Community engagement research project, VIC

RPS has worked with Victoria's Country Fire Authority (CFA), Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), and State Emergency Services (VICSES) to investigate communication preferences for community members during COVID-19, and factors influencing their participation in community engagement activity. 

Challenge

With pandemic health restrictions impacting face-to-face engagement activity across all projects and sectors, these agencies recognised the need to understand and respond to the preferences of the communities they serve, and adapt face-to-face engagement practices. 

Our social advisory and research team designed and delivered a research program to explore community preferences, including people’s willingness and ability to connect and engage via non face-to-face methods.

 

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Solution

A key goal of the research was to identify engagement methods and communication channels that would support government agencies to engage inclusively, and address barriers to participation. A series of semi-structured interviews were undertaken with community connectors from government and community organisations with a particular focus on those who work with regional, rural and remote communities, youth, and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Online surveys were conducted with three cohorts including International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) engagement practitioners, internal agency stakeholders, and community members from across Victoria.

The research has provided Victorian agencies and departments with insights to inform how they engage with stakeholders and community members while physical distancing measures are in place, and beyond.

 

Learn more about our work in Victoria

Looking across the Yarra River from Southbank with early morning rowers training, Melbourne.

Collaborating for stronger engagement with communities

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