Fourth and Final Post

Hi, welcome to our last blog post where we will be talking about a moment of significance during this project! This is the last blog post of the term, and sadly all good things must come an end~

What?

In this course, a moment of significance occurred when our group conducted trials for using the Vancouver Food Asset Map. After communicating and arranging schedules with several community partners, our point of trial was decided to be the Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, situated in the Hastings-Sunrise area. When we arrived, we were directed to head to the kitchen, where community members were participating in a cooking program. Upon meeting the community partner, she immediately asked if any of us can speak Mandarin explaining that speaking in Mandarin would make the trialing process a lot easier. This came as a surprise, and adds on to the difficulty of the trialing as only a couple of our group members were fluent in Mandarin.

So what?

At the beginning of the trial, we quickly realized the limited English capability of the community members, so introductions, instructions, and explanations of the consent form were given mostly in Mandarin. When we did the research on the Hastings-Sunrise Neighbourhood, we were aware of the large percentage of population who didn’t have English as their first language  (Statistics Canada, 2013); however, we did not anticipate that we would have to conduct the entire trial of the map in Mandarin with minimal English given that we were trialing a small sample of the community. In terms of presentation, language is a very powerful tool in getting communication across, “It is very important to use clear, accessible language, especially when you are explaining difficult or complex ideas.” (McCarthy et al., 2002). So it’s no surprise that the difficulty of introducing and explaining the map increased, since Mandarin had to be used instead of English.  For those in our group that were unable to communicate in Mandarin, we explained the context of our project using simple words and phrases in English, as well as hand gestures.  Even so, it was difficult to relay the message across clearly without being able to communicate with them as efficiently as we hoped to. This type of unexpected occurrence highlights the gap/disconnection between the information/assumptions of academia and the reality within the community. Similar to research and experiments, in theory, the conduction of a trial would be a straightforward process by utilizing a well designed and researched proposal. However, expectations and reality are two separate things, and the researchers (which in our case, the members of Group 7 in the map trialing process), actually face many obstacles and challenges in the actual research trial (Mushcab et al., 2015). Our obstacle/challenge, in this case, presented itself as the language barrier between the community members and the trialing facilitators.  Furthermore, by trialing the map, we discovered challenges of using the map that we never would have thought of. For example, for many of the community members, getting to the website itself was a challenge because they had difficulty in typing in the web address, and a single mistake in one character would lead them to an error.  They also had difficulties with using the computers and navigating around the map, such as zooming in and out. This reveals that what our group thought was clear and user-friendly may still have many areas of improvements especially for actual community members.

Now what?

After receiving and understanding the community members’ perspectives on the Vancouver Food Asset Map, we have come up with several changes that can be implemented to improve the usability of the map. First of all, an easier way to access the map would hugely increase the accessibility of the map since getting to the site was one of the biggest challenges. For example, making the web address shorter and more simple, or making it available through google search will allow people to access the site more easily. Furthermore, language played a significant role for this community in the ability to understand information, so the creators and partners of the Google map can look into providing translations for the information currently available.  With the feedback we received from the community members, certain changes can be made to further improve the accessibility of the map, hopefully leading to a future expansion that include other communities. It would definitely be beneficial to continue to improve the ease of use of the Vancouver Food Asset Map as well as the content while having community members constantly trial the improvements so that feedback is received on what is most adaptable for the community population.

References

  1. Statistics Canada, Census. (2013). Hastings-Sunrise Community Statistics. Retrieved from http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/Hastings-Sunrise-census-data.pdf
  2. McCarthy, P., Hatcher, C., & SAGE Research Methods Online. (2002; 2013). Presentation skills: The essential guide for students. Thousand Oaks, Calif; London: Sage Publications.
  3. Mushcab H, W George Kernohan, Wallace J, Harper R, Martin S (2015) The Journey towards Successful Research in a Diabetes Clinic:Expectations vs. Reality. J Health Med Informat 6:204. doi:10.4172/2157-7420.1000204

The Third

Weekly Objectives

Week 6 (Blog #2)

Objectives:

  1. Improve Blog post #1 based on feedback given by our TA
  2. Continue collecting data for the Vancouver Food Asset Map
  3. Connect with our Hastings-Sunrise Neighbourhood Food Network liaison, Joanne MacKinnon, to find and explore potential locations with programs suitable for attracting community members to trialling the map in the future.

