Community Engagement Workshop Deborah Morrison Perfecting Tomorrow Inc.
Agenda • What is Community Engagement • Definition • Levels of Engagement • Leading Practice Principles • The 5 W’s – things to think about before planning a community engagement strategy • Exercize • The 5 step Engagement Planning Cycle • Ten Techniques for Community Conversations
ExercizeTrue or False Quiz • __ Community engagement is a mechanism for forcing residents to take responsibility for their community • __An expert is required to carry out community engagement activities • __Community engagement requires a long term commitment • __The key to a successful community engagement strategy is funding • __Leadership from within the community is always better than leadership from outside • __Conflict is a sure sign that a community engagement strategy is not working
Community Engagement is: • Working together with community members and organizations to address issues of importance and concern in the community
Levels of Community Engagement Tamarack Institute
Levels of Participation, Empowerment and the Need for Support and Capacity Building • Source: International Association for Public Participation (unknown date)
Communication Communication underpins all collaboration. Effective communication, within a framework of community engagement must be based on a pattern of mutual dialogue and respect. Minnesota State Health, citing the Annadale Report, contrasts old ways of thinking about communication and new ways of thinking about engagement. Source: Minnesota State Health (2004)
Trust and Respect • Trust and respect is the mortar that holds together the building block of successful community engagement • Especially important when working with populations that have been marginalized or excluded • Without trusting relationships the organizer/organizing agency will be seen as an outsider
Community Engagement; is Not a Science • Methods are not prescriptive • What works at one time, may not work the next • Populations/community is not static; they’re alive, ever changing • Circumstances, faces, challenges, assets and demographics are constantly changing • What remains constant are the innate needs of security, connectedness, recognition, meaning, and sense of being/self
Leading Practice Principles • Effective community engagement is built on trust, goodwill and respect. It should be driven by principles not shaped by specific techniques. • 9 principles which can help you avoid common mistakes • Clarity of purpose • Commitment • Communication • Evidence • Flexibility and responsiveness • Timelines • Inclusiveness • Collaboration • Continuous learning
Things to Consider Before Engagement • An organizing agency must be reflective in its approach to engagement • Engagement must not be seen as a sideline to everyday business • Engagement must not be done to satisfy an ideological or philosophical imperative • Engagement must be based on vision, relationship building, knowledge and learning and action • Before organizing an engagement strategy consider the 5 W’s
The 5 W’s • Who does the organizing agency want to engage? Who will benefit from engagement?
The 5 W’s What • What methods will be used for engagement? Are certain methods best suited for certain purposes? What are the limitations and benefits of each method? What resources are needed?
The 5 W’s When • When and how will the community be engaged? When will the community be available for engagement and is the organizing agency prepared to meet with the community on the community’s time schedule?
The 5 W’s Where • Where will engagement of the community take place? Will it be at a public forum, the local community centre, over the phone, or at an agency-organized event?
The 5 W’s Why • Why is engagement necessary? Is it the intention of the organizing agency to inform, consult, involve, collaborate or empower the community?
