Community development research
Detailed below are the findings from Community Development research projects:
Top twenty data sources for describing community wellbeing in Victoria (2012)
Find data sources to help you describe aspects community wellbeing in Victoria including population characteristics, workforce, mullticultural features, disadvantage, services and facilities, children and families, health, participation, amenity, economy, industry and transport.
Strengthening Local Communities: A partnership approach to delivering school and community infrastructure in Melbourne's growth areas of Laurimar and Caroline Springs. Summary evaluation findings
This report summarises the findings of the evaluation of a project that planned and integrated education and community infrastructure in two new development's in Melbourne's growth area. The project was undertaken by partnerships formed between Local government, the developer Delfin Lend Lease and State government. The report shows the partnership approach generated significant cost savings and efficiencies and delivered more infrastructure for the same cost. Partners report it is a better way of working and there are early indications the partnerships are building stronger communities.
Strengthening Local Communities: The community museums pilot project report
This report is an evaluation of the Community Museums Pilot Project that was initiated to test a model for supporting Victoria's diverse community museum sector. The Pilot, which has run in the Central Goldfields region from June 2007, employed a project officer 'broker' to work with different community collecting organisations to explore opportunities for improved collections management and community engagement outcomes.
The Pilot has led to innovative collaborations and projects that improve the sector, strengthened collecting organisations' role in communities, and increased access to significant historical objects and stories. The Report, Strengthening local communities - The community museums pilot project report - outlines the importance of community museums and will inform future policies and initiatives for supporting the community museums sector across the state.
Community Engagement and Climate ChangeCommunity Engagement and Climate Change: Benefits, Challenges and Strategies (PDF 1153 KB), or (Word 733 KB) was released in January 2009. The Department of Planning and Community Development report was commissioned to gain better understanding of the ways in which community engagement strategies can be used to address climate change issues.
Caroline Springs Partnership – evaluation reportSince 2004 the Department has been testing a new model for planning infrastructure and services like schools, community centres and recreational facilities in growth areas. It has been working in partnership with the Shire of Melton and Delfin Lend Lease to build a strong community in Caroline Springs in Melton, the fastest and largest growing municipality in Victoria.
An evaluation has shown that the partnership approach is a model for success in community development. Caroline Springs is a well-planned community that provides services not only to its own residents, but to people living across the Shire of Melton. Residents now report high levels of satisfaction with the area and the opportunities and facilities it offers.
Strengthening Local Communities: Arts in Community SettingsThis second report in the Strengthening Local Communities series examines the results of focus groups undertaken with artists, participants and community groups about the impact of two Community Arts Programs. The report shows that arts projects in community settings generate significant benefits for participants, artists and communities. They give participants and artists new career pathways and opportunities, and generate the positive outcomes for communities through greater connectedness and integration. A key finding was that these projects can be significant tools for engaging hard to reach populations, and can provide an avenue for these groups to explore issues and express them to others. This can allow community organisations to access their viewpoints for local planning. The report also demonstrates the importance of partnerships in making arts and cultural activities sustainable in local communities.
Enterprising CommunitiesThe Department for Victorian Communities has been working in partnership with communities to develop community enterprises since 2004. The Enterprising Communities report summarises the approach and highlights the results using practical examples of Victorians finding pathways to employment, growing social networks and becoming more active participants in their communities.
Read Enterprising Communities - the Victorian Government's Community Enterprise Strategy (PDF 783 KB)
Community and Social Enterprise: What Role for Government?The purpose of this paper is to provide a starting point for discussion about the nature of community and social enterprise in Victoria, and the role that government can play in supporting this field of activity. The paper is based on a review of social enterprise activity and related public policy in a number of countries, and a preliminary account of social enterprise activity and thinking in Australia.
Read Community and Social Enterprise: What Role for Government? (PDF 159 KB)
Community, Place and Buildings: The Role of Community Facilities in Developing Community Spirit
This paper captures the themes and debates that emerged from the 'Better Facilities – Stronger Communities Conference' held in August 2005. The conference was jointly hosted by the Department for Victorian Communities (DVC) and the City of Whittlesea, and canvassed opportunities for broader discussion regarding the links between planning, designing and managing community and leisure facilities and broader community outcomes.
Read Community, Place and Buildings: The Role of Community Facilities in Developing Community Spirit (PDF 132 KB)
Community Strengthening through Urban Sociability - A research paper funded by the DVC and prepared by Dr John MontgomeryThis paper explores the concept of ‘urban sociability’. It states that urban sociability is difficult to define and quantify, but it represents the sum part of everyday patterns of life, comings and goings, memories of places and qualities such as friendliness, civility and good manners. The paper describes urban sociability as a combination of robust communities, good places like neighbourhoods, districts, suburbs, and towns, and forms of social life that occur in public places.
Read Community Strengthening through Urban Sociability (PDF 255 KB) - A research paper funded by the DVC and prepared by Dr John Montgomery
Strengthening Local Communities: An overview of research examining the benefits of Neighbourhood Houses (2005)Neighbourhood Houses are local organisations that provide educational and recreational programs in communities at a low cost, and there are around 360 across Victoria. This report examines whether Neighbourhood Houses build social and human capital in their participants.
The research shows that the Houses have helped participants build networks and skills that assist them in managing daily life, dealing with difficult circumstances and creating new opportunities such as employment or further study.
Changing the Way Government WorksYehudi Blacher, Secretary of the Department for Victorian Communities, discusses the challenges inherent to changing the way government works. The goal is to encourage greater cooperation, partnerships amongst Departments and levels of Government, greater local decision-making and public accountability.
Read changing the way Government works (PDF 69 KB) (published in Public Administration Today, Oct-Dec 2005).
Community Adversity and ResilienceIn 2004, the Department for Victorian Communities funded a research project run by the Ignatius Centre for Social Policy and Research, Jesuit Social Services. The project examined the distribution of social disadvantage in Victoria and New South Wales and the mediating role of social cohesion. View the report at Jesuit Social Services.
Victorian Population Health SurveySince 2001, the Department of Human Services has collected data on social capital related concepts via a Victorian Population Health Survey. The findings are reported annually. The 2001 and 2003 reports contains commentary by Dr David Adams, Executive Director of DVC’s Strategic Policy and Research Division. Access the reports by visiting Department of Human Services.
Some of the content and documents linked from this page were published by the former Department of Victorian Communities (DVC). Many of its functions are now the responsibility of the Department of Planning and Community Development. This page and/or the attached document(s) retain references to DVC for historical accuracy.
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