Borderlands Cooperative adopts a participatory approach with community development and social justice intentions in all our project work. As such, our approach would be one of collaboration and consultation with the Project Managers, Reference Groups, local researchers and other people who would be involved with the projects we undertake. We believe in establishing a re-iterative process between our research team and the managers and Reference Groups we work with in relation to key deliverables for Projects; thus, as we provide the project plan, an interim report and prepare the drafts of the final report, feedback, reflections and collaborative planning associated with meetings or communications will be reflected and transformed into successive draft reports, briefings and, eventually, into a final document.
Our approach to any research task includes a careful consideration of methodologies appropriate to the task at hand. Our researchers/consultants have a very wide range of experience across the variety of available methods and we have worked within the qualitative and quantitative approaches, preferring to apply ‘triangulation’ across the variety of methods so as to develop optimal analytical and interpretative conclusions and recommendations in collaboration with those responsible for program implementation and/or development. Building in sustainability measures and assessments has been a central feature of our social research and evaluation of projects and programmes.
We’ve worked with Volunteer Resource Centre networks, the Community Legal Services sector, Neighbourhood Houses and Community and Family Centres in the Eastern Metropolitan Region across:
- multicultural contexts and abilities
- evaluative contexts related to community building, organisational development and reconciliation work.
An in-depth understanding of the complex policy landscapes and their relevance for the project at-hand was applied and further developed at the interface between expectations of the project and the specific policy context.
The Borderlands’ team consist of consultants and researchers with both practical and academic backgrounds; we have experience-based and multi-disciplinary capabilities to craft practically useful syntheses of foundational as well as newly emerging theoretical frameworks and interpretations.
We thus have a diverse range of transferable skills, including:
- practical experience of interviewing people from diverse backgrounds
- developing and implementing questions for questionnaires (qualitative and quantitative), semi-structured interviews, and focus groups
- analysing qualitative and quantitative data
- undertaking extensive literature searches and analyses of relevant material
- recording information methodically
- writing lucid and comprehensive reports with recommendations relevant for the specific circumstances of the clients we work with
- commitment to provide regular oral reports of progress and findings at mutually agreed upon times with the relevant steering group/project manager
- highly developed self-motivation and the ability to meet deadlines
- proficiency with computer programs
- extensive networks and contacts throughout Victoria in the community and voluntary sector
- commitment to facilitating the sharing of information and to building relationships across sectors (e.g. between government and the community sector) as well as within sectors