Fire Notes - a useful utilisation tool

Created date

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 10:13pm

You may have heard about,  or participated in, our Research Utilisation survey recently.  The survey went to all of our end user stakeholder agencies at the end of September. We received 145 responses.

A big thank you to all agencies and individuals who participated.  We need information from you to help us to formulate our approach to Research Utilisation and to adapt to your changing needs.

We have not yet fully analysed the survey data.  However, I can't resist highlighting one finding that has emerged from our survey.

Of the various tools and resources we provide (Website, Fire Notes, Research Publications and Events),

  • people are most familiar with the Fire Notes,
  • people are most satisfied with the Fire Notes as an information source
  •  People indicated that the Fire Notes offer the best assistance with learning new knowledge and skills
  • Fire Notes provide the most help with understanding the Bushfire CRC research, and
  • They are of the most help with evaluating what needs to change.

However, not surprisingly, they aren’t particularly useful in giving the skills needed to bring about change.

My initial reflections about this are that Fire Notes may provide more than just easy access to the research.  They could have many other benefits – they are easy to distribute and circulate and can be used as thought provokers or discussion starters to get people thinking about what the research might mean in their agency context.

So how can we maximise the potential use of Fire Notes? A few ideas:

  • Circulate within your agency or more broadly.  Enlist the help of communications or public affairs colleagues to put them onto web sites or internal newsletters. Some organisations are doing this well already.
  • Conduct targeted circulation of the Fire Notes – ask a senior person responsible for a particular subject area (such as Community Safety) to circulate to their functional area or directorate.
  • Use Fire Notes as discussion starters – facilitate a conversation at team meetings, staff meetings or the like to generate conversation to talk about the matters raised in the Fire Note.
  • What did people read, what do they think it means? What might the implications be? Could they be significant and worthy of further consideration?

In a world where we are bombarded with information, where does it go and how do we take meaning from it?