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Rapid Reviews

1 August 2022

Kantar Public recently completed a rapid review of an initiative managed by Greening Australia – a non-profit organisation dedicated to conserving and restoring Australia's native landscapes.

The pace of decision-making across the public sector has increased significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, rapid reviews have become a popular alternative to full scale, longer-term program evaluations.

Kantar Public recently completed a rapid review of an initiative managed by Greening Australia – a non-profit organisation dedicated to conserving and restoring Australia's native landscapes. The review took five weeks in total (from the point of signing the contract to delivering the final report) and produced practical recommendations to extend the outcomes that the initiative achieved.

Project Phoenix

Following the 2019-20 bushfires, the Federal Government provided funding to Greening Australia to deliver Project Phoenix – a strategic initiative to strengthen Australia’s native seed sector and ensure the supply of seeds and plants needed to restore fire impacted areas and other vulnerable landscapes. The Project comprised 30 individual activities delivered by a range of stakeholders and overseen by an External Steering Committee. The Project ran for 18 months from February 2020 to September 2021.  

Kantar Public partnered with Greening Australia to undertake a rapid review of the Project’s progress towards its stated outcomes.

What we did

The review aimed to answer seven key evaluation questions which focused on Project Phoenix’s contribution towards building a sustainable native seed sector (including knowledge, capacity and partnerships).

Kantar Public used three methods to collect and assess the evidence for this evaluation:

  • a review of project activity outputs (i.e., final reports, project activity summaries, a strategy document, a webpage, and website analytics)
  • an online survey sent to 767 members of the Project Phoenix network
  • interviews with 8 key stakeholders involved in planning and delivering activities

Over a period of three weeks, qualitative and quantitative data were collected in parallel, and results were triangulated to verify findings against the key evaluation questions.

What the evaluation achieved

The evaluation findings showed that Project Phoenix had successfully achieved its intended outcomes. The development of a 10-year sector strategy document was a key output of the Project and was informed by public consultation and stakeholder input. Project Phoenix also assisted in developing a network of stakeholders across the sector and the formation of key partnerships which accelerated knowledge-sharing and capacity development.  

Kantar Public made evidence-informed recommendations that will assist the sector to implement the Strategy and further strengthen and sustain the Project gains. This included ideas for leveraging existing networks to generate further funding as well as communication strategies to maintain momentum around collaboration.

How can you use this in your work?

A rapid review aims to balance time and resource constraints with considerations in research bias (e.g., selection bias, recall bias). Common features of a rapid evaluation include:

  • Iterative and flexible design that can be adapted to context
  • Use of multiple methods, noting that many models rely heavily on qualitative data
  • A participatory approach that involves stakeholders in design, data collection and analysis
  • Multi-disciplinary and highly skilled teams to deliver within short time frames
  • Concurrent streams of work whereby data collection and analysis often occur in parallel
  • Action-oriented findings and recommendations
  • Tailored communications products to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders.

This article was issued under our former global brand name: Kantar Public.  

Kizzy Gandy
National Director,
Program Evaluation

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