Achievements:

  • Blog post #2 completed

Week 7

Objectives:

  • Meet with Teya (at UBC), discuss and confirm when and where we will be trialling the Vancouver Food Asset Map

Achievements:

  • Clarified the detail and logistics of trialling the Vancouver Food Asset Map with Teya
  • Complete peer reviews of the Academic Experimental Report

Week 8

Objectives:

  • Draft Blog Post #3
  • To scope changes and make any necessary adjustments to the Project Proposal

Achievements:

  • Continue to be in contact with community partners in arranging the time and location of Vancouver Food Asset Map trialling

Week 9 – Current Week

Objectives:

  • Finalize Blog Post #3
  • Discuss moments of significant change that have occurred in our project
  • Confirm the date and location of trialling the Vancouver Food Asset Map with Blain at Kiwassa Neighborhood House

Achievements:

  • Identified the moments of significant change in our project both individually and collectively as a group
  • Reflect on moments of significant change

Week 10

Objectives:

  • Be well prepared for the visit to Kiwassa Neighbourhood House for Food Asset Map trialing next week
  • Schedule time and date of the map trialing, contact Kiwassa Neighbourhood House for confirmation
  • Work towards completion of updating the food asset map on excel

Moments of Significant Change

g1

Figure 1: Graph 1 Knowledge and Skill

g2

Figure 2: Graph 2 Emotion

Description

As a group, we were able to identify the knowledge and skills we have achieved so far as well as the changes in our personal emotions, values, and beliefs throughout the course of this project. We identified that for the most part, our knowledge and skills have increased positively as the project has progressed with the exception of occasions when our existing background knowledge was challenged; however, at these areas, we were able to re-learn and refine our knowledge and skills. By sharing each group member’s changes in their emotions, values, and beliefs as well as their knowledge and skills obtained, we were able to identify the differences and similarities between each member’s feelings and learnings. By combining the trend of our emotions on a single graph, we were able to identify what areas and at what point the members might have struggled with, and make adjustments to improve our performance. Any previous issues that members may have had were discussed with the entire group to try to arrive at resolutions. Through graphing, we are able to assess the performance of our own group and reflect upon the initial goals and objectives of our project.

In terms of emotion, values, and beliefs, there have been some fluctuations due to uncertainties regarding the expectations and goals of our project roles as well as communications issues; however, as we are resolving these issues as a group and now setting our in-community trialing date, we are optimistic that our future achievements will be successful.

Reflection

From this activity, we were able to identify the moments in which each member had difficulties with the project. The trends for most members is similar, and it appears that the period of when most of our struggles happened was at the beginning of the project. As indicated in Figure 2, most of the group members felt uncertain about project expectations and responsibilities and had a “pitfall” on the graph at the start. As uncertainty is linked to stress and anxiety, this confusion can certainly be troubling for the group (Edwards, 2009). This uncertainty stemmed from our lack of understanding of our project and what was expected of us (cPrime, 2016). In response to this, we created a working schedule with group deadlines and assigned tasks and roles for each group member in order to clarify our goals and objectives. As time progressed, more information regarding the project was provided which lead to an increase in positive emotions from a further understanding of the project and our roles. For our knowledge and skills, the majority of us have an increasing trend as seen in Figure 1. We had a solid foundation of knowledge at the start of the term, but this foundation was continuously developed as the course progressed through the learning of new topics and concepts. We were able to apply previous knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of the subjects.

In the first few weeks of this course, we felt uncertainty in our project and tasks, and along with the introduction of newly met group members, we all experienced a certain degree of negative emotions. As we were introduced to the project and had our meeting with Teya, one of the coordinators of the project, we get a sense of our expectations, and were able to clarify the tasks that we needed to complete; however, hesitation and uncertainty also comes into action on our group as we are approaching the phase where we would need to take action. Planning for the community trialing was another challenge we had to overcome. We did not expect the amount of time consumption that involved connecting with a community partner and finding a facility to trial the food asset map. While we reached out to many facilities affiliated with the Hastings-Sunrise Community Food Network (HSCFN), we were unable to receive an immediate response from most of them. This setback impacted the fluctuation of our emotions as it added to the initial stress, yet, because of this experience, we were able to gain more knowledge regarding the extensivity of the HSCFN and the community programs and gardens available to its community members. Specifically, Kiwassa Neighborhood House facilitates a variety of food programs to promote food security and provide tools to enable healthier living for their community (Hastings Sunrise Community Food Network, 2015). This is done through free or very low cost snacks and meals, a family food bank, educational food workshops and classes, and community gardens (Kiwassa Neighborhood House, n.d.).

