Engagement without Borders, Melbourne, 2012

 

 

I was delighted to assist IAP2 with this forthcoming event at Abbotsford Convent on the 29th May in Melbourne.

 

Download the PDF of the program here: Engagement Without Borders _outline program

 

Personal, organisational, cultural, demographic or geographic; engaging with the full spectrum of our communities can be a significant challenge.

 

“Engagement without Borders” is an inclusive engagement feast   held at Melbourne’s renowned Abbotsford Convent.

 

I hosted the day and guided a whole day SpeakOut! session to help participants extend their reach and attract diverse people from all corners of the community to the conversation.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Afghan Tea SpeakOut Stall

 

Participants could forage and sample the best in innovative and successful community engagement projects and activities drawn from some of the leading lights in inclusive engagement from across Victoria.

 

The event involved an interactive panel session, concurrent workshop sessions and a marketplace with conversation circles to gain insights and tips about engaging our diverse communities from over 20 different practitioners.

 

Contributors to the event included representatives from local government, state government and community and not-for-profit organisations.

 

For further information, please contact Keith Greaves: [email protected].

 

Silencing Dissent: charity begins at home

April 29, 2011 – 4:07 pm



In an eco-village, there is more to life than managing weeds and water quality in the dams.

 

What we have learned about social reform and social change in Western countries over many decades is that burning books and silencing dissent are very dangerous practices.

What is my dissenting voice really saying?

I am saying that exclusionary practices in the Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet make me and many of my neighbours feel excluded and unhappy.

 

At a higher level, they are inequitable, unfair and destabilising of community strength, solidarity and, ultimately, sustainability.

 

It’s not fun being the focus of sustained attacks.

 

But I am willing to wear that discomfort to have my voice – my small single voice – heard.

 

I come from a long line of people who spoke out against injustice. As a Canadian-Armenian, I know what happened to my father’s family and his father’s family. The blood of the martyrs runs in my veins.

 

Social exclusion and bullying in Jarlanbah are hardly genocide. But they are definitely ways of killing community.

 

I guess I just have to be unpopular. Tearing off the gag.

Speaking the unspeakable.

 

And I am going to fight for the rights of the disenfranchised and silenced members of communities with my dying breath.

 

So when I think of silencing dissent charity begins at home!

 

 

Why bother with community engagement, anyway?

question
April 11, 2010 – 9:43 pm

 

In the past couple of weeks I have been confronted by many aspects of the community engagement debate. Angry residents questioning my integrity as I try to help them with a local environmental problem I’d say qualifies as a “wicked problem” in their neighbourhood.

 

Then I experience my own neighbours resisting the changes that dual occupancy (or accessory units) might bring to their subdivision of half-acre lots.

 

And then, finally, a wealthy developer with a large site asking why we needed to bother with community engagement at all – when there are (apparently) no activists or “greenies” in this (a large country town) community and there are no frogs or anything that could be considered endangered.

 

Or that anyone would get in a lather about or go to the press about”¦

 

In a (somewhat) small voice I was muttering to myself about an “engaged citizenry” being a value in its own right.

 

Who would do community engagement for a living?

 

I would.

 

I keep at it, trying to help where I can, accepting that to some I am a “mercenary”, or the hired gun of the developers who are paving over paradise.

 

And to others, I am a hopeless, naive optimist who does not understand the “bottom line”.

 

All these personae.

 

The same me.

 

The best part of this very challenging period was an unexpected phone call last night from an old friend – a prominent developer – encouraging me and bolstering my spirits. We’ve been friends for nearly thirty years. He had the same thing to say about his profession, recounting a conversation over lunch last week with a fellow developer: who could be a developer?

 

Vale Arne Naess

 

 

Last year we mourned the death of the great Norwegian environmental philosopher, Arne Naess, father of Deep Ecology and the first Chairman of Greenpeace Norway when it was founded in 1988.

