Specific project may require the use of qualitative and participatory methods to gather and incorporate community feedback, and may include in-depth interviews and workshops, or more quantitative methods including for example the analysis of census data and survey research. Examples of methods used by the team at Yarramine to conduct stakeholder and community surveys include:
Census data has been used to identify existing and projected community and population profiles for construction and development projects, urban and regional planning processes and the development of community engagement strategies. Profiles are always tailored to the specific requirements of the project and may include the examination of trends across different census periods, the development and application of specific indicators and the mapping of census data using geographic information systems.
Qualitative analysis has generally been based on the analysis of semi structured and unstructured interviews. Much of this research has been undertaken within the broader context of natural resource management and has included large scale projects based on interviews with over 100 participants to smaller scale research projects with selected stakeholders in both a group and individual context. In some instances the qualitative research is undertaken as a stand alone research project, while in other instances it has been used as basis for the development of quantitative research projects.
Social indicators are developed from census data, survey data and other secondary data sources. Social indicators include those based on
- Relative comparisons between communities, organisations and geographic regions and;
- Temporal comparisons across different time periods.
Indicators are often used in a monitoring and evaluation framework and can be used to assess the achievement of project or programs goals or targets. While social indicators themselves are generally relatively quantitative, Yarramine has developed integrative approaches to allow qualitative data to be used in the development, use and interpretation of indicators.
Furthermore social indicators are often developed and integrated and assessed alongside biophysical and economic indicators and may be displayed using specialised graphics and spatial mapping techniques.
Yarramine has significant experience and skills in the development, administration and analysis of social surveys. Surveys of communities and organisations have been undertaken to address issues in both the natural and built environment and have included a broad range of content areas and issues, including the assessment of the potential impacts of changes in natural resource policies, needs assessments, the assessment of development options and construction impacts and the use of social surveys in monitoring and evaluating programs and policies.
Innovative data analysis and presentation techniques are often used to present and communicate the findings from survey research, including the use of specialised graphics techniques, the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and network analysis diagrams and models.