At the end of the project, we hope to continuously increase our knowledge and skills and to have a more positive emotion. As indicated on both graphs in green, we would like to reach the top right corner.

Strategy for Successful Project Completion

In order to meet our upcoming objectives and assignment deadlines, there are a few strategies our group can apply. First, we need to continue to have clear and timely communication both within our group and between our group and our community partners.

  • Plan out for the asset map trial by ensuring that there will be enough laptops, consent form, feedback forms (electronically prepared) and instructions.
  • Organize group’s deadlines for the upcoming assignments.
    • Future blog posts
    • Final project report and presentation
  • Divide tasks evenly between group members for the final project report and presentation.
  • Ensure everyone is on the right track for the project and is completing work.
    • Discuss the progression of the project in regular weekly meetings
    • Maintain an accessible working platform online for all the assignments (Google doc)
  • Maintain contact with community partners about the trial.

References

cPrime. (n.d.). Uncertainty in project management. learn how to deal & cope. Retrieved from https://www.cprime.com/2010/02/how-uncertainty-works-by-kevin-thompson-phd-pmp-csp/

Edwards, P. J. (2009). Managing project uncertainty. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 2(4) doi:10.1108/ijmpb.2009.35302dae.002

Hastings Sunrise Community Food Network (2015). Access to food Hastings Sunrise. Retrieved from http://hscfn.com/

Kiwassa Neighborhood House (n.d.). Food security. Retrieved from https://http://www.kiwassa.ca/food-program/

Our second post

Project Proposal + Progress

This Week’s Objectives:

This week, we received feedback from our TA and made changes accordingly to our first blog post. We aim to utilize the information gathered within the first six weeks about the Vancouver Food Asset Maps to begin collecting the necessary data to fill in the community programs and schools spreadsheets. In addition, we will connect with our Hastings-Sunrise Neighbourhood Food Network liaison, Joanne MacKinnon, to find and explore potential locations with programs suitable for attracting community members to trialling the map in the future.

This Week’s Achievements:

Last week we completed and finalized our project proposal report.  Writing a proposal was an extremely helpful step in our project as it allowed us to clearly define our group’s objectives and interests in the project, delegate tasks to group members, set deadlines for such tasks, and design a plan of our project from start to finish.  In doing so, we were able to ask our TA and community partner the necessary questions in order to find answers we were missing.  

What, So what, Now what:

In general, our group had a good understanding of their responsibilities and what each member had to do. We divided the work in a way that satisfied us all. Communication between the members of the group was sufficient for the work we did during tutorial time, and there was active participation across the group; however, our time management was lacking in the beginning, having done work unnecessarily close to the deadline and not having a scheduled time we would meet to complete the first blog post. Previous experience with other group work in the past indicates that having a deadline set by the group will allow work to be done more efficiently. It also allow everyone to have a chance to look at the final work and make any changes if necessary.  

Time management and having a schedule is critical in group assignments. As mentioned by Perlow Leslie (2014), the real problem lies not in how individuals manage their own time, but rather how a group manage their own collective time. Having an adequate work schedule that suits everyone’s own schedule is critical for success in group work, and setting time for work done in the group is more productive than having multiple individuals working on the same task at different times. As suggested by Eberly Center (n.d.), setting a deadline would be beneficial in terms of working in groups. Having a deadline would break down a “big” project into multiple steps for better time management, and would prevent procrastination from group members, allowing them to capitalize on their own strengths in terms of contributing to the group work, and keeping them on track with what’s happening. When working in collaboration with each other, we can contribute our own ideas into a “bigger pool of knowledge” which we can use for our assignments. Compared to our first blog post, our issue of time management improved for the proposal, in which we were given time in class to do the majority of our work and finished according to the deadline that we set up for our group.

Ultimately, our group created a work schedule in which suits our own individual schedules. For work that can be completed individually, we will divide tasks among group members and set a deadline for completion. For future work or assignments in groups that has not been divided, we will set deadlines prior to the deadline set by the instructors and schedule time to meet either in person or online in order to work on the assignments together.


