Research Methodology

Project Description

The purpose of this research is to explore successful practice in the field of digital community engagement. The aim is to produce guidance to support engaging online with a range of different stakeholders (including hard-to-reach groups).


The key research questions are: 

  • What digital tools or services do practitioners find most effective? 
  • How are practitioners overcoming barriers to engaging online?

These questions will be explored using a combination of online survey, in-depth interviews and literature review.


These key research questions will be explored using a variety of methods. 




Online survey
  • IAP2 practitioners
  • Help define goals of research.
  • Identify key question/topics/themes.
  • Identify case studies.
Online survey
  • IAP2 practitioners
  • Wider practitioner network across government, NGO's, education, private sectors etc
  • Consultants
  • Technology providers
  • Collect comparable quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Identify case studies.
Case study interviews
  • IAP2 practitioners
  • Wider practitioner network
  • Technology providers
  • Collect qualitative information about people’s experiences. Ideally from different sectors and states.
Desktop/documentary research  
  • Identify existing documents, online articles, case studies etc that can support research.

Expected Outcomes

  • The research will be made available to IAP2 members in various formats; a webinar, a downloadable report and a presentation of key findings. Results will also be shared with the wider network of participants. 
  • Quantitative and qualitative evidence that can inform our use of technology in engagement projects.   

Strengths & Weaknesses


  • Whilst this research is focuses on approaches to digital engagement, consideration will be given to how it sits within the wider context of community engagement practice. However, due to limited time, this will rely on existing research currently available.  
  • The sample audience will be limited to Australia with a literature review of relevant international examples. In-depth bench-marking against international practice may not be possible within this study but may be flagged as something to consider for a later date.  




Phase One: Consultation with IAP2 members to inform and finalise the scope of research

13th August - 31st August 2018

Phase Two: Survey IAP2 network and wider stakeholder groups 8th October - 31st December 2018
Phase Three: Final report May 2019
Phase Four: A webinar and sevens in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney May 2019 and onward