"Committing to place" and evaluating the higher purpose: Increasing engagement in natural resource management through museum outreach and educational activities

Frank Vanclay, Ruth Lane, Joanna Wills, Ian Coates, Damian Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The Australian "Committing to Place" Research Project investigates the potential of outreach activities and educational programmes to increase community commitment to natural resource management. New communication technologies offer tools for enhancing participation - in terms of a deeper commitment from communities and participation of a wider range of groups - through their interactive qualities and capacity to link people in different places. The research project evaluates the piloting, by the National Museum of Australia, of several innovative outreach activities which use information and communication technologies specifically for community capacity building and developing platforms for change. With an understanding of evaluation as research to inform decision-making at all phases of project design, the Research Team is evaluating: (1) the effectiveness of each outreach activity in meeting stakeholder objectives, including community participants; (2) the potential each activity has to increase participation in the activity and other activities associated with cultural heritage or natural resources; and (3) progress towards "the higher purpose", that is, the potential for such activities to affect natural resource management outcomes in the long run. The research project is an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant involving the University of Tasmania, the National Museum of Australia, and the Murray-Darling Basin Commission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-564
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Community engagement
  • Evaluation
  • Information and communications technology
  • Murray-Darling Basin
  • Museums
  • Natural resource management
  • Participation

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