 

See: https://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/15/obituary-arne-naess

 

I was blessed to have heard him speak on two occasions: once in Melbourne and once in Killarney, Ireland.

 

The frontier is long

 

Naess, who was 96 when he died in January, 2009, reminded us that “the frontier is long”.

 

The community engagement frontier is long, too. There’s a place for all of us working for reform and seeking to empower communities.

 

Naess’s birthday was the day before mine. He was my hero.

 

I want to be working for reform when I am 96, too.

 

I may not have the wealth of the greedy developer with his cynical and opportunistic views of community engagement.

 

Hopefully, my ethical self will be alive.

 

And hopefully, I will still be having provocative weeks like the last few – to remind me what my life is for.

 

And why, like Arne, I am here on Earth!

 

Why bother with community engagement, anyway? Because it’s important!

The original dream for Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet

April 5, 2010 – 3:07 pm


I’m mining the archive!

 

 

Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet from Shirley’s house, 1993

 

The original dream for Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet was very different from the back-biting and suffering we experincce every day on this community. It was a dream with substance and charm. A real dream.

 

Here’s a photo of the Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet from Shirley’s place (lot 6) in late 1993. An exhausted dairy farm being transformed into a Permaculture Hamlet.

 

Shirley has been explaining to me how the process worked. That heady mix of dreaming and practical realities.

 

She’s been explaining what her intentions were, coming here alone as a widow in her early sixties. She was dreaming of community. And support. A place to put down roots and live into her older years. Her own, ecological, architect-designed house.

 

A place where she (a distinguished fine artist with works already in the National Gallery) could paint and create in peace – embraced and supported by Nature’s beauty and bounty.

 

Embraced and supported by a community of like-minded people caring for Nature and for each other.

 

What exciting days those were!

 

The dream was so inviting; the vision so bright; the intentions so clear.

 

Promotional material for Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet

 

Here’s the Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet insert in the Northern Star for late March 1994:

 

Star Focus on Jarlanbah March 1994

 

This is the vision we need to revisit.

 

How can we update the vision and re-align with our current version?

 

How can we move forward in harmony, cooperation and peace?

 

I look forward to your comments.

 

All ideas are welcomed. Contrary views are welcomed and and invited.

 

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter”¦. Obliged to you for hearin’ me“¦.

(re)visioning Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet

April 3, 2010 – 9:44 am

 

It’s Easter weekend: a time for reflection on renewal, blessings and hope.

 

I am awash with fresh insights following a fascinating community mediation about the dual occupancy (accessory dwelling unit) issue on this community.

 

Sometimes people leave intentional communities. See “Leaving Utopia”, click here: Leaving Utopia – MARY GARDEN

 

Things are different now. We’re settled in, the toilet is built, the deck is a daily marvel and my three books have been birthed and are now for sale.

 

I realise that I can no longer turn my back on the goings-on in my own immediate community and focus only on other communities.

 

There is much to learn from this small eco-village and much that needs to change.

 

The Jarlanbah archives

 

With the help of my elderly artist neighbour, Shirley, a founding resident, I have been exploring the Jarlanbah archives from the early 1990s.

 

What a tale they have to tell us!

 

 

Robyn Francis

 

The birth of this community in 1993 was accompanied by deep reflection and much dreaming, bearing in mind the state of the Earth and a deep desire to care for Nature in all her wondrous beauty. The developer was completely aligned with these ambitious social and environmental objectives. The designer, eminent Permaculture educator and designer, Robyn Francis, keeps in regular contact with many of us and recently has been helping us understand the deeper intent of our founding principles with respect to intergenerational equity, density, community infrastructure, inclusion and sustainability.

 

She’s reminded us of the strong focus on inclusion in the founding documents. Given that today there’s a lot of exclusionary thinking about in the world, it’s a salutary reminder!

 

Those of us who live on Jarlanbah are blessed to have Robyn as a neighbour. Awarded NSW Rural Woman of the Year a few years ago, she’s a Permaculture designer and educator of international eminence.

