Support provided by the Eritrean Community to African Communities in Melbourne

Support provided by the Eritrean Community to African Communities in Melbourne


In 2014 Community Works, was invited by an important and well known representative of the Eritrean Community in Australia (ECA), to conduct an independent evaluation of the work of the ECA and to draw some conclusions and findings for future organizational planning.

The Eritrean Community in Australia is an association that has been operating in North Melbourne since 2001, proving support to new migrants, refugees and families from African backgrounds integrate into the wider Australian society.

The independent evaluation was conducted in a period of over two months. During these two months Vanessa Angulo, from Community Works, gathered with key representatives of the Eritrean and African communities in Melbourne in five different occasions, in which conversations and interviews were facilitated.

At the beginning of the interviewing process the interviews were conducted with a semi-structured approach. We asked open questions, allowing the respondents to answer in their own terms and allowing the data-collection process to collect both quantitative and qualitative information. As the process went along we were able to develop a more structured interviewing process that was the base to develop and standardize the questions considered for the on-line survey. The information collected from these interviews was relevant to the research since it involved responses from people that are deeply connected to the ECA as an institution and service provider.

We sought to achieve high ethical standards by ensuring that the type of questions and approach to interviewing respected cultural norms and traditions. We appreciate the guidance provided to us by the ECA and wish to acknowledge the willingness of participants in this survey to work with us across languages and cultures.

Once the questionnaire was developed, it was sent to a total of 80 receivers between partner organizations, members and beneficiaries of the ECA. Community Works conducted online, email and individual questionnaire surveys, the mixed methods intended to be suitable for different respondent groups.

The information collected was analyzed and presented to ECA in order to help them develop new strategies to engage with their associates, partner organisations and clients. Our objective was to present a clear picture of the feedback received from its members and partner organisations. We trust this information was fundamental to the continuation of their endeavors and development plans.