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Research Working Group

IAP2 Australasia has an established Research Working Group (RWG) dedicated to furthering IAP2 Australasia’s commitment to becoming the ‘go-to organisation for resources, research and advice.’

Group Objectives

Our objectives are to:

  • Identify research priorities and strategies in line with the objectives of the IAP2A Strategic Plan and documenting these in a Research Plan for endorsement by the IAP2A Advocacy Committee and approval by the IAP2A Board.
  • Provide research advice for specific IAP2A projects or outputs.
  • Involve members more actively in the delivery of the IAP2A Strategic Plan.
  • Leverage member research knowledge and expertise to support the integrity of research projects on IAP2 agenda.
  • Make recommendations with a global IAP2 lens, where possible.
  • Respond to ad hoc requests outside the formal meeting where urgent.
  • Liaise with the IAP2A Advocacy Committee.

Key Research Interests

Our key research interests for 2024 include:

  • Use of new technologies and platforms such as AI and gamification.
  • Examining what more inclusive engagement practices require, especially in terms of more intersectional approaches.
  • Exploring organisational preparedness including how to better equip organisations to create value and benefits from engagement practices.
  • Sharing knowledge that identifies key features of co-design and its benefits.

Past Projects

Past projects the RWG have worked on include:

  • Case Study Template: This was incorporated into the IAP2 Australasia Core Values Awards entry submissions. View the Case Study Library.
  • Practitioner Notes: Hybrid Engagement and Designing and Delivering a Best Practice Survey, these are available for IAP2 Australasia Members to download via the Resource Library.


Savini Emanuela

Emanuela Savini (Chair)

Emanuela is a researcher and participatory democracy professional. She is committed to supporting citizen-led action and exploring how citizens can have more influence over public policy decision-making. She is currently researching deliberative engagement practices with a focus on how to build capacity in government organisations for more participatory processes.

Emanuela is also the Director of The Public Value Studio, an organisation committed to increasing civic participation. Her practice is based on the deep belief that recognising the tacit knowledge and expertise of communities is fundamental to bringing about the change we want to see in our cities, and society more broadly. She facilitates programs such as the Democracy Lab and is currently the Chair of the IAP2A Research Working Group.

Robyn Cochrane

Dr Robyn Cochrane (Deputy Chair)

Dr. Robyn Cochrane is Director/Lead Researcher of Cochrane Research Solutions, a home-based research consultancy business. Robyn is highly qualified and has extensive experience in research, policy, planning and training roles across education, local government and community settings. Robyn provides a variety of research and consulting services to inform evidence based decision-making.

She has worked collaboratively to produce Community Visions, a range of Council plans, masterplans and strategies and has successfully evaluated services and programs. Areas of expertise include benchmarking, literature reviews, engagement design, survey design, data collation, data analysis and reporting. Empowering communities is at the heart of Robyn’s work and volunteer pursuits.

In 2022 she was awarded Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the City of Kingston in recognition of her contribution to the community. Robyn is committed to advancing the practice of community and stakeholder engagement.

Billy Kwan

Billy Kwan

Billy obtained both his undergraduate and master’s degree in Urban Planning from the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, and has more than 14 years of experience in urban and spatial planning, placemaking, stakeholders engagement and social design in Asia. He is a co-founder and Principal of Rhindon, a strategic design consultancy based in Singapore.

With his diverse experience in architectural practices, the private sector, NGO and academia, he adopts a holistic approach to the understanding and addressing of complex urban problems that foster collaboration and partnership of different stakeholders as part of a co-creation process.

Before setting up Rhindon, Billy was General Manager of a CapitaLand consortium that led the formation of the Raffles Place Business Improvement District in Singapore. He has previously led a Hong Kong-based award-winning social design studio and a non-profit NGO, recognised for creative placemaking with a community-centric approach. Billy led and curated community design and placemaking programmes in Hong Kong, which more than 30,000 people attended, and was awarded Perspective’s “40 Under 40” in the Architecture category in 2014.

Billy received his Certificate of Engagement from the International Association for Public Participation Australasia in 2020. He is an Associate Lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences and has been a guest speaker at various universities and conferences in SE Asia. As a hobbyist food writer, he is currently based in Singapore.


Dr Edilene Lopes McInnes

Dr Edilene Lopes McInnes

Dr Edilene Lopes McInnes is a public health/social researcher with a background in journalism, public relations and management based at the University of Adelaide (Australia). Currently, she is working on an NHRMC project to improve community trust, acceptance, and adoption of stem cell-based therapies in Australia.

Her research relates to innovative ways to engage diverse stakeholder institutional decisions (projects, policies, and other types of initiatives) in various sectors (academic, governmental or private). Dr Edilene is interested in the research, implementation and evaluation of engagement strategies that incorporate the values and perspectives of all stakeholders to improve decision-making processes.

Addressing inequality through increasing participation and listening to diverse perspectives is what she hopes to achieve with her work.

When she is not working, Edilene loves to walk her dog, go trekking and rock climbing, and travel and explore new places with her family and friends.

Dr Robyn Mitchell

Dr Robyn Mitchell

Senior Community Engagement Officer at Melton City Council.

Priya Narsey

Priya Narsey

B.Bus (Administration), specialising in Marketing and Communication.

Priya is Market Research Manager with over 15 years in the market research profession. Priya has partnered with many private and government organisations across Australia and the United States of America.  Priya’s behavioural and social research experience includes project planning, sampling and survey design, data collection, researcher staff training and management, data analysis, reporting and overall project management.  Priya is a full member of the Australian Research Society, a member of IAP2 Australasia, and a member of the IAP2 Australasia Research Working Group. She is also the lead responsible for adhering to the ISO 20252 certification guidelines.

Stu Reeve

Stu Reeve

Bachelor of Arts (University of Sydney).

Stu has 30 years’ qualitative and quantitative research experience across a broad range of industries and topics.

He is the co-owner of Micromex Research, and since 2010 Stu has been involved in community consultation and research for circa 100+ government organisations. In that time he has developed research products and formed close industry contacts with both government and partner organisation. In 2017 he was one of the key note speakers at LGNSW’s annual conference.

At Micromex, Stu uses qualitative and quantitative community engagement and research to inform and assist the development of better community outcomes. As a category consultant he is more interested in the meaning of the outcomes, rather than the process of research. He has been a member of the IAP2 Australasia Research Working Group since its inception, and is keenly interested in advocating the values and benefits research and engagement bring.

Stu lives on the Sydney’s northern beaches and enjoys trail and distance running, speculative fiction, and a strong coffee and a beer to bookend a day.

Merryn Spencer

Merryn Spencer

Merryn is an accomplished practitioner with extensive experience managing complex stakeholders. Appreciating the importance of relationships and how they reflect the level of trust and respect between parties, she is passionate about the complementary practices of research and engagement.

Merryn is also an experienced social and market researcher, soliciting opinions and reporting with extensive qualitative and quantitative experience across the planning, energy and infrastructure disciplines.

Upcoming events

Take a look at our upcoming webinars, via the IAP2A Webinar Calendar.

Find a local network event, via the IAP2A Local Network Events Calendar.