Five Step Engagement Planning Cycle • Design and Plan • Prepare and Organize • Implement • Follow-up and Feedback • Evaluate Source: E:\CD Workshops\Evaluation, Community Engagement and Partnerships\Five step engagement planning cycle.mht
Design and Plan • What are the objectives? • Stakeholder analysis - who should be consulted? • What are the constraints & opportunities? • What resources are available? • What will be the indicators of success? • Deciding on techniques. Source: E:\CD Workshops\Evaluation, Community Engagement and Partnerships\Five step engagement planning cycle.mht
Prepare and Organize • Preparing an action plan • Where will community engagement events be held? • What publicity is needed? • What information should be given to participants? • Privacy and information management • Who will run the events? • What are the measurements of success? Source: E:\CD Workshops\Evaluation, Community Engagement and Partnerships\Five step engagement planning cycle.mht
Implement • What is meant by implementation? • Have arrangements been confirmed? • Do presentations need to be rehearsed? • What difficulties might be faced? • What strategies are there to deal with them? • Ideas for maximizing the chances of success. Source: E:\CD Workshops\Evaluation, Community Engagement and Partnerships\Five step engagement planning cycle.mht
Follow-up and Feedback • Why give feedback and follow up? • When should feedback and follow up occur? • How should feedback be given? Source: E:\CD Workshops\Evaluation, Community Engagement and Partnerships\Five step engagement planning cycle.mht
Evaluate • What are the benefits of evaluation? • What might an evaluation consider? • Have evaluation techniques been selected? • If not, then develop and implement an effective evaluation strategy based on the above and further reading. Source: E:\CD Workshops\Evaluation, Community Engagement and Partnerships\Five step engagement planning cycle.mht
Community Conversations Ten Techniques for Community Conversations • Conversation Cafes • Peer to Peer Conversations • The Top 100 Partners Exercise • Future Search Meetings • Open Space Conversations • Appreciative Enquiries • Common meaning Questionnaires • Food, Movies, …and Conversations • Giving Voice to Photos • Building Learning Communities Source: Community Conversations: Mobilizing the Ideas, Skills, and Passion of Community Organizations, Governments, Businesses, and People Paul Born, 2009
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:1 - Conversation Cafes • All change begins with people conversing, exchanging ideas, feelings, and thoughts • Provide the chance to voice personal stories, hopes and fears with each other • TIPS FOR A GREAT CONVERSATION • Focus on the important stuff • Accept and acknowledge each person as an equal • Speak with your heart and mind • Watch for and eliminate judgements • Listen, understand and open to new vistas and abandon pre-conceived notions • Breathe deep to provide time for thinking and reflection • Share collective discoveries
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:1 - Conversation Cafes • Plan an entertaining environment: decorations, tunes, good lighting and refreshments • Create “menu” of open ended questions • Have at least 2 rounds of table conversations related to topics of interest • Aim for a holistic flow avoiding a business or formal approach that can hamper the spirit of conversation • Debrief the event together by regrouping to original table and have the groups spend fifteen minutes identifying three to five ideas to share with the larger group
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:2 – Peer to PeerConversation • Peer to Peer Conversation • Ideas gathered from peers often exceed abilities of top consultants • STEPS FOR A PEER TO PEER CONVERSATION • Questioner share a challenge or issue and ask for specific feedback • Peers ask precise questions for clarification and details for 10 minutes and then another 10 minutes on “how” and “why” questions. • Questioner is to sit, listen for 30 minutes without speaking while peers discuss the issue • End with a reflection by questioner on what was learned • Share ideas gleaned from peer input and conversations
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:3 – The Top 100 Partners Exercise • The Top 100 Partners Exercise • Who are the top 100 people or organizations most able to create changes? • STEPS TO HOLD THE 100 PARTNERS EXERCISE • Name potentially interested and suitable candidates • Rank your list by sector • Rank your list by specific criteria: • Research your prospect list to priortize who to ask first. Customize your request so they can see the benefits and need for their participation.