Weekly Objectives:

Week 1

Objectives

  1. To become familiar with group members
  2. To identify three desired community-based projects

Achievements

  • We met our group members and were assigned to the Vancouver Food Asset Map – Community Programs and Schools project.

Week 2

Objectives

  1. To understand the principles behind Asset-Based Community Development
  2. Draft Blog Post #1

Achievements

  • Assessed the individual strengths and collectively created a group Terms of Reference
  • Began brainstorming for Blog Post #1

Week 3

Objectives

  1. To become familiar with the Vancouver Food Asset Map and the corresponding spreadsheets
  2. Finalize Blog Post #1

Achievements

  • We met with Teya Stephens at Evergreen Community Health Centre and learned about the current Vancouver Food Asset Map and its terms of use.
  • We were assigned to the Hastings-Sunrise Neighborhood Food Network

Week 4

Objectives:

  1. Familiarized ourselves with the project through discussing details to be outlined in the Project Proposal

Achievements:

  • Started working on our Project Proposal

Week 5

Objectives:

  1. Improve our project proposal based on feedback given by our TA
  2. Begin collecting data for the Vancouver Food Asset Map

Achievements:

  • Completed and finalized our Project Proposal
  • Delegated community program locations and schools among group members to complete spreadsheet entries
  • Make necessary edits to Blog Post #1
  • Arranged a time for the group to collectively work on Blog Post #2

Week 6 (This Week – Refer to beginning of blog post)

Week 7

Objectives:

  • Meet with Teya (at UBC), discuss and confirm when and where we will be trialling the Vancouver Food Asset Map

Week 8

Objectives:

  • Draft Blog Post #3
  • To scope changes and make any necessary adjustments to the Project Proposal

Week 9

Objectives:

  • Finalize Blog Post #3

Upcoming Objectives & Strategies:

In order to meet our upcoming objectives and deadlines, our strategy is to regularly communicate with one another to discuss our progress on the project and other assignments.  As a group, we have been and will continue to communicate on Facebook which has deemed helpful and efficient for us as we can quickly raise any questions and concerns and expect a response in a short matter of time. Experience in using Facebook for communication in school related project in the past was generally good, so we will continue in using this. We all are willing to help one another, contribute equal work and participate in order to work effectively as a team. Not only is communication within our team important, but we will also continue to communicate via e-mail with our community partner to stay updated with our project progress and to make any adjustments if necessary to our proposed plan.

Since there is an extensive number community organizations and schools in the city of Vancouver to contact and update on the asset map, we equally divided the contacts among our group.  In doing so, we can stay organized as a group and will be able to finish collecting the information in a timely manner.  Not only do we want to focus on accurately relaying information about the organizations and schools on the asset map, we also want to put effort into ensuring that our trial of the map runs smoothly. In addition to setting up the logistics such as location and equipment for the trial, we want to ensure that we are prepared for the actual trial run. To achieve this, our strategy is to clearly delegate tasks beforehand in order to avoid confusion. Also, we will research the demographic of the neighborhood that we are holding the trial so that we can prepare a suitable survey form to include other languages or, we can provide translators. Through these strategies, we aim to collect enough valid and useful information by the end of our trial to contribute and improve the existing asset map.


References

Eberly Center. (n.d.) What are best practices for designing group projects? Retrieved from https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/design/instructionalstrategies/groupprojects/design.html

Perlow, L. (2014). Manage your team’s collective time. United States: Harvard Business Review

 

Our first post!

Take a look at the world around you ; there are healthy children playing around, adults buying an abundant amount of food for their families, and active youth being fed in varieties of restaurants all around the city. Underneath all that, however, there are also those who are less fortunate, those who lack economical or physical access to nutritious foods needed to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. The unequal opportunities that individuals and households in communities face with regards to access to healthy, affordable and culturally-appropriate food present is the complex issue known as food security, a problem that many capable food professionals are continuously working to resolve.

Allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Group 7, a team of motivated, young, and inspired students from a variety of different food-related academic backgrounds. We are a team that’s determined to develop further understanding of food security and address it with an academic, as well as a community-based, approach.

Our group is comprised of:

14454622_10154611966607079_878609502_n-png

Conic Cheung : A 4th year student majored in Food Science. I enjoy eating out with my friends, discovering new places for dining, and exploring the food that is available in our region. I also enjoys reading leisurely in my spare time.

