Developmental Pathways Project Community Reference Group

The Institute’s Developmental Pathways Project established a community reference group in 2011 that has up to fourteen community members. The members have an interest in, or association with, the research being undertaken within the project. Establishing the reference group was a gradual process that included community conversations, training workshops, seminars and presentations to researchers and government agencies. The reference group:

  • Provides a community perspective on project activities
  • Builds understanding that linked data may be about private and sensitive issues
  • Provides advice on research findings and results
  • Provides input into dissemination strategies to inform the community about the research
  • Receives information regarding the impact of the research projects and their translation
  • Provides input into the development of priorities for future research projects

The Developmental Pathways Project at the Institute established a Community Reference Group as part of a long-term approach to consumer and community involvement. Find out more about the Developmental Pathways Project long term approach.

2011 Establishing the Community Reference Group

The Community Reference Group was established with community members with an interest in, or connection to, one of the partner agencies.

Membership of the Community Reference Group includes:

  • Up to 16 community members who provide a community perspective from the partnership agencies; Health, Education, Child Protection, Disability, Mental Health, Justice, Housing, Indigenous Affairs, Communities
  • The Developmental Pathways Program Manager
  • A researcher from the Developmental Pathways Project
  • A Developmental Pathways Project team member
  • Representative/s from the Consumer and Community Involvement Program

Additional members may be co-opted as required.

Purpose of the Reference Group

The purpose of the Community Reference Group is to provide a community perspective on the research activities associated with the Developmental Pathways Project.

The Terms of Reference

The Community Reference Group will:

  • Provide a community perspective on activities associated with the project
  • Build an understanding of community perspectives that the linked data may be about private and sensitive issues that represent people’s stories and lives
  • Provide advice regarding the interpretation of findings and results
  • Provide input into the development of information and dissemination strategies to inform the wider community about the research
  • Receive information regarding the impact of the research and its translation
  • Provide input into the development of ideas and priorities for future research projects

Lessons from establishing the Community Reference Group

Establishing the Community Reference Group was a gradual process. This allowed all stakeholders to understand and come on board with the consumers’ and community members’ involvement in the project. There was also opportunity for community members to develop an understanding of the Developmental Pathways Project, the data collections and the linked data process. When expressions of interest for the Community Reference Group were called for, a wide range of consumers and community members with well-established links and interests applied for membership.

It has highlighted the benefits of establishing a long-term process to incorporate the community voice in a project that spans a number of different government agencies.

A potential benefit of the Community Reference Group was highlighted when one of the members at the first meeting of the group suggested that the Department of Planning and Infrastructure should be approached to join the project. His concern was that any future recommendations for policy changes from the results of research that effect housing might not be possible without the inclusion of this department.