Communication services and research - Groundwork Associates

Social research

Experienced social researchers in the Groundwork team can design and execute research, analyse and interpret data, and report results effectively.

Selected projects

Investigating liveweight monitoring on dairy farms

Cognosco wanted to know how dairy farm owners, managers and sharemilkers use liveweight data to make decisions. The job required technical agricultural system knowledge and the ability to draw out insights from a range of farmers. Groundwork designed and facilitated a dual-method approach with focus groups and a survey to explore current weighing technology and data use, and how farmers wanted to use it in the future. A thorough analysis and comprehensive report presented the rich data that emerged.

Groundwork were professional, reliable and personable. They delivered on what was required.” Chris Compton, Research Project Manager, Cognosco

Informing change in effluent management practice

DairyNZ needed independent social research to understand influences on farmer behaviour to support improvements in effluent management in Northland. Groundwork developed a research plan, conducted interviews with farmers and project stakeholders and delivered the findings and recommendations in a report to influence DairyNZ strategy.

Developing effective extension of a national conference’s key messages

Waikato Regional Council, a sponsor of the 2012 ‘Tools to Farm Within Limits Conference’, wanted to extend the event’s learning value after the national conference closed. Groundwork hired a video production company to produce short video clips of the event. We created a conference-branded Vimeo channel to host the content, which was comprised of interviews with conference participants and speakers and advanced critical points from the events’ presentations. The Vimeo channel URL was made available to speakers, delegates and the public through the conference website, developed and managed by Groundwork.

Visit our “2012 Tools to Farm Within Limits Conference” website here.

Building an effective dairy sector extension approach

DairyNZ wanted to understand existing farmer networks and partner with them to extend their reach and impact within the farming community. Groundwork completed interviews with farmers to help analyse and view social networks and relationships, delivering the information required to enhance DairyNZ’s work.

Channelling stakeholder input into biodiversity management strategy

Environment Bay of Plenty wanted to progress a strategic approach to biodiversity management in Whakatane-Ohope’s high-value ecological areas. Groundwork facilitated a workshop for key stakeholders to determine content for an RFP, wrote and edited the workshop notes to provide an accurate record of their ideas and then wrote the RFP itself. Groundwork became lead consultant for the project, designing and facilitating two further workshops to progress the management strategy.

Quick development of a manual for community facilitators

Community Waikato needed help to develop a collection of notes and references into the first draft of a facilitation training manual in a very short timeframe. Groundwork completed the job to deadline and contributed extra support by researching and filling gaps in the manual outline.

Proofreading “Waters of the Waikato”

The editor of a joint Environment Waikato/University of Waikato publication needed a fresh set of eyes to proof the book. Groundwork completed the review, contributing to the professionalism of the end result.

Improving consistency and presentation of a national soil management guide

The National Land Monitoring Forum was producing a manual to help standardise local government approaches to soil and land monitoring. Each chapter had been developed by different authors. Groundwork edited and formatted the material into a consistent, easy-to-read document suitable for publishing and printing from the web.

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand Organic Dairy and Pastoral Group

As part of the Grow Organic Dairy project, Groundwork coordinated logistics for nine farming couples and five Massey University scientists to visit nine farms throughout the Waikato and Taranaki region for an intensive information gathering and experiential learning process.

Reporting on integrated catchment management results

Environment Waikato’s Integrated Catchment Management Team needed to summarise progress on projects examining on-farm nutrient management issues in two Upper Waikato catchments. The reports would be used to update councillors and encourage other farmers in the catchments to get involved. Groundwork compiled and developed reports which were technically sound while still being accessible to a general audience.

Communicating air quality report findings to the public

Environment Waikato wanted help with a report for a project exploring social and cultural issues affecting changes required to improve air quality (and therefore public health) in Tokoroa. Groundwork edited the document, produced an executive summary and a community summary, which captured the project background, assessment findings and recommendations in a short, plain-English document.

Gathering expertise on greenhouse gas emissions

The Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium and DairyNZ wanted to collect information from New Zealand scientists and professionals specialising in the minimisation of methane and nitrous oxide gas emissions from farms. Groundwork helped the client develop the survey, conducted it and produced a report which discussed and prioritised components, models, systems and technologies that are in use or could be used.

Groundwork has wide experience in both the interview and survey approach, and the technical aspects of agriculture, environmental issues and social sciences. They gave good value for money. Working with them was a wholly pleasant experience and I would be happy to repeat it on other suitable projects.” Dave Clark, DairyNZ

Addressing learning needs for women in the dairy sector

The Network for Women in Dairying wanted help to develop and deliver a series of seminars for women in dairying. Groundwork provided programme design and event coordination services, using its sector knowledge and networks to formulate seminar topics, secure speakers and help develop promotional and presentation material.

Understanding, very personable, timely, not bogged down by the big corporate stuff and [they have] a genuine understanding of adult education. They’ve been great to work with and I look forward to working with them in the future.” Lynda Clark, Network for Women in Dairying.

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