We finished designing the PULS questionnaire and completed some piloting with a small sample of the Victorian public. Unfortunately, since then public health restrictions have meant main fieldwork has had to be temporarily postponed. However, we are looking forward to beginning fieldwork early in the new year once more of Victoria is vaccinated and it is safe to return to the field. Meanwhile I‘ll take the opportunity to recap why the PULS is important.
Why is the PULS important?
The PULS is important because it will support and inform policy that reflects the experience and need of Victorians. The data collected will provide an evidence base for policy makers, advisers and service providers to tailor policies and services to the needs of Victorians.
Projects like the PULS are crucial if we want to make policy and offer services that make a real difference to people. The PULS will give us clear insights on how the public see the world, rather than how legal professions or institutions think they do. This approach is often referred to as ‘bottom up’, and is increasingly common around the world.
Through the PULS, we will have a much clearer understanding of what people know about their law, what kinds of problems they encounter and how they have navigated the system.
The survey will reveal strengths and weaknesses in public legal capability and offer insights into which people have everyday legal problems and what other factors might contribute – like income, gender, location, family circumstances. We’re also looking at the impact of COVID-19 and the 2019/20 bushfires.
It will play an important role in -
determining the kinds of legal information and services that are needed and likely to be most effective for the community
identifying areas for improvement and innovation in service delivery
developing a baseline for evaluating programs and tools for monitoring change.
Fundamentally the PULS provides essential evidence to support better justice for all Victorians.