GUYSBOROUGH – Guysborough County residents are asked to check their mailboxes over the coming week for a survey on quality of life in their community. The research project by Engage Nova Scotia, in collaboration with the University of Waterloo and supported by NSCC, asks questions about how Nova Scotians can “work together to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled in all areas of our lives.”
A significant part of the project, notes Engage NS Chief Engagement Officer Danny Graham, is the ability to generate a report for each region of Nova Scotia, so insights are gained and action can be taken at a very local level, in addition to providing a clear picture of strengths and weaknesses for the province as a whole.
“We have leadership teams in every region of the province, already mobilizing to drive participation in the report,” he said during an interview with The Journal Tuesday. “And it’s a cross-section of people who have economic, social and even environmental interests in this area. What we’re hoping to do is to use the strengths of local leadership to continue to make sense out of the data once it’s been collated and begin to mobilize action towards better results.”
Graham stressed the importance of people completing the survey and not throwing it out with junk mail.
“It allows them to have voice,” he said. “If they identify as being part of a marginalized community, for example, this gives them a pathway to be better understood. And if you care about your region of the province...a high participation rate will allow us to take action that is more localized, instead of just relying on a provincial data set.”
Preliminary data is expected this fall. “But the data set will be so enormous that it will be early 2020 before we start to produce the reports that will be meaningful regionally,” Graham said. “Then we want to convene gatherings in each region to look at the findings.”
The focus, he said, is on following up with action. This is about “strengthening and mobilizing communities in a region,” he said.
It isn’t going to be a “dusty report...We’re going to do something with it.”
Graham encourages residents to go online with their personal code and fill in the survey as soon as they can, so the material doesn’t get lost in the weeks ahead.