- LGiU Australia recently ran our first user (for organisations signed up to the free trial) survey. Having launched at the end of February 2020, we wanted to hear from subscribers how the LGiU service is working.
- The initial results suggest that there is a strong interest to briefings, case studies and news specifically aimed at local government, and all areas of local government, and that it is helping members in their day-to-day work. It also showed areas where we could improve, such as how we share information with our members.
- As a new service, one area we are looking to improve is in how we collaborate with councils to share case studies – and we would like to hear from councils when they have case studies to share, or ideas they would like us to address in briefings.
- This briefing will be of interest to current and future members interested in understanding the vision and purpose of LGiU Australia, and how membership can be of value to councils.
Briefing in full
When LGiU Australia launched in the last week of February this year, we couldn’t have imagined just how the next three months would unfold, which was the purpose of running a free trial. Building awareness among councils of the launch of LGiU Australia, and sharing what the service is – at the same time as the community went into shutdown and local governments were forced to respond to COVID-19 – was no easy task. However, COVID-19 also offered a point of focus, providing councils with access to Daily News, Pandemic Bulletins and Briefings at the same time as they were devising and then implementing the necessary measures to enact the shutdown. Now, as we emerge from that shutdown, the news and briefings are beginning to unpack the short, medium, and long-term impacts of COVID-19.
LGiU Australia recently ran our first member (members signed up to the free trial) survey to get feedback on how the service is meeting their needs and expectations.
How valuable are the various LGiU Australia services?
Initial survey results indicate that overall, members found most of the services to be of value:
- Daily News – 88% found it valuable to very valuable
- Monday weekly policy roundup – 82% found it valuable to very valuable
- Global-Local Pandemic Bulletin – 89% found it valuable to very valuable
- Australian Local Government Briefings – 82% found it valuable to very valuable
A smaller number of members (52%), found the International Local Government Policy Briefings and Local Government Blog to be valuable to very valuable.
When asked why the Daily News is valuable, the strongest response was around seeing what is going on in other councils in Australia (96%), followed by the fact it covers a range of policy areas (52%), the fact it is concise (48%) and unbiased (41%).
For some, the downside of all this content was the amount of emails and frequency of updates. Recognising that members will differ in how they prefer to access the content and when, information on how to manage preferences is provided at the end of this briefing.
When asked what they saw as the value of the Australian Policy Briefings, members responded most strongly to the fact they cover a range of policy issues (81%), that they provide me with practical ideas that I can use (65%) and they’re relevant to my work/responsibilities (46%). This aligns with LGiU Australia’s purpose – to collaborate with other councils, access new ideas and insights and develop solutions to critical issues.
As we come out of the shutdown and councils (and LGiU Australia) return to some sense of normality, this is an area we are eager to continue to improve upon. As a start up in Australia, our ability to deliver the content that is most relevant to councils benefits from input from our Australian members. LGiU has operated in the UK for over 30 years, and a strength of the service is the relationship it has built with its members over that time.
What issues should the content cover?
The survey asked members what issues they would like to see Policy Briefings on. Responses included:
- planning issues
- economic recovery
- industrial relations & funding
- government direction and changes
- strategic planning
- environmental planning
- community engagement
- technology and transition to zero emissions
- infrastructure funding
- policy changes that affect local government
This feedback is a valuable first step in working with our members to ensure our content is relevant to the needs of members.
Benefits of LGiU services
Members indicated LGiU Australia services had saved them time or money in the following ways:
- It had drawn their attention to new ideas that could change how they work. (66%)
- They had used ideas to help them with their work. (58%)
- It had provided them with vital information that has helped them with their job (54%)
- It had summarized relevant news headlines for them (66%)
- It had digested lengthy report on legislation (37%)
The value of a local government think tank in Australia
When asked, 71% of members thought there was value in thought leadership for the future of the sector, and 71% saw value in tapping into fresh thinking and commentary on local democracy issues, as depicted in Figure 1 below.
As the longer-term vision for LGiU Australia is to build a local government think tank that not only provides members with the practical intelligence they need in their day to day roles, but also provides a place for deep thinking about the value of local democracy in Australia.
Figure 1: Which, if any, of the following would be of value to your Council?
More than just emails (and how to manage your own content)
While the main way members currently engage with LGiU Australia content is via emails, all of the information is available on the LGiU website. Members can change their preferences to receive fewer emails, instead choosing to access the content via the website. The archive of Daily News is available here and the Australian Briefings can be found here.
If you are interested in changing the way you receive LGiU Australia information, just visit the website and select My preferences at the top left of the screen, as shown below.
Add your feedback by filling in the survey
The survey is being sent to users from organisations which have signed up for the free trial once they have been signed up for three months. If you haven’t been sent the survey but would like to participate, you can do so here.
Join the free trial
If you haven’t signed up already, it’s not too late to register for your free three-month trial. Subscribers receive daily bulletins, policy briefings, guest blog posts, invitations to online events and access to member-only content on the LGiU global website for every staff member in your council. This is a no-obligation free trial – all we ask in return is that you provide feedback during your trial so that we can continue to improve our services. For more information contact Hannah Muirhead, LGiU International Partnerships Officer, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help us create content that meets you and your council’s needs
If there are issues you would like to see covered in a briefing, or have a case study you would like to share, you can contact LGiU Australia by emailing email@example.com.