 

For Robyn’s award-winning teaching, education, training and design work, see:

 

www.permaculture.com.au

 

and

 

https://www.abc.net.au/rn/utopias/dream_machine/docos/jarlanbah.htm

 

How I wish I could have been part of that early planning process!

 

The far-thinking developer, John Hunter, his planners and designers (and then the first residents) spent long hours exploring alternatives for the social and physical design of this place. It was a dream that was both far-looking and practical; resilient and able to be modified.

 

We’ve lost our way”¦

 

For reasons that I will explore in this blog, I believe that we’ve lost our way here in the Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet.

 

But I am confident that it’s not too late to bring the original vision up-to-date, realign with it and and move forward in cooperation, self-reliance and harmony.

 

I’ve pasted in below the poster that used to be on our sign at the front gate: the original dream. The sign went missing but the dream is still alive in the hearts and minds of many early

Jarlanbah Hamleteers. And the newbies are now learning what our founding mothers and fathers had in mind.

 

The details of the dream are spelled out in a detailed Management Statement and fascinating early newsletters, which I will also post for people to read.

 

We need to understand our history here.

 

I need to understand it!

 

Blessings on you all this Easter weekend! May we all live in peace, cooperation and harmony.

 

The promise, if not (yet) the reality”¦

 

Evaluation Research: Must the Messenger Always Be Shot?

22 July 2009 at 2:39 am

 

 Survey poster concept

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





A few months ago, I was lucky enough to have to write a short piece on evaluation for a consulting report. I reviewed what I had in my library, did a quick Internet search and decided it was time to bone up on the latest. So I took myself off for two blissful days in the university library in Lismore.

 

It was vacation time and I had the “evaluation” section all of the library to myself. The whole floor, in fact.

 

I loved what I read in recent publications, many in the esteemed Sage series. Wise old practitioners warning newcomers. Traps for young players. Helpful hints. Political and strategic advice.

 

Not what I had expected, actually”¦

 

As I read, I remembered my own (often painful) forays into formal evaluation, especially the large post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of public housing in Minto, Sydney in 1983 (see Minto POE questionnaire 1983 for the 1983 POE questionnaire).

 

And an equally challenging but very different study of False Creek North in Vancouver in 2007 and 2008.

 

I realised that evaluation is a highly political and sensitive realm. Often messengers get shot.

 

Do we have to get shot?

 

You can download my notes from my reading and other sources by clicking on this link: Evaluation of Community Engagement Processes

 

And there’s lots of information, methodologies and findings about the False Creek North study in this website as well. See:

 

https://111.118.165.194/~kiss/kts/housing-density-and-sustainability-what-works-and-what-doesnt-work/

 

Hopefully, by keeping abreast of the excellent advice available nowadays, none of us will have to face the firing squad for trying to evaluate programs, projects or policies.

 

Or community engagement.

 

I’d welcome your comments and suggestions.

What’s best practice in community engagement?

July 9, 2009 at 12:45 pm

 

Braybrook stories Andi facil sandbox 6crop

The other day I went to a local community workshop in my small rural village. The topic is not important for my purposes and it’s not my intention to embarrass anyone.

 

Rather I want to make a point: there’s more to community workshops than a conversation at tables, participants scribbling down a few ideas and facilitators writing down a few points on some large sheets of paper.

 

 

 

 




Going over old ground

 

In our local workshop, a group of community members and some professional advisors sat around for three hours going over old ground.

 

I thought: what if the consultants had summarised all that “old ground” (previous plans and policies) and given us an updated summary to work from.

 

“Nobody else complained”

 

Subsequent conversations with one of the facilitators yielded the comment that “nobody else complained.” Omigod! How often do we hear that in community engagement? Yet we well know that “not complaining” does not equate with “satisfaction”.

 

That conversation reminded me of another local conversation a couple of months ago, this time with a municipal officer in my own local council, who said that their “peer review” of their draft community engagement policy had confirmed that “children and young people are not our customers.”

