discussion / Emerging Tech  / 19 September 2023

Looking for advice around building a survey to develop guidance & prioritize tech development to meet ranger/First Nations' needs in Australia. 

I'm working within WWF-Australia on a new project looking to empower First Nations-led monitoring on Country through technology and innovation. As part of this, I've been exploring the possibility of putting together a survey to: (i) identify the 'state of play' and barriers in tech development for conservation (or 'caring for Country') from the perspective of First Nations' Peoples/groups/rangers in Australia, and to (ii) develop guidance and inform prioritisation of tech development to meet their needs.

There's some great resources out there already (Cronin et al. 2021), WILDLABS State of Conservation Tech, SMART surveys etc. but I'm wondering if anyone is currently working to develop such a Ranger/First Nations/Indigenous-focused survey (or has already worked on such a survey) in their own country and could provide any further direction or would like to chat more on this subject. Australia's rangers operate quite differently to those in countries like Africa, South America etc. but there could be some cross-over in terms of the questions asked and outcomes achieved. 

In any case, I'm completely in the exploratory phase for this idea, so very open for advice and guidance. Also happy to chat more about the project, especially if you are working in this space in your neck of the woods!

Hi Emma, 

This sounds super interesting - @TaliaSpeaker and I would be more than happy to chat to you about this project and share our experiences developing tech surveys and supporting our community to identify barriers and opportunities, if that would be useful. I am very curious to hear how this work progresses. 

A side comment - when I saw your discussion title, I assumed I'd be clicking through to find a survey link rather than a request for advice. You may get more people coming into your discussion here if it's clear you're looking for experiences rather than just sharing a survey - you could think about updating the discussion title to make it a bit clearer? 



I'm an engineer and product designer working on wildlife conservation technology.
Group Curator
WILDLABS Event Speaker

Hi Emma. 

We're currently working with Bush Heritage Australia via our Melbourne office to put wireless monitoring technology on their reserves. The project is to track baseline environmental data as well as how it changes based on restoration works done to the land. We've been interfacing with indigenous representatives to check the sites we're putting sensors in for culturally significant or sensitive areas. Based on discussions, we're also potentially looking for different ways the monitoring technology could be combined with indigenous knowledge, as well as putting together training on the tech for First Nations' people. We'd love to hear more about your work and perhaps see if there's a collaboration somewhere. Is this of interest and if so, what would be a good way to contact you?