Reflections from the field: A collaborative mixed-methods food security evaluation

Julia Rose McCartan, Davey Wilson, Sue Kleve

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Reflections from the field: A collaborative mixed-methods food security evaluation
Authors: Ms Julia McCartan1 , Mr Davey Wilson2 , Dr Suzanne Kleve1 Affiliations: 1Monash University, Notting Hill, Australia, 2City of Whittlesea, South Morang, Australia
Abstract: Background: Food insecurity is a complex phenomenon with multiple determinants. Innovative methodologies that consider the needs of priority population groups and local service providers are required to evaluate the impact of place-based food insecurity initiatives. This research is situated in the City of Whittlesea, a municipality 20km north of Melbourne where 12% of residents experience food insecurity. Monash University was contracted by the City of Whittlesea to evaluate a place-based food security project. This presentation describes the collaborative evaluation approach undertaken to balance the needs of all project partners. Body: The evaluation was grounded in case study research, consisting of qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods. Local emergency relief service providers requested unobtrusive and sensitive evaluation methods to understand the stories of residents experiencing food insecurity. The evaluators collaborated with project volunteers to co-design and implement a Photovoice process, whereby residents used photos to describe their experiences accessing and utilising food. The opinions of project stakeholders and partners were sought through in-depth interviews. Document evaluation provided objective data to support these findings. Lastly, an economic evaluation was performed to provide a cost benefit analysis of the program. This was required to justify project spending and provide alternative scenarios whereby the program could become more cost efficient. Summary: To generate meaningful evaluation findings for food security initiatives, academia should collaborate with local service providers and residents to co-design innovative evaluation methodologies. Learning Objective: To describe the value of utilising community informed methods to robustly evaluate local responses to food insecurity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2018
EventFood Futures Conference 2018: Food Shaping our Future - Hotel Jen, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 20 Nov 201821 Nov 2018


ConferenceFood Futures Conference 2018
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