 

I had smoke coming out of my ears after THAT conversation.

 

(re)visioning Footscray

 

That got me thinking about my friend, co-author and colleague, Andrea Cook of Red Road Consulting in Melbourne (see: www.redroad.com.au). Andrea went over old ground, all right, for the (re)visioning of Footscray in Maribyrnong, Melbourne in 2004.

 

See: https://www.maribyrnong.vic.gov.au/Files/Final_Executive_Summary_Revisioning_Footscray.pdf

 

We called the Footscray planning and community engagement process “(re)visioning” for a particular reason.

 

The participants at the Footscray stakeholders’ workshop in 2004 were gobsmacked by the amount of tedious and thorough background work Andrea had done before she met with them.

 

“We are not going over old ground,” she exclaimed. With a hundred local people, I sat patiently through a good hour of detailed PowerPoint summary of over a dozen planning publications.

 

Everyone was completely satisfied that the consultants were up-to-date.

 

Then we moved on. With everyone satisfied that their earlier contributions had been acknowledged.

 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation Andrea used in the workshop: Footscray Vision Consolidation Presentation 27-08-04

 

So many ways”¦

 

I am not proposing a “one-size-fits-all” solution to this borning workshop problem. There are so many ways to run an effective workshop, even a small, humble one. It need not be complex.

 

Prioritise your issues!

 

At one point, we were asked in the workshop to “prioritise our issues”. We had lists – each of us – that were jumbles of issues, concerns, policies, initiatives”¦ and we were asked to collectively prioritise them.

 

How hard was that?

 

Actually, quite hard. We had no tools, no props, no help”¦ Our attempts were unsystematic, apples sorted with pears, hierarchies ignored”¦ a real mess”¦ No weighting, no real content analysis was possible”¦

 

A sticky wall or some sticky dots would get us out of this sticky situation

 

I kept thinking that a few sticky dots – or better still, some Post-its and a sticky wall – would have made the whole thing a dream. They are not an expensive option. You can buy sticky walls as a kit online from leading Australian community engagement consultants.

 

See: www.twyfords.com.au/twyfords/Twyfords-our-store.html

 

Using some props would have made it much more fun, less frustrating, less boring, and much easier for the consultants to analyse the outcomes. And to analyse them using our community weightings and categories – without the intervening bias of the researchers.

 

Why don’t we use these simple tools?

 

Why don’t we use these simple tools, these practical props? They are not expensive, they require no “equipment” (or not much, anyway) and they are so much more fun that endless, formless, unsophisticated brainstorming and discussion sessions.

 

I’d be interested to hear your responses.

 

Visioning or brainstorming?

 

My other concern with my local workshop was that we were supposed to be “visioning” but hardly a “visionary” or creative word was heard.

 

I’ve written two chapters on community visioning in my forthcoming book, Creative Community Planning (with Dianna Hurford and Christine Wenman). It was helpful (if dispiriting) to be reminded that this sort of non-visionary “visioning” still occurs. This is a big topic on which I will write more later.

 

So I need to ask, where are our “facilitators” getting their training? Who is helping them learn about what’s available?

 

Asking two simple questions:

 

I’d ask: Can these practitioners be encouraged to act out of real care for communities? Real care might be asking two simple questions:

“What’s the very best we can do here in this community?”

 

and

How can we give something back to this community?”

 

There’s so much help out there to guide facilitators. So many hundreds of published and online manuals of methods and techniques. So many simple and creative tools that communities love.

 

“Oh dear, here come the butcher’s paper and the felt pens.”

 

It used to be said, “Uh, oh, here come the plans!” about community engagement.

 

Now, it’s, “Oh dear, here come the butcher’s paper and the felt pens.”

 

There has got to be more to community engagement – and visioning – than that!

