Working together to design the services our communities need

Working together to design the services our communities need

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Participants at the legal services design showcase

We are pleased to be sharing the latest developments from our projects to use data and client-centred design to better plan legal assistance services for communities right across Victoria.  

Our Sector Engagement and Service Design (SESD) team recently held a collaborative planning showcase for staff from community legal centres (CLCs) and Victoria Legal Aid. 

The showcase provided information and updates on our: 

  • Data Discovery Tool  
  • Collaborative Planning Toolkit  
  • service design projects. 

‘We know the legal assistance sector will be more effective if we work together to design services that meet the needs of our communities,’ said Marie Baird, Program Manager, SESD. 

The Data Discovery Tool is being developed from the legal needs analysis and data modelling conducted for the Sector Planning project

‘Introducing the Data Discovery Tool to users while it is still being developed gives us an opportunity to ask our staff and partners what sort of data resources they need, to make sure the tool is as useful as possible for planning new services,’ said Marie. 

‘Sharing data will help us to accurately map legal need so we can use our existing resources more effectively and identify where more or different services are required to meet that need.’ 

Attendees at the showcase also took part in a client journey-mapping exercise to illustrate the value of user-centred design in planning legal services.  

Client journey maps at the legal services design showcase

‘The forum was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the data resources available, and in development, that will greatly enhance our capacity to monitor, predict and strategically plan for changing legal needs within our service regions,’ said Tania McKenna, Partnerships and Community Development Manager at Northern Community Legal Centre. 

‘I particularly enjoyed using the journey mapping process to consider accessibility from a consumer’s perspective, and to workshop ideas for improving service design in a way that is meaningful and responsive to the complexity of our clients’ experiences,’ said Tania. 

‘It is exciting to see the work that VLA is leading to progress sector planning,’ said Katie Fraser, Director, Service Development and Partnerships at Consumer Action Law Centre. 

‘It will be interesting to see how this work aligns with and complements the research being undertaken by the Victoria Law Foundation, and of course, there’s always the challenge that this work is still under-resourced.’ 

‘The workshop showcased a number of really useful tools that can be used to both map service provision and identify gaps in legal support,’ said Beth Stewart-Wright, General Manager, Family and Community Services at Comm Unity Plus Services.  

‘The journey mapping exercise in particular was beneficial in that it is something that not only helps us as practitioners to understand the complex factors which may influence how our clients perceive and navigate their legal journeys, but is a transferrable tool which can be used across sectors and services not specific to the legal aid space. 

‘If we, as service providers, want to be able to really understand and respond to our clients’ needs, tools which help us map and identify barriers to support are critical in developing responsive and relevant supports,’ said Beth.

More information 

Read more about the sector planning project

For more information about the Sector Engagement and Service Design team or the data discovery tool contact Program Manager Marie Baird via

Was this helpful?