An Internet that benefits people
Why are we doing this research?
One of InternetNZ’s goals is to make the Internet better for people. To achieve this goal, InternetNZ has set out to understand what the people of Aotearoa think about and need from the Internet. This understanding will support InternetNZ to undertake its mahi, including developing policy, delivering products and making funding decisions, in a way that is relevant to and benefits all people in Aotearoa.
Who is involved?
Our research partners
We have partnered with two brilliant organisations Toi Āria and Making Everything Achievable (MEA).
MEA works in partnership with others to co-create a better way of doing things and Toi Āria brings solid research methodologies that allow for positive social change through effective community engagement.
The co-design aspect of this project is important so that we can do the best by the communities we support. By using trusted research partners and listening to small, targeted groups, we expect to draw out foundational insights about the aspirations of people.
People we are engaging with
We want to ensure that a broad range of people in Aotearoa are represented and heard from. The people we are engaging with will be people with disabilities, tangata whenua, Pacific peoples, LGBTQI+ communities, migrants and refugees, youth.
How are we doing this?
1: The literature scan (completed)
If you haven’t heard of a literature scan before, it’s very common in the early stages of any research project.
When you set out to do a piece of research, it is important to see what other work has already happened in the space. A literature scan is a survey of existing research relating to a specific topic.
For us, this was really important because we don’t want to be taking up people’s time asking questions they’ve been asked before. We are deliberately trying to reach people who are often missing from this dialogue. We had to start by considering who has already been heard, or in fact, who has already been over consulted because we don’t want to overburden communities. Since we are looking to engage marginalised communities, we have a responsibility to those people to treat them and what they share with the care and attention it deserves, to honour it by actually listening and following through on the research by doing something meaningful with it.
The process of this research involves steps that build off each other. The literature scan provides insights that help guide the development of the engagement process.
2. Engaging with the community (underway)
By using trusted research partners, MEA and Toi Āria, we will be able to listen to small, targeted groups.
MEA led by Kaye Maree Dunn, brings a te ao Māori lens into her work, and she holds strong relationships that she is kindly sharing with us for the purposes of this work. This is an opportunity for us to better engage with Māori and develop relationships with new people.
Toi Āria, as our other research partner, brings its own unique approach to engaging with people. They use what they call a Comfort Board, which is a physical board they lay out in a room. It provides a ‘comfort scale’ of trust and benefit so that people can demonstrate how comfortable they are with a given scenario. This participatory process is designed to open up discussion and engage a wide-cross section of people.
Working together, MEA and Toi Āria have been able to use a hybrid version of their two approaches, and as they engage with different groups, they will be able to adjust this approach to best suit the people they talk to.
In one of the sessions where participants are using a Comfort Board, which is a physical board they lay out in a room.
3. Publication of research (early in 2023)
By analysing insights drawn from the engagement process, our research partners will put together a report. These insights will enrich our understanding of what diverse communities want and need from the Internet so we can better represent all of Aotearoa in trying to advocate for a better Internet.