 

2 Comments

  1. Hassan
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm |

    Please send me a power point presentation of this wonderful material on best practices in community engagement skills

  2. Posted April 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Dear Hassan:
    Let me know exactly what you are after and I can send it to you.
    Kind regards,
    Wendy

The Wheel of Participation (or Empowerment)

25 June 2009

 

I was speaking about Sherry Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation the other day to a group of students and I said that I thought it’d been eclipsed (in the past forty years) by other, better, models. I noticed an embarrassed look on the teacher’s face. Perhaps they had not updated their model?

 

Well, in South Lanarkshire (which is Glasgow, actually), the Scots have nailed it and come up with a much better model.

 

I can just imagine them, on a frosty Scottish night, putting another log on the fire and dreaming up this elegant model. It’s called “the Wheel of Participation”.

 

You can download the full 1998 article in the British journal, Planning, by clicking on this link: Davidson Spinning wheel article1998

 

Here’s the actual reference:   Davidson, S. (1998) `Spinning the wheel of empowerment’, Planning, vol 1262, 3 April, pp14–15.

 

The authors are local municipal practitioners working to redefine the `ladder’ of citizen participation originally proposed by Arnstein by offering an innovative approach to conceptualising the various dimensions of communication and engagement processes. They argue that a correct approach to public engagement could revitalise the planning system. To engage local communities effectively in the planning system, new and innovative approaches are required.

 

The Wheel of Participation helps to minimise ambiguity associated with consultation, including reliance on inappropriate techniques and unclear objectives (see the illustration below).

 

The Wheel highlights four overarching approaches to community involvement:

  • Information

  • Consultation

  • Participation

  • Empowerment

 

The concept is that, with community involvement, a decision would be made as to which quadrant of the Wheel the project belonged. Then the appropriate strategy or strategies would be selected. The Wheel will only work equitably as a model if this pivotal decision is taken collaboratively. Otherwise, in the hands of cautious proponents, all projects could be deemed as `information-only’ projects and only limited approaches selected. The various categories of communication and engagement processes identified in the four quadrants of the Wheel are summarised below.

 

The Wheel of Participation                                                       Drawing by Steph Vajda

INFORMATION

  • Minimal communication
  • Council deciding on all matters itself, without community consultation (except when legally required to do so, via the minutes of committee meetings.
  • Limited information
  • Telling the public only what you want to tell them, not what the public wants to know.
  • Good-quality information
  • Providing information which the community wants and/or needs, e.g., discussion papers/exhibitions for development plans, guidance notes for conservative area development.

CONSULTATION

  • Limited consultation
  • Providing information in a limited manner with the onus often placed on the community to respond, e.g., posters and leaflets.
  • Customer care
  • Having a customer-oriented service, e.g., introducing a customer care policy, providing a complaints/comments scheme.
  • Genuine consultation
  • Actively discussing issues with communities regarding your ideas before taking action, e.g., liaising with tenants’ groups, customer satisfaction surveys.

PARTICIPATION

  • Effective advisory body
  • Inviting communities to draw up proposals for the department to consider.
  • Partnership
  • Solving problems in partnership with communities, e.g., a formal partnership.
  • Limited decentralised decision-making
  • Allowing communities to make their own decisions on some issues, e.g., management of community halls.

EMPOWERMENT

  • Delegated control
  • Delegating limited decisions-making powers in a particular process or project, e.g., tenant management organisations and school boards.
  • Independent control
  • Council obliged to provide a service but chooses to do so by facilitating community groups and/or other agencies to provide that service on their behalf, e.g., the delivery of care services contracts by the voluntary sector.
  • Entrusted control
  • Devolving substantial decision-making powers to communities, e.g., tenant management.

For information:

 

Davidson, S. (1998) `Spinning the wheel of empowerment’, Planning, vol 1262, 3 April, pp14-15

Community Engagement with Older People

24 June 2009

 

I have something to tell you

 

I guess everyone who’s been a speaker has had an experience like mine. But when it happened I was initially devastated. I’d been asked to speak to an aged care organisation’s conference. I’d written a story about a feisty older woman who was moving about her future community with ease and independence.

