FRST Literacy and Employment Project

12 August 2004

By Niki Murray

The Literacy and Employment Project Team has been very busy the last few months.


Literature Review

We are currently working on a comprehensive annotated bibliography and literature review and have accumulated a small library of research articles and books on the topic of adult literacy and numeracy.


Community Phone Survey

The Community Phone Survey is aimed at collecting general community members’ perspectives on employment issues in the Wanganui and Districts area. This survey was piloted on the 15th of July by ConsumerLink, and the data collection phase began on the 21st of July and is now finished. We will shortly analyse the data and once this is finished will place a report on this website discussing the results.


Provider Survey

The provider survey aims to draw in all identified adult literacy providers in the Wanganui and Districts area. Its first phase is a structured questionnaire designed to collect information on clientele makeup, structure of the provider’s organisation, funding and referral sources, and the challenges that each provider perceives as facing them in providing adult literacy services.

Phase two is an in-depth interview conducted approximately a month later to determine providers’ perceptions on a variety of topics. These include:

• their relationships with clients, with other providers and with the community

• how they view their product or service

• how their services are funded and what barriers (if any) this places on them

• relevant government policies and their effects on the provider

• their governance structure

• their aspirations for the future.

The Massey Team has been working closely with the Wanganui District Library on this survey, and through this collaboration we have designed the Phase 1 questionnaire instrument which was subsequently piloted by the Library Research Team.

The Library Research Team is currently collecting the data for Phase 1 of the study. Designing the interview for Phase 2 will take place following Phase 1, to allow for any ideas or questions taken from the first questionnaire to be carried over into the more in-depth interview. The Library Research Team will also be piloting and implementing the second phase of the data collection in collaboration with the Massey Team.


In-Depth Interviews

One hundred in-depth interviews of participants in adult literacy programmes as well as approximately one hundred in-depth interviews of non-participants will take place over the next few months. A sampling frame (a list of inclusion/exclusion criteria) has been developed for both the participant and non-participant samples.

Possible interview questions, derived from the literature on adult literacy, as well as ideas and areas of interest, are currently being discussed.


Case Studies

The Literacy and Employment Project will include a number of case studies to begin in early 2005, one of which is in its initial development stages. Literacy Aotearoa (Wanganui) with the help of the Wanganui District Council, have met with a representative from WINZ, to discuss the possibility of intensively documenting the Enhanced Task Force Green population. This population is a group of people who were put together from WINZ files at the time of the February floods, to help out with rebuilding in the area. Some members of this group were taken out of adult literacy programmes in order to fill this need and some have now moved on to employment.


Stakeholder Template - Nga Awa E Rua

The Stakeholder Template - Nga Awa E Rua is a list of questions based on the metaphor of two rivers that run side by side, sometimes intermingling and then separating again. This questionnaire has been developed by Frank Sligo to try to capture the differing perceptions of relationships among members of the Project Team, and perceptions of the Project itself, from all the individual subcontractors’ viewpoints, including Massey. It is envisioned that this questionnaire will be rerun at differing times throughout the project timeline, to ascertain if perceptions change with time. It is hoped that the first data collection phase will begin soon.


Researcher Development Record

The researcher development record is a way of keeping note of any changes that may occur in the research capacity of an individual while working on the Literacy and Employment project. It allows the researcher to not only reflect on their research capacity and future direction as a researcher, but also allows for stimulation of ideas about research, and may eventually lead to the formation of a model of research capacity-building for future projects and researchers. The record itself is a template that asks for an ongoing record of all formal and informal research guidance and ideas the researcher has received. It also asks for descriptions of the main skills gained and/or developed and how the researcher believes they will use those skills. Finally, it asks for an outline of the skills the researcher would like to develop and what they think the research should address next. Another page asks for both the researcher’s and the organisation’s short-term and long-term goals and an indication of the researcher’s responsibilities and strengths.



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