Seeding change: insights and lessons from the development and establishment of the SEED project in Seymour

Margaret Kabare

Development and early implementation of the SEED model.

At a glance

Drawing on project documents and interviews with project staff, this report outlines how the SEED Project was developed up to early implementation of the model and summarises challenges and lessons learned.

The first two years (2021–22) of the SEED Project entailed the discovery, program design and early implementation phase.

This phase focused on:

  • a review of research and socioeconomic data about women’s economic security with a focus on Seymour
  • conducting qualitative research and informal conversations with local women and other community stakeholders
  • community engagement and building relationships with women and community actors in Seymour
  • articulating the SEED approach and practice model
  • the establishment of a financial wellbeing hub for women in Seymour.

Dive deeper

 Key points

  • Building relationships in place takes time. BSL was new to Seymour and needed to forge relationships at a difficult time. COVID-19presented unique challenges for engaging with a new community. Organisational challenges also impacted the momentum of the project.
  • Community engagement is an ongoing process. Instead of waiting for the community to engage or relying on an engagement phase, ongoing outreach and engagement efforts are required.
  • An investment in time builds strong relationships. Even though the initial engagement process took longer than expected, the relationships built during this period have provided a strong foundation for the establishment of the women’s hub and Community Investment Committee.
  • A critical social policy lens along with qualitative research can help to unpack challenges and opportunities in place. Understanding the nature of local challenges and opportunities requires more than desktop research. Undertaking research into community perspectives, alongside other community engagement activities enhanced understanding of context and provided nuanced insights to foster new conversations about women’s economic security in Seymour.
  • Innovation requires active reflection to refine the approach in place. Frequent reflections and effective documentation facilitate knowledge sharing. A research, policy and practice integrated team takes time and effort and requires a commitment to stop, reflect and recalibrate efforts, when needed. Ongoing review of achievements and challenges, and action learning enabled refinement of the model.

Last updated on 12 December 2023