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Update on Progress

8 December 2004

By Niki Murray

I would like to just extend a big Thank You to all those people and agencies who have participated in our study sometime this year, whether it be as an interviewee, an interviewer, as a fount of ideas or something else entirely, you were and are still very much appreciated.

This will likely be the last full update for 2004. All of the information below will be on-going throughout the Christmas and New Year period. So until early 2005…I hope you all have a great Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

Community Phone Survey

I’d like to begin with a big Thank You to all those out there who are patiently awaiting the results of the Community Phone Survey. At present, we have preliminary results which our Steering Committee is reviewing. One of our Research Assistants is concurrently working on deriving a report from the Phone Survey and it will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

Provider Survey

We are currently working on the first report from our first wave of data collection and hope to have this out to the provider agencies soon. This first phase was a collection of descriptive information about each of the providers, and outlined succinctly some of the key challenges that face each agency. Thank you for all the provider agencies that took part! It is much appreciated!

The second phase plans to build on and extend the information gained in the initial survey. All of the providers who took part in the first phase of the survey, have agreed to be interviewed for the second phase. A recent meeting on this second Provider Survey, discussed what information we had missed in the first phase, and what areas we needed to look into more. One of these important areas was gaining more information on the history of the agencies, for example, how the provider came into being and the challenges they have faced along the way in providing these necessary services. The second phase also proposes to look more in-depth into the mechanics of the agencies themselves i.e. how they work/teach.

The project team will be meeting to discuss ideas for this second phase soon, and would welcome any suggestions that stakeholders may wish to contribute to this discussion. If so, please feel free to contact Niki on

In-Depth Interviews

Currently we are carrying out interviews with participants in adult literacy programmes and also interviews with those who have never participated in an adult literacy programme. We hope to have these finished by early next year. These interviews provide valuable information on individual’s experiences while growing up, their experiences at school, their learning and perceptions of the course they are in, motivators, and their involvement in the community to name a few of the key themes. This first round of interviews not only serves to show us what the key issues are for those in literacy programmes, and those who are not, but also serves as a baseline for expansion on in the second and third rounds of interviews, scheduled to be in late 2005 and 2006 respectively. It also allows perspectives on the same issues across providers, employers, participants, and community members to be compared.

Case Studies

We are also looking into beginning case studies soon. One of these is proposed to focus on the Enhanced Task Force Green team who are a group of people brought together to work on reconstructing the Wanganui and Districts community after the February floods. This group, because of their unique experience, are able to offer unique perspectives on the relationship between literacy and employment.

Other community groups and agencies are currently being approached regarding potential case study ideas.

Focus Groups

Finally, in early next year, we will be looking into focus groups of employers, participants and non-participants (and potentially providers). Areas of discussion are still to be developed, but are likely to be informed by the information arising from previous research both from within and outside this study.

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