In some ways we live in an exciting time where we are learning more and more about what works—and what doesn’t—in helping to nurturing strong families and communities. Research and research evidence play a crucial role in these discoveries and in ensuring that our work makes a difference.
When I started working with communities and families over 30 years ago, there were very few rigorously evaluated programs or approaches in family and community work. Youth and families workers often relied on their gut instincts. Now there are many programs and approaches that have been shown to make a difference and, as a field, we are thinking much more critically about how we know we make a difference.
There is no doubt that research and research evidence play an important role in innovation and new ways of working. Continue reading
I woke this morning to a nice blogging milestone—half a million views!
Since starting the blog in early 2011 there has been a slow but steady climb in views.
Total monthly views
Average monthly views
I know there are limitations to the number of views as a measure (e.g., if somebody has a very brief look and is not at all interested, it still counts as a view) but it still is an indication of the interest. Continue reading
(Photo: CC BY-SA HonestReporting.com, flickr/freepress via Flickr)
At the start of the year, I decided to provide transparency reports for my blog. While I don’t make any money from the blog, I like the idea of sharing information that might be of interest to other bloggers.
- Total views (May-Aug 2017) – 66,660 (Average of 542 views/day)
- Total visitors (May-Aug 2017) – 43,037
- Total likes (May-Aug 2017) – 23
- Total comments (May-Aug 2017) – 43
- Total shares (May-Aug 2017) – 122
- Total WordPress followers (end of Aug 2017) – 388
- Total email followers (end of Aug 2017) – 322
- Total Twitter followers (end of Aug 2017) – 522
- Total Blog Facebook page followers (end of Aug 2017) – 326
The ten most viewed posts for the last four months were: Continue reading
I’ve recently registered Transition Newcastle as a charity with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) so when I the above email I at first thought it could be related to our registration.
The text read:
Please find information in the following link regarding the renewal for your company.
Renewal letter [which was a link – not legitimate]
Select this link to view, save or print the information. This link will remain active for 28 days.
If you no longer need your business name to be registered, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions, contact us at www.asic.gov.au/question [which was a legitimate link]
Senior Executive Leader
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
It looked fairly legitimate except that I doubted that ASIC would send such an email. On closer inspection there were a few signs it was not legitimate. Continue reading
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In an introduction to herself in a university course I teach on engaging communities (HLSC2241 at the University of Newcastle), one of my students said she was studying a Bachelor of Business majoring in marketing. In response to a question about why she had enrolled in the online elective, she suggested that it “obviously hasn’t got much to do with my degree but it’s something that I am interested in.”
This got me thinking about the relationship between community engagement and marketing. There is no doubt that marketing is relevant to community engagement. Recruitment plays a vital role in engaging families and communities 1-5 – there is no point organising community engagement events if nobody turns up! – and marketing can clearly help with recruitment.
At the same time, I do emphasise that while marketing and promotion are important to community engagement, they are not community engagement in their own right. So what is the role of community engagement in marketing? Continue reading
Asset-based community-driven development (ABCD) is built on four foundations (Kretzmann, 2010; Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993; Mathie & Cunningham, 2003):
- It focuses on community assets and strengths rather than problems and needs
- It identifies and mobilises individual and community assets, skills and passions
- It is community driven – ‘building communities from the inside out’
- It is relationship driven.
As can be seen, ABCD is much more than creating an asset map. In my teaching and work, I am moving away from asset mapping to other ways of identifying and mobilising community strengths and assets.
The above video, featuring Wendy McCaig, is a great example of putting the foundations into practice without relying on an asset map.
Some of the things that stood out for me include: Continue reading
I just updated a post on vertical and horizontal community engagement. The more I think about it the more I like it but have changed from seeing them as different approaches to community engagement to different dimensions of community engagement.