14429612_10153685071565378_894882406_n

Chloe Chong : I am a 4th Year studying Food, Nutrition and Health who is interested in public health and educating the community regarding nutrition and healthy living. I like to bike, bake, watch movies, and find new places to eat when I get the opportunity to.

img_6638-1

Ardelia Tay : I am a 3rd year student majoring in Food, Nutrition and Health. Just a girl who enjoys the company of good food and good people, and who has recently caught the travel bug. I am interested in the clinical aspect of health, and am working towards the field of occupational therapy.

 

 

 

14456702_10210744788324231_105441389_o

Mimi Kao : I am starting my 3rd year in the Nutritional Science major. I love working with kids and I’m interested in how nutrition education can impact the community.

img-20160605-wa0001

Paul Yeung : I am in 3rd year Global Resource Systems taking environment as my resource. Aside from environmental conservation, I am really interested in how the urban food system evolves in the modern context, especially in urban agriculture and urban food security.

emily-lfs-350

Emily Chow : I am a 4th year student majoring in Food, Nutrition and Health. I live for good food, good times, and good company. Engaging in and learning about public health is my passion, and I look forward to taking any opportunities to connect with the community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Vancouver Food Asset Map is an exciting and challenging project to tackle. Our reason for choosing such a project is so that we can learn more about the various resources that are available within our community. Individually, we want to learn more about how our community operates in regards to food assets and how each organization deals with the food insecurity problems that exists throughout our community. As a group, through this project, we hope to support the development of methods that can deal with existing food security issues and the redistribution of resources that are available in our neighbourhood, as well as defining the areas of our community that are lacking, in terms of handling food insecurity. Our goal is to contribute and assist in creating a mapping tool that is simple yet effective to use, and to support community members in finding the necessary asset within the community in which they require. We hope to gain a sense of involvement within our community through our work in LFS 350, and have the experience of using a community-based approach in dealing with issues related to food security, supported by our academic background. As a group, we are looking forward to taking the knowledge gained in the classroom and applying this to community-based learning.

Our project, the Vancouver Food Asset Map, originated from the Vancouver Coastal Health organization. This is an organization with the objective to promote wellness and to ensuring care by focusing on innovations and quality of work. Their goals are to provide the best care, to promote better health in the community, to develop the best workforce, and to innovate for sustainability. This is a Vancouver based organization that is determined to take on the leadership role in the community towards promoting and maintaining the healthiness of the people through medical care, research and teaching.

The purpose of this project is to create a dynamic, easy to use, and updated map for individuals and agencies in various neighborhoods for locating food assets available in their very own community. The map will be filled with various location points of community resources that people can accessed. Detailed information regarding the contact methods, background key information, and type of the organization will be available on the map after being updated by us. This information will be updated periodically. Accessed through the internet, community members can use this map to discover and locate various assets in which may have remained unknown prior to using the map. This map will allow individuals and community organizations to have an easier access to food-related assets and will act as a supportive tool to help those who are dealing with food security issues within the community.

Taking the experience of Ernesto Sirolli in Africa, we learned that going into local communities with a rational plan seldom works. Listening is the key, and respect comes very important. Apart from providing a map that informs the locals about the available food-related resources around the area, our project aims to initiate the “local passion,” as Ernesto Sirolli mentioned.  We do not tell the community what to do, but instead, we work together as a part of the community to enhance the public participation and to ensure that everyone contributes. This comes in the form of holding trials that test the effectiveness of the food asset map, where we will listen to opinions of community members regarding the map and will welcome suggestions to further improve the map.

For this project, creating a positive, inclusive, and strength-based engagement will serve best for the community we will be working with.  Instead of solely focusing on what needs to improve, alternatively, we can help the community in discovering what assets already exist and building upon such assets. We want to focus on the strengths and to reinforce them in order to contribute to community empowerment.

Asset-Based Community Development is based upon taking available resources such as community center workshops, local food banks, and community supported agriculture programs, and supporting such resources to be made accessible for all community members. Following that idea, our project follows the Toronto’s Food by Ward project and take the positive aspect of their project to implement into our own. This project also involves redirecting people into acquiring assets within their local community instead of looking to outside resources for help. This mapping tool can provide people with more knowledge about available assets in their community and works to strengthen the inter-community relationships rather than requesting help from outside resources or organizations.

We look forward to updating our blog to include our weekly progress and insights while working on this exciting project.

Spam prevention powered by Akismet