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:4 – Future Search Meetings • This is a planning meeting to help people quickly transform capability for action into action • TIPS FOR USING FUTURE SEARCH • Invite a cross-section of all parties • Explore the whole issue before focusing on one single element • Develop common ground and highlight the future • Urge full attendance. Limit part-time participants • Meet under healthy conditions with spacious rooms, healthy snacks and meals with adequate breaks • Work over 3 days with two nights of good sleep for time to digest everything • Ask for voluntary public commitments to specific next steps before people leave • Formulating the questions is very important. Allow input into the questions
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:5 – Open SpaceConversation • FOUR KEY PRINCIPLES OF OPEN SPACE • Whoever comes are the right people • Whatever happens is the only thing to happen • Whenever it starts, it was meant to start • When it’s over, it’s over
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:5 – Open SpaceConversation • TIPS FOR HOLDING AN OPEN SPACE CONVERSATION • Allow people the space and time to grow familiar with each other • Allow people time and opportunity to identify themes • Trust people to self-organize • Ensure adequate break out space is available • Passion is the true motivator for people to engage • Trust people will talk when given the chance • The Law of Two Feet leaves people free to leave conversations if they feel they aren’t learning or contributing
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:6 – Appreciative Enquiries • Appreciative Enquiries • When conversation is seen as a series of connected stories, it can help to seek possibilities in solving problems. Search for the best in people, organizations and the world around as opposed problem seeking, diagnosing and fixing. • Essentially appreciative enquiry reframes conversations away from problems to ones seeking possibilities • Adapt to whatever works for the group, taking notes on success stories, opportunities and possibilities
The Cycle of Appreciative Inquiry • DEFINITION: Decide what to learn about. • DELIVERY DESTINY: Create the appropriate innovations based on the hypotheses of the previous phase. • DISCOVERY: Conduct an inquiry into the topic and assemble learnings. • DREAM: Generalize those learnings into an image of how the organization would function if those learnings were fully alive. • DESIGN: Develop hypotheses about how to translate these learnings into the organization’s social architecture. Source: Pegasus Communications, Inc. #PL-2020
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:7 – Common Meaning Questionnaires • What needs to be said will be communicated when listeners are ready to hear • Questionnaires help find the common meaning • TIPS FOR USING COMMON MEANING QUESTIONNAIRES • Deconstruct a purpose statement by creating a meaning question for each significant concept • Common meaning is a unique approach for people to then be deliberate and focused on exploring common words and concepts building common understanding • A great method for forming new collaboratives
7 – Common Meaning Questionnaires Example - When bringing people together with diverse backgrounds, the following questions might be helpful as a guide: • What does together mean to me • What does building mean to me • What does together, building mean to me • What does vibrant mean to me • What does world class mean to me • What does community mean to me • What does art community mean to me • What does a vibrant world-class arts community mean to me • Below, using all of the colours available, draw your vision of a world-class community • Describe your picture • Use three words to describe the feelings your picture evokes • Share three ideas we could do together to realize your vision
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:8 – Food, Movies and Conversations • A progressive dinner and for each course at various community locations like schools, daycares, cultural centers, hospitals, collaborative kitchens etc. Huddle with colleagues to ask one simple question: “What does this experience mean for our work?” • Have a wealthy, influential person invite people to dinner, introduce your work, announce why he or she supports the work and then you present more about the issue over dessert. Everyone converses. • Potlucks create the best conversations. Bringing food to share opens hearts. • Movies also open the heart and mind to stimulating fascinating conversations. Find a suitable movie for the topic needing discussion, set out the popcorn in a comfortable environment along with markers and flipcharts
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:9 – Giving Voice to Photos • Photography can amplify visions and experiences • There are three goals • Enable people to record and reflect on their community’s strengths and problems. • Promote dialogue about important issues • Engage policy makers to learn that the experts and the grassroots people may disagree on what is important • TIPS FOR USING PHOTOS TO HOLD CONVERSATION • Distribute cameras • Each person takes many pictures which have meaning to the photographer • If no time, you can organize a treasure hunt around a theme and have people take pictures • As people think about the issue, they explain why they took the photos they did.
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:10 – Building Learning Communities • This type of community is where people naturally create a learning community as they work, learn and plan together towards achieving a better community. There are three key areas to the basic structure of a community of practice: • Domain – creating a common identity • Community – include the people who care about and interact with the issues related to the domain. The community creates the social fabric of learning • Practice – this is the specific knowledge that the community develops, shares and maintains
Ten Techniques for Community Conversations:10 – Building Learning Communities • In a learning community, leaders might experience: • a sense of common goals as they spend time together sharing stories, experiences, and insights • Generative learning – moving from a place of association to trust. A trusting space is developed and a state of common inquiry • Turning answers into questions – every learner is a teacher and vice versa. Every interaction is an opportunity to evoke generative learning
Profile of Techniques Source http://tamarackcommunity.ca/g3s136.html
Rules of EngagementJim Diers • Have fun • Start where people are • Strive for results • Utilize People’s strengths • Celebrate success and recognize caring neighbours
Deborah Morrison Perfecting Tomorrow Inc. 780 490-6645 firstname.lastname@example.org