 

The story was part of a consulting project I’d been doing about ageing in the City of Brisbane and I closely identified with the progress of my heroine, whom I described as part-Aboriginal.

 

You can click on the link below for the whole story:   A Vision for Brisbane

 

The speech was a disaster. Angie, my assistant, was the only one who clapped in an audience of maybe three hundred.

 

What had gone wrong?

 

Later, after we visited the conference sponsors’ displays and stalls, we figured it out. I had been talking about community engagement, empowerment and the independence of older people to the wrong people! These, it seemed to me, were the people who traded in dependency. The people who made walkers and special beds to raise you up so the carer does not wreck their back helping you back into bed. Admirable folk. But not much into what I was talking about. Or so it seemed to me at the time.

 

My friend Shelagh, a retired academic, who did the first copy-edit of Kitchen Table Sustainability, lives in high-quality retirement housing in Vancouver. She recently reported that she has been able to give up her walker (at 83) and walk with a cane again. After some months of hydrotherapy.

 

Expressing my delight, I countered that I had noticed that almost all the people living in her establishment seem to have walkers. I thought perhaps it was the retirement village organisation’s risk-management policy in action?

Guidance for People Working with Older People

 

So, to the topic of this blog: community engagement for older people. People like me and my Baby Boomer friends. And the “Veterans”. Like Shelagh.

 

There are a few tips in the material that follows. Just click on the link below to download a summary:

Community Engagement with Older People download

 

 

It boils down to respect, respect and respect. And not expecting to exploit or foster compliance and dependence.

 

We Baby Boomers are a stroppy lot, used to getting our way, being the taste-makers and having influence.

 

We are not likely to be content with the sorts of weak and tokenistic community engagement that often passes for the real thing.

 

Just ask Shelagh.

Community Engagement: 18 Considerations

 23 June 2009

 

Kevin facilitating QAS

 

Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Community engagement is a tricky matter.

 

We need to be flexible and still keep our eyes on the ball. It’s a changing landscape. A bit like navigating white water rapids in a small canoe.

 

When we add the issues of “sustainability” to the mix, things become more complex.

 

Here are eighteen good ideas to help keep us afloat in difficult times. They’re based on my practice and reading over the past forty years.

 

 

 

1. Distinguishing between community consultation and communication.

 

THIS MEANS: Making a clear distinction between the work of public relations, communication and marketing personnel and those undertaking community engagement and not allowing a “PR” approach to dominate the approach of the team.

 

 

2. Capacity building: developing community knowledgeability and literacy about complex technical and environmental issues:

 

THIS MEANS:

Helping local people understand the implications of the discourses about sustainability and growth issues and to relate them to this project

  • Building community capacity about options

 

3. Beyond identifiable stakeholders (the “usual suspects”)

 

THIS MEANS: Reaching much deeper into communities and using a much wider range of approaches than is usually employed with identifiable stakeholder groups. This has significant resource implications.

 

4. Addressing issues of cultural diversity by actively engaging culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities

 

THIS MEANS: Finding ways to target non-English-speaking and other cultural groups and to build bridges between and among cultural groups to open up a community conversation about options. This has significant resource implications in terms of translation and interpretation of all processes. It will be essential that processes employed with non-English speakers not be seen as abbreviated or lesser than processes for English-speaking community members.

 

5. Tempo

 

THIS MEANS: Finding ways to maintain community interest and involvement over a long period, perhaps by tying processes to established community events and activities. Whatever processes are used to maintain pace and tempo, they must not smack of “tokenism and must be related to real target dates and deliverables.

 

6. Link to specific Council community engagement plans/protocols and successful modes of operation

 

THIS MEANS: A full inspection of each Council’s preferred ways of operating and reference to government protocols.

