The Benchmark and Build project forms a vital part of the current GGA Capacity Building agenda. It aims to establish a diagnostic process to gather baseline, then yearly data to measure the functionality, systems, processes, governance and development needs of grower groups in WA.
This data will be utilised by groups and the GGA to support groups to be fit, strong and sustainable, by delivering training and development in a systematic, strategic way.
The plan is to have a digital diagnostic app tool accessible in a closed member only site for grower groups to access, self assess and inform their development needs moving forward.
The data is anonymous and outside of being a diagnostic tool for groups could potentially be used by groups to promote their efficacy when tendering for funding or advocating their value to stakeholders.
The program has been in development since March 2021 and has progressed through to phase four as of May 2022.
SEPWA, Facey Group and LIEBE were involved in Phase 1 pilot from June – September 2021 testing the prototype diagnostic process.
WMG, ASHEEP and Stirlings to Coast Farmers were involved in Phase 2 to more rigorously test the process and gather more data to inform development of a digital tool app.
Grower Group level
Grower groups operate independently and are typically governed by members who have experience limited to their own grower group. Without relativity, it is difficult to gauge performance. The Benchmark and Build program will enable grower groups to compare operations year on year to others – identifying areas of concern, areas of high performance and assist members to better self-direct their grower group.
One of the three key strategic pillars of the GGA is to Develop the Capacity of the Grower Group Network. Capturing trends through the Benchmark and Build program will enable systemic identification of where capacity development is required and enable the GGA to improve its own performance supporting grower group capacity gaps.
GGA believes grower groups will increasingly become the primary vehicle for delivering locally relevant Research, Development and Extension activities and the unique, well connected GGA grower group network is viewed nationally as a model with high potential. It is in the industry’s best interests to not only deliver quality RD&E but also building capacity for WA grower groups and substantiating this at a macro level through year on year anonymised data will build confidence in the WA grower group network underpinning further innovation investment.
Enquiries to Kallista Bolton at GGA.