This 'Community Planning Toolkit' is an online resource designed to help engagement practitioners, plan strengthen and evaluate their public and community engagement. The toolkit has a number of resources to support practitioners in thinking through their projects at various stages including:
- Identifying stakeholders whether that may be local community groups, policy makers or decision makers.
- Identifying and overcoming barriers that could impact engagement. These include ‘hard to reach groups’ such as young people, ethnic minority groups and groups that are socially excluded.
- Identifying good modes of engagement for helping local people express their views and generate ideas in a participative approach through art and communication. Mechanisms include web based engagement (Facebook), songs, artwork and photography.
- Finding methods for developing and reviewing community plans.
The toolkit also contains other useful management toolkits to ensure that practitioners get the most out of their public engagement. These include:
- Open Space technology: An approach that helps to overcome difficulties of conventional decision making involving large groups of people and shapes a workshop programme agenda whilst breaking down traditional ‘us and them’ barrier between organisers and workshop participants.
- Citizens’ Juries involve a group of citizens who sit as representative of the wider public. The purpose of the group is to deliberate complex topics by gathering evidence and coming to a joint decision.
The community planning toolkit serves as a useful guide by helping practitioners think through the purpose of their activities as well as provide management tools for effective engagement.
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