The team at newfocus have a thorough understanding of community perceptions towards Councils and how these can be captured through research to inform strategic planning. We help our councils understand what their community wants and needs through community engagement utilising a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods. Community engagement can assist Councils in creating awareness of programs, services, initiatives and regulations relevant to community members as well as encourage active community participation and effective advocacy on local issues.
We have worked across a wide range of local council, federal and statement government sectors . Below are some exemplified case studies:
Broad community survey to inform development of a city plan
Background: newfocus was sought out by a local council in Victoria to design, implement, assess and report on a survey of its constituents. Council had identified a need to engage with the community through research to help inform Council in development of a new five-year strategy and city plan.
Our approach: A multi-modal approach was adopted involving a random sample Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) method of 1,000 local residents and businesses. These interviews were further supported by a series of supplementary online and face to face surveys targeting specific segments and/or to provide an opportunity for the broader community to be involved, such as youth, children, disadvantaged and the culturally diverse.
Outcome: The research findings assisted in the development of the city plan, with newfocus again invited to conduct a repeat project four years later (2020) to assist Council with the renewal of their strategy and city plan for the next five years.
Satisfaction with Council services
Background: newfocus has been involved with multiple local councils to assess community perceptions towards services provided. These surveys have been able to provide benchmarks to inform future planning on products, services, customer service initiatives and the overall brand of each local council. One such project involved a survey of residents and businesses who had recently interacted with a council service.
Our approach: A large sample was collected via multi-modal methods including CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview) and online survey from those who had recent interactions with Council regarding their services. The survey engaged both residents and business owners, representing a broad cross-section of the community overall and engaged with users of Council services at a granular level, with findings reported both overall and at a service level.
Outcome: The project was able to provide benchmarks and comparisons for Council to show its strengths of service provision as well as highlight some areas for improvement in terms of customer service and relevant contact points. The council was able to report back to relevant divisions and develop strategies on service provision in the near future. The research was also able to highlight what aspects of service were related to overall perceptions.
Analysis of community consultation feedback
Background: newfocus was engaged to undertake analysis of a survey administered by a local council to determine community perceptions to inform an active living strategy and to focus future community consultation.
Our approach: We undertook a detailed content analysis of responses to open-ended questions, supported by quantitative investigation of survey responses to identify the key themes to be addressed as part of the strategy.
Outcome: Aside from identifying key themes for consideration by Council, the analysis also identified the various roles that the organisation plays in establishing, promoting and facilitating services and programs to enhance the physical and mental well-being of the community. newfocus has since been engaged by this local council in further work on wellbeing with resident, visitor, worker, and student city-user groups.
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