During the first year of the project the University of Canberra worked with partner organisations and local team leaders to design a baseline study comprising of community workshops and a small scale livelihood surveys.
During this time, teams of community educators were identified and training and capacity building activities were conducted. Participatory and collaborative methods were utilised in workshop processes. The participatory methods used in the workshops were highly effective and well received by both the partner agency staff and the community members.
In particular the Ten Seed Technique, a Day in the Life of a Smallholder activity and the Talking Tables techniques enabled mutual learning and began the collaborative analysis. Over a number of field visits to each site researchers worked with project partners to implement the workshops and survey, collecting baseline social, economic, gender and family data on each of our six villages in three diverse regions. This process often required three levels of interpretation – Tok Ples, Tok Pisin and English.