Local Government / Regional Organisations

1. Community Needs Study

The Issue:

  • A large metropolitan Local Government Authority needed to better understand community values and the components contributing to “quality of life” in the City 
  • This work was undertaken in a “constrained” environment since facilities and services compete for funding and resources
  • This required a prioritisation/ trade off process, more sophisticated than the traditional importance/ satisfaction approach


Research Solutions developed a tailored research program for the Authority, which included the use of a specialised research and modelling technique called SIMALTO – Simultaneous Multi Attribute Trade Off Analysis.

The model and technique allows for the identification of:

  • The community’s desired level of service in each City area tested.
  • The extent to which they are satisfied with the current level of service provided.
  • What they are prepared to change or trade off to achieve desired levels of service and facility provision in priority areas.

It was administered via a face to face survey of a randomly selected sample of 300 City residents and covered the following areas:

  • The City’s Road Network – provision, management, maintenance and repair
  • Public Transport – reliability and frequency
  • The City’s sewage and storm water management system
  • The City’s drinking water supply and reuse of waste water
  • Creek and waterway health and management
  • Bushland conservation practices
  • Provision and facilities at City parks
  • Recycling collections and programs
  • The development of metropolitan greenways
  • City provided recreation programmes and facilities
  • City festivals and events
  • Heritage preservation practices and suburban centre improvement projects
  • Access to the City’s waterways


  • A strong case was presented for the Authority to consider increased expenditure to improve services and infrastructure, which was accompanied by reasonably strong support for a rate increase to cover this expenditure in designated areas.
  • Key priority areas for residents included:
    • The drinking water supply and reuse of waste water
    • Liveability – interconnecting cycleways, additional spaces to meet with friends, facilities to cater for a more diverse range of recreational and cultural pursuits

 2. Communication Strategy

The Issue:

  • A regional organisation, responsible for waste management measures for its member local authorities, developed a Regional Waste Education and Communication Campaign in 2005.
  • In 2007 a review and evaluation of the campaign was required, to provide the organisation with a better understanding of, amongst residents:
    • The perceived importance of recycling and effect on behaviour.
    • Key messages that will impact recycling behaviours.
    • Messages for potential macro and micro contaminant based education and information campaigns in the future.


Research Solutions developed a tailored research programme that included:

  • Focus Groups with residents across the region, designed to identify and explore existing attitudes towards recycling, levels of understanding of the recycling system employed in the area, what triggers behaviour and drives a need to participate in recycling and rewards that will have a long term impact on behaviour.
  • An extensive online survey with a representative sample of residents, designed to measure and benchmark existing recycling behaviours and attitudes, measure the effectiveness of the regional campaign and test a series of new education initiatives.


  • To assist the organisation in focussing its communication and education efforts, the study included an attitudinal segmentation, designed to identify key segments of the community and their emotional triggers, thereby allowing for the prioritisation of campaign strategies in the future
  • It is expected that the study will be tracked in the future to measure progress and evaluate new strategies and campaigns