2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia , 2016  
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Community Development Programme Participation (CDPP)

This variable indicates whether a person participated in the Community Development Programme (CDP). It is applicable to persons aged 15 years and over who were counted using the Interviewer Household Form. Interviewer Household Forms are designed specifically for use in discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Care should be taken in the use of this variable. The CDP involves a broader range of activities than would be captured by the question as it was asked on the Interviewer Household Form (see form image below for further information). The question asked was aimed at identifying participation in a CDP job for the purposes of deriving labour force status, rather than measuring all CDP participation.

How this variable is created

Community Development Programme Participation is a person variable that is created based on the response to the question of whether the person had a job of any kind in the week prior to the Census on the Interviewer Household Form.

Community Development Programme Participation is derived from mark boxes to indicate the responses to question 42 on the Interviewer Household Form. An image of this question is provided below.

It is a multi-mark question and the following multi-mark rules apply. If a respondent answered they had a CDP job as well as a non-CDP job, the non-CDP job has precedence over the CDP job and they were classified as not a CDP participant (note that this does not relate to CDP participation rules). If there was not enough information to determine whether the respondent was a CDP participant or not, they were classified as 'not stated'. For example, if 'no, did not have job' was the only response marked.

The derivation rules for classifying a applicable person (15 years and over who responded using Interviewer Household Form) are summarised below.

Table 1.0. Categories within the Community Development Programme Participation variable and the corresponding responses from the Interviewer Household Form that contributed to this classification.


Community Development Programme Participation categoriesInterviewer Household Form response to question 42

Participant in the Community Development Programme'Yes, CDP job' only
'Yes, CDP job' and 'No, did not have a job'

Not a participant in the Community Development Programme'Yes, job not CDP'
'Yes, job not CDP' and/or 'Yes, worked in own business'
'Yes, job not CDP' and/or 'Yes, worked in own business' and /or 'Yes, CDP job'

Not stated Did not provide a response at all to the question or responded as 'No, did not have a job' but did not provide an answer to subsequent questions.

Not applicablePersons not counted on an interviewer household form
Persons aged under 15 years

Variable history

Introduced in July 2015, the Community Development Programme (CDP) is a Government initiative assisting job seekers in remote areas to gain the skills, training and capabilities needed to find sustainable employment and contribute to their communities through a range of flexible activities. The programme aims to improve the economic and social well-being of remote communities. CDP replaced the Remote Jobs and Communities Program (RJCP), which replaced the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme in July 2013. CDEP was operating during the 2011 Census and was captured in 2011 data.

Community Development Programme Participation is a new variable for 2016. If comparing 2016 Community Development Programme Participation (CDPP) data with 2011 Community Development Employment Projects scheme (CDEP) data, users should be aware that these are two different programs even though to some extent they cover the same applicable population.

For more information about the Community Development Programme, see the Glossary entry in the 2016 Census Dictionary.

Non-response rate

Non-response rate only applies to data items that directly reflect responses to individual Census form questions. Because of the way this variable is derived, the non-response rate for the Community Development Programme Participation variable cannot be determined. However, as an indication of the quality of the Community Development Programme Participation variable, 10.4% of applicable persons did not answer question 42 on the Interviewer Household Form. The non-response rate to the 2011 question was 6.8% (see data usage notes section below).

For more information about non-response rates, refer to Understanding Census data quality.

Data usage notes

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Community Development Programme Regions report1 indicates that there are over 33,000 participants in CDP as at 30 September 2017. More than 80 percent of these participants identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. Based on responses to the Interviewer Household Form and using the derivation described above, Census data shows approximately 5,300 Community Development Programme participants (note that this does not correspond with CDP rules or CDP administrative caseload data). The large difference between these numbers is due to a number of limitations in the collection of this variable. As a result, the Community Development Programme Participant variable cannot be used to measure overall participation rates in the program. These limitations are detailed below.

The CDP involves a broader range of activities than would be captured by the question asked on the Interviewer Household Form, which aims to identify participation in a CDP job.

Participation in the CDP program is only captured on the Interviewer Household Form and not across all form types used in the Census. People counted on forms other than the Interviewer Household Form did not have the option to indicate if they participated in the CDP.

In 2016, the proportion of people responding on Interviewer Household Forms within discrete communities was 92.1%. This was lower than previous Censuses (97.1% in 2011) due to increased flexibility in choice of how to respond to the Census. See the data quality statement for Indigenous Status for more information.

People assigned the 'not stated' category in the Community Development Programme Participation variable included those who did not answer the question and those who responded 'No, did not have a job' and then did not answer subsequent questions. Some of these people may have been CDP Participants.

Labour force status classification

A person's response to the question on the Interviewer Household Form, in conjunction with responses to other labour force questions on the form, were used to assign a labour force status. Because of the changing history of participation requirements and programs in remote areas, CDP participants use mixed terminology to describe the kinds of activities they are participating in, and have differing views about whether or not they consider different activities a ‘job’. Some CDP participants may have answered this question by stating that they are in a ‘CDP job’, while others may not. The question asked was aimed at identifying participation for the purposes of deriving labour force status, rather than measuring CDP participation.

As part of the changes from Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme in 2011 to Community Development Programme (CDP) in 2016, payment arrangements for participants were changed, which changed the nature of their labour force status.

  • In 2011, people who participated in CDEP received wages from their community. They were considered as having a employer/employee relationship and were classified as employed in the 2011 Census.
  • In 2016, people who participated in CDP received income support payments directly from the Government and were not considered to be in an employer/employee relationship with their provider. As such, in the 2016 Census, people who were participating in this Programme were not considered to be employed, unless they had a non-CDP job. People who only participated in CDP and did not have another non-CDP job were classified as either unemployed or not in the labour force, depending on their job search activities. If they did not look for work, then they were considered as not being in the labour force. If they looked for work and were able to start if they found a job, they were considered as unemployed, looking for full-time or part-time work.

This difference in the classification of people participating in these programmes in 2011 and 2016 may contribute to changes in comparisons over time of labour force (employment and unemployment) numbers in discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Further information

A definition of Community Development Programme Participation is available in the 2016 Census Dictionary.

For more information related to Community Development Programme Participation, see the data quality statement for Labour Force Status.

Indigenous Household form question image

Image: Question 42 on the Interviewer Household Form: Last week, did the person have a job of any kind?

FOOTNOTE
1 Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (October 2017). The Community Development Progamme Regions accessed at: https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/cdp-regions_0.pdf