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From Ian's desk...

  • 6 Apr. Great to see the ABS, government departments and other agencies opening up datasets to inform public policy development, program evaluation and community analysis. Good evidence improves decision-making and outcomes for everyone.

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Literacy Framework
State Library of Victoria and Public Libraries Victoria Network

In 2015 I & J Management Services developed the Reading and Literacy for All Strategic Framework which describes the unique role of public libraries in reader and literacy development. Developed for the State Library of Victoria (SLV) and Victoria’s network of 47 municipal library services and regional library corporations, the Framework profiles current library programs, identifies shared priorities for action to support improvement in reading and literacy outcomes, and establishes a robust approach to evaluation of the impact of public libraries on Victorians’ reading and literacy levels.

Drawing on the research and consultation that occurred in development of the Reading and Literacy for All Strategic Framework, and within the context of that Framework, a complementary paper provides recommendations and guidance on early years quality literacy programming and indicators for Victoria’s public libraries.

Libraries Building Communities (plus allied research)
State Library of Victoria
2004 to 2012

In 2004 I & J Management Services worked with the State Library of Victoria and the Victorian Public Library Network on a landmark research project to examine and document the role of public libraries in building social capital and strengthening community capacity and resilience. The research findings, which were presented at both national and international library conferences and detailed in a five volume set of research papers, showcased the many ways in which public libraries play a pivotal role in local community life.

The initial research was followed in 2007 by production of the Showcasing the Best series of stories about the innovative and effective community engagement approaches of Victorian public library services, and in 2008 by the Connecting with the Community research into how libraries could connect with hard to reach community groups (including indigenous Australians, refugee groups, disadvantaged youth, low income families and mature age people disengaged from the workforce).

The 2012 Internet and PC Usage in Victorian Public Libraries study presented findings from research into the use of computers and the internet in public libraries. It was produced to support public libraries in their endeavours to advocate for sustained capacity to meet the evolving needs of library users and the community for access to high quality high speed computer and internet services. The report was informed and supplemented by detailed information collected and compiled through: a literature review; desktop analysis of statistical data; surveys of nearly 4,000 users of libraries’ computer and internet services; and interviews with library users to discuss the unique role of public libraries in computer and internet provision.

Skyline Education Foundation
2011 ongoing

I & J Management Services has worked with the not for profit Skyline Education Foundation since 2011 to support their work in providing intensive support for talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds during the last two years of their secondary education. A business-focused evaluation of the program has been followed by ongoing assistance to Skyline in tracking past students to establish the impact of the program on their completion of VCE and in assisting them with their future education and career pathways.

Altona and Seaholme Foreshore Survey – Now and into the Future
Hobsons Bay City Council

In 2012 Hobsons Bay City Council engaged I & J Management Services to conduct a community survey to canvass views on the utility and value of the Altona and Seaholme foreshore. The report summarised the responses and community feedback on what people like about the foreshore and how it might be improved. The resulting analysis contributed to the future improvements, changes and activities along the foreshore.

Support for Bushfire Affected Communities
Department of Education and Training


I & J Management Services was engaged to assess the support provided by the Department to bushfire affected schools and school communities following the 2009 Black Saturday Victorian bushfires. The evaluation team consulted with central office and regional office staff involved in DET's bushfire response, relief and recovery activities to support schools. Visits to ten selected primary and secondary schools provided valuable insights to enable the evaluation to make recommendations on continued needs for psychosocial support and the Department's future emergency response and management capability.

YMCA School Holiday Programs in Bushfire Affected Communities

2009 to 2010

Following the February 2009 Black Saturday Victorian bushfires the YMCA was engaged by the Department of Education and Training and the Victorian Bushfire Recovery and Reconstruction Authority to deliver school holiday programs for primary and secondary school age children in bushfire affected communities. I & J Management Services evaluated the September 2009 and the 2010 summer holiday programs with visits to all program locations to speak with YMCA staff, participating children and their parents. Evaluation surveys contributed to the findings on the value and success of the program in providing bushfire affected families with safe, entertaining and educational activities during the school holidays.

Getting to Know Your Community: A Guide to Using Local Data

Department for Victorian Communities
2004 to 2006

DVC engaged I & J Management Services to review and update its 2003 Guide to Using Local Data, a print document providing background information on how local communities could access and use local data provided by the ABS and State government agencies to support community strengthening activities. I & J Management Services significantly expanded the number and range of data resources available to communities and developed an online version which provided users with direct links to data referenced in the Guide. In addition to providing annual updates of the online version, we also conducted training for local community groups on how to access and use the tool and local data for their own purposes.

Community Building Resource Service

Department of Premier and Cabinet, Community Support Fund
2003 to 2005

As one of four service providers in the Community Building Resource Service (with Victoria University, RMIT and InfoXChange), over two to three years I & J Management Services provided local data support for community building activities in North Geelong, Shepparton and Broadmeadows. Support was available to community groups operating in each area and included on the ground assistance in survey design and analysis, data collection, accessing data sets on the local community from government and non-government organisations, presentation of research data findings, and building local skills and knowledge in data acquisition and analysis.

Community Capacity Building Initiative
Department of State and Regional Development


The CCBI was a place based community building initiative in which local coordinators were employed in small rural communities to strengthen community capacity through networking, collaborative partnerships, community development and leadership programs. The ten pilot locations spanned the state from Bruthen-Nowa Nowa in the east to Corryong, Nathalia, Robinvale, Ouyen and Balmoral in Victoria's western district. I & J Management Services interim review of the CCBI documented the progress made in each location after 18 months of operation, providing advice on establishment, resourcing, governance and sustainability of place based community capacity building programs.