 

7. How can we ensure that consultation outcomes are actually fed into the feasibility study process?

 

THIS MEANS: An integrated design for the feasibility process which clearly indicates when and how community information and opinions will be taken into account to influence decisions at key target dates and deadlines. Feedback loops must be established so that the community can see how their views are being taken into account in the refinement of the approach taken.

 

8. Representativeness and tracking of community engagement activities and successes

 

THIS MEANS: Ensuring that participants in community engagement processes are representative of the wider community; developing and using deliberative democracy and other emerging processes that enhance representativeness; regular monitoring of representativeness issues and including ways to increase representativeness.

 

9. Relationships between and among various advisory groups and the servicing of these groups.

 

THIS MEANS: Developing clear draft terms of reference for each advisory group, including draft working protocols, assisting groups in refining these terms of reference and protocols and establishing clear reporting and liaison relationships between those groups and the project management, the ongoing community engagement strategy, as well as between those groups.

 

10. Skills and experience of engagement personnel, including experience with complex projects

 

THIS MEANS: Ensuring the personnel are selected and/or engaged who have a wide range of relevant successful experience and that senior personnel are employed, so that the community engagement function of a study is not seen as a “poor relation” with little real power to influence outcomes.

 

11. Evaluation proposals for community engagement:

 

THIS MEANS: Creation and maintenance of clear evaluation frameworks for the community engagement and precise use of outside evaluators (if engaged). In particular:

  • The work and results of external evaluators must be made available to the project management (this will require details of their contributions and findings);
  • Regular summaries of evaluation outcomes to enable ongoing monitoring; and
  • Clear processes for responding to the results of evaluation processes.

 

12. A wide range of proposed approaches to be used (not simply a few old-fashioned approaches)

 

THIS MEANS: Community engagement processes should reflect the wide range of available approaches and not be limited to the traditional modes (often limited to public meetings, focus groups and exhibitions). Approaches should be selected for their relevance to the task at hand and the stage of the process, as well as the degree of community empowerment and partnership envisaged. A wide understanding of available methods should be demonstrated.

 

13. Encouraging the sustainability debate (to counteract NIMBY responses)

THIS MEANS: Actively pursuing community education options so that local people are offered genuine opportunities to explore the implications of automobile dependence for the sustainability agenda and develop an interest in exploring options. This will require a much richer model of community engagement than has been used on some projects.

 

14. How reports from community engagement personnel will be presented and how qualitative data and the emphasis participants place on issues will be depicted.

 

THIS MEANS: Employing sophisticated ways of analysing qualitative information so that it does not get treated as inferior to so-called “hard” data from engagement (or other) processes. Including the raw information for all processes so that participants can track how the material they provided was reported.

 

15. Intergenerational participation: involving children and young people

 

THIS MEANS:

  • Developing discrete, creative, tested and appropriate ways to engage children (up to 18 years) and young people (up to mid-twenties) and incorporating the results of those engagement processes into reports. This will require a deep understanding of the field of engagement with children and young people.
  • Helping adults understand the wisdom of children and young people and ensuring that their contributions are treated with respect are key considerations.

 

16. Opportunities for creativity, where local people can become engaged at a deep level.

 

THIS MEANS:

  • Using appropriate and tested creative approaches from community cultural development realms, community visioning and creative visualisation and refining approaches to ensure that they are fully inclusionary.
  • Using these approaches with discretion so that those familiar with more traditional approaches are not inadvertently excluded.

 

17. Electronic means of engagement: what methods work best and what methods are feasible for this project?

 

THIS MEANS: Working with all levels of government and other specialists and advisors to develop appropriate electronic community engagement methods and monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of any selected methods or techniques.

 

18. Reaching and engaging hard-to-reach groups and individuals.

 

THIS MEANS: Developing specific approaches to target hard-to-reach and marginalised groups (older people, people with a disability, Indigenous people, young people, members of CaLD communities, isolated and/or rural residents”¦.) and monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of those approaches.