Magda Goemans

My research services encompass a range of methods that include:

Literature Reviews and Assessments of Environmental Initiatives: Over the course of several projects I’ve reviewed a vast range of sustainability literature, and accessed a multitude of legal documents, media accounts, press releases and transcripts from public meetings at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. I’ve also consulted with individuals and community groups as they work with and assess the feasibility of initiatives directed towards reducing carbon emissions and water use (e.g. ecological footprint calculators), often uncovering ways in which some of these tools could be enhanced to provide both greater ease of use and potential for success.

Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM): I have employed this method as part of two household resource reduction pilot projects in Ottawa neighbourhoods. CBSM employs a strategy that moves beyond simply informing community residents of environmental concerns, to actively involving households in delivering conservation solutions through a number of social marketing tools: commitment, prompts, norms, communication and incentives.

Survey Design and Distribution: I have designed and distributed surveys to residents of an inner-urban neighbourhood to assess their reactions to the introduction of large-scale retail in their community. My efforts have generated higher-than-typical survey return rates, due in part to several measures I employ to contact and prepare recipients prior to survey distribution.

Interviews, Focus Groups, Community Forums: Throughout each interview or focus group process, my aim is to respectfully give voice to all points of view. I am always aware that study participants are made particularly vulnerable if their statements are not interpreted as originally intended, and I aim to establish relationships of mutual respect and trust. Part of this process involves ongoing communication with participants to answer questions and provide progress updates where applicable.

Photovoice: This innovative research technique, also sometimes referred to as the ‘photo-elicitation’ or ‘diary-photography’ method, describes a method of providing study participants with cameras so that they can document their visual impressions of a particular issue. This technique involves an analysis of images to potentially reveal levels of meaning that are not accessible through written or spoken forms of communication.