancy, and the differences in data governance and input into the collection and use of indigenous health data.
The proceedings from the Canberra meeting are included in Part A of the report. A summary of the meeting is presented, and the themes from the 34 presentations are organised into nine categories: Who counts whom?, capacity building, information governance issues, importance of collaborative efforts, the importance of the community seeing benefits from the data, the importance of cultural factors/holistic approach to well-being, data issues, international collaboration, and the way forward. The meeting agenda is included, along with abstracts from all the presentations, a list of meeting participants, and biographies of the presenters.
Part B goes beyond the meeting summary to present detailed information on data collection processes and data quality issues related to indigenous health measures in each of the four countries. The report includes information regarding the identification of indigenous people/ households in the Census, vital statistics data (births and deaths), administrative data, health surveillance measures, and health related surveys, then ends with a comparative overview of indigenous data which includes developments in improving indigenous coverage and data quality.
The report continually highlights the necessity of collecting high-quality data of relevance to both policy organisations and indigenous people for reducing the health disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous people in all four countries.