|Abstract||The Evaluation of Bushfire Community Education Programs (Project C7) was a significant five year project in Program C of the Bushfire CRC. The objective of this project was to develop and test a comprehensive framework and methodology for evaluating the broad range of bushfire
community safety policy and programs in Australia, highlighting (i) an approach that has the potential to lead to a comprehensive and sound evidence base for identifying which policies and programs work best, for whom and in what settings; and (ii) the provision of a consultative and collaborative approach to working with end-users and community members.
The project was conducted by a team of researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne. The research team worked closely with a wide range of fire and emergency service agencies around Australia throughout the project’s lifespan. The report is divided into two main sections:
• Part A provides an overview of the project. It summarises the key background and policy behind the community safety approach, and provides the results of a theory based approach to the evaluation of bushfire community safety programs;
• Part B includes a summary of the training materials developed for fire agencies by C7. It includes an overview of two courses on evaluating community education and an introduction to the evaluation handbook.
• Two CD-ROMs include the reference materials in full for Parts A and B.
C7 has successfully delivered a comprehensive evaluation framework for bushfire community safety programs. In doing so the project has documented the current community safety approach in Australia and developed an evidence base for evaluating bushfire community
education, awareness and engagement programs. In addition, an evaluation methodology has been developed, trialled and documented that will enhance the capacity and capabilities of fire agencies to plan and implement program evaluations on the basis of a rigorous theoretically
informed approach. This is vital as the community safety approach becomes increasingly embedded in the policy and planning for bushfire community safety across Australia. |