Frequently Asked Questions
Local Voices is a specialised service offered by Voconiq which captures a full spectrum of opinion at a grassroots level around an industrial operation. It is a way for organisations to conduct a long-term regular analysis of community attitudes to the company’s operations in and around specific communities. It gives the communities neighbouring the operations a voice that is being heard by the company and is helping to inform business decision making.
A detailed 'anchor' survey (or baseline) is conducted to understand the key trust drivers in the community, followed by regular 'pulse' surveys to track changes over time. Surveys can be completed online, on mobile, pen and paper, or through brief phone interviews.
In addition, every survey can help earn money for local not-for-profit groups through the Voconiq Local Voices Community Reward Program. Every time a survey is completed, community members can assign a donation to one or more community groups registered with Voconiq.
Voconiq is a data science, research and community engagement company that bridges the gap between communities and the companies, industries and governments that work within and alongside them. Voconiq was established in 2019 to accelerate more than a decade of research on the nature of relationships between communities and those that work alongside them.
Voconiq delivers a community survey and engagement approach that helps companies, industries, and governments to understand what matters most to community members and how to develop stronger relationships with communities. Community attitude data is collected over time, analysed, and provided back to our customers and community members in a format that is accessible and useful. The process provides an avenue for our customers to actively address issues that are important to communities.
Organisations want to better understand the communities they work with, to improve relationships and build trust, based on a mutual understanding of the impacts and benefits of the industrial activities they undertake.
Community members from local areas surrounding the company's project are invited and encouraged to participate. We aim to reach as many community members as possible within these areas. The aim is to ensure that a diverse sample of community members participate.
The frequency of surveys varies depending on the company. A detailed 'anchor' survey takes place at the start of the process. 'Pulse' surveys then take place at regular intervals, typically either monthly, quarterly, or biannually.
The surveys aim to find out about community attitudes towards issues such as (but not limited to) the effectiveness of particular company community investment programs, and potential impacts related to their operations (for example, dust, noise, blast vibrations, etc.), along with employment, skills training and development initiatives. The survey also focuses on the nature of the relationship between community members and the company.
Following a brief registration process, the Pulse Surveys should take just 5 minutes to complete. The Anchor Survey is a more detailed survey, taking approximately 20 minutes to complete. The results of the Anchor Survey determine the items included in the Pulse Surveys.
Yes, the surveys can be completed on any device able to access the online survey platform. The survey is rendered according to the screen size of mobile device. Most modern mobile browsers will be compatible with our mobile surveys, which includes: iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, Windows phones, BlackBerry and more.
Yes, before a program of work is started the most appropriate way to conduct surveys is assessed and the approach adjusted accordingly. Please contact Voconiq to discuss your needs further.
The survey can be completed on the same device more than once, by design. Our systems are designed to allow multiple entries into the survey from the same computer or device so that multiple people can complete the survey from the same public machines (for example, from the library or other public computers). This is critical to ensure equitable and inclusive access to community members who may not have their own computer or internet (or struggle using such things at home).
However, the issue of multiple survey entries from a single individual potentially skewing the data is something that we take seriously. Our data processing is sophisticated and flags every instance of an additional entry from the same device, as well as flagging similar results from multiple different devices (where, for example, the same individual has completed the survey from multiple different devices). The system alerts us to perform additional checks on these responses (which include both an inspection by a data scientist and via advanced statistical processing). Where multiple responses are deemed to be from the same individual, surplus responses are disregarded and removed from inclusion in the survey results.
In addition, we design our surveys to enable us to provide a deeper insight or understanding of complex issues – the weight of responding or proportion of responses that are supportive of an issue is only one part of the results delivered to the industry(s) that contract us. Of greater interest will often be the average ratings within different groups and how they differ.
Voconiq has a strict ethics framework that protects the rights of participants. All data are maintained securely, and no personal information or information that would enable identification of individuals is made available to the organisation or any other party. Participant confidentiality is assured. All Voconiq processes comply with or exceed the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988.
Within Voconiq, participant personal information and their survey response data are kept physically separate and only accessible by a small number of senior project members. All other parties, including the commissioning organisation, receive an aggregated summary of responses by the community, not the raw data.
Voconiq will analyse the survey data collected and provide the information back to the communities and to the company in a format that is accessible and useful. The company receives the summary of data collected in each local region so they can track how well the operation engages with communities neighbouring their operations.
The aggregated data may be used for the following:
• to identify and understand drivers of trust and acceptance of the organisation in community engagement activities, and in various company communication materials and reports
• to inform future decisions and activities of industry and policy makers
• to produce reports and scientific papers
• in a broader program of Voconiq research that aims to understand the relationships between mining and communities at different levels over time.
Organisations commit to use this data to achieve outcomes that matter to their communities. The survey data will also inform the company’s community engagement approach, and development within the local region.
When participants complete a survey, they receive 'tokens' which they can allocate to one or more eligible not-for-profit community groups that have registered with Voconiq. Following each Pulse Survey, Voconiq will send an update to all community groups telling them how many tokens they have accrued and their donation value.
Community groups that are eligible include schools, charities, and not-for-profit clubs and organisations operating within the local region.
Full eligibility criteria are available here.
Participation is completely voluntary, and participants can stop at any time without any consequence. While retracting data is not possible once results are published, participation can be withdrawn at any time, without prejudice, penalty or having to provide a reason for the withdrawal.
This is ok, community members can join Local Voices at any time. Voconiq will send a link to the Pulse survey that is underway at that time and will continue to send invitations when each Pulse survey is available for completion until you tell us otherwise.
No. There is no limit to the number of credits any one community group can accrue.
Authorised representatives for each community group are sent regular updates on token accrual and balance at the end of each survey collection period. While Voconiq does not disclose how much each community group accrues, we do promote the overall value of donations for each location and company.
Donations will either be made at the end of the survey collection period or when a community group decides to submit a claim. For cash donations, community groups simply submit an invoice to Voconiq for the amount owed. Details on how to submit a claim are available on the relevant project page. Payment will be made within 30 days of submission through the portal. Further information will be sent through to registered community groups.