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partnerships:guide:theory [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +# Signposts from theory to practice
 +
 +This section sets out how I have designed some of the signposting in
 +this Guide - the cross-references from problems to participation
 +techniques. It is rather theoretical,​ and if you wish you can skip it
 +and move to the next sections.
 +
 +### The nature of signposting
 +
 +The original idea of this guide was to help practitioners who subscribe
 +to the \`why' of participation find their way to the \`how'​. In practice
 +signposting is complex for several reasons:
 +
 +-   Every situation is unique.
 +-   ​Participation methods are not just quick-fix tools for success -
 +    they often require skill and experience in their application.
 +-   The methods are not always easy to find - there are not many
 +    participation \`toolkits'​.
 +
 +For these reasons, this section - and the complementary \`Guidelines on
 +[How to..](main1l#​RTFToC36) section - cannot provide a step by step
 +manual. Instead I have tried to offer a number of ways of looking at the
 +route from participation problems to solutions, with some pointers to
 +topics and methods which are detailed in the [A-Z](AZparticl)
 +section.
 +
 +The starting point - problems
 +-----------------------------
 +
 +Whatever level of participation you are offering, and whatever phase you
 +are in, there will be problems.
 +
 +-   ​People will not read your leaflets or come to meetings.
 +-   ​Colleagues will fail to deliver on their promises.
 +-   ​Different interest groups will have conflicting aims.
 +-   ​Deadlines will be missed.
 +-   You may end up as the scapegoat for everyone'​s difficulties.
 +
 +So what do you do when the going gets tough? Reach for a solution - a
 +participation tool or method. You may go and talk to people, produce
 +another piece of paper, run a workshop, set up a committee, or perhaps
 +give someone else the job. The later section on **Problems** suggests
 +which methods may be most appropriate in common situations. But what do
 +we mean by participation methods?
 +
 +The end point - participation methods
 +-------------------------------------
 +
 +The methods for participation included in the guide fall broadly under
 +three headings - techniques, structures and longer-term programmes.
 +
 +### Techniques
 +
 +> Techniques are frequently used short-term interventions employed by
 +> consultants and trainers. They range from communication materials and
 +> simple workshop sessions through to more complex methods of
 +> decision-making,​ like Strategic Choice. They can be very useful ways
 +> of concentrating efforts to involve people, but should not be seen as
 +> 'quick fixes'​. Participation takes time, and techniques will usually
 +> need to be part of a long-term programme, or related to a structure -
 +> see below.
 +
 +### Structures
 +
 +> Both interim and longer-term organisational structures are used in
 +> participation processes. They range from working parties and advisory
 +> committees to organisations like development trusts, and
 +> community-based coops. Local councils and similar organisations often
 +> favour structures because they mirror or can be linked to their
 +> committee systems and the procedures which go with them. They can
 +> stand in the way of real participation for those involved unless their
 +> purpose is clear, the balance of control or influence is agreed, and
 +> their proceedings are enlivened by workshop techniques.
 +
 +### Longer-term programmes
 +
 +> These are processes for participation,​ planned over a period of time,
 +> which may involve staff devoted partly or wholly to the programme as
 +> well as the use of techniques and structures.
 +
 +The bridge - key issues
 +-----------------------
 +
 +The problems in participation processes seem to relate to about 15
 +underlying issues. If can spot the issue, by asking the right questions,
 +you may be able to find a participation method to use. I have listed
 +what I think are the key issues below, with some signposts to methods.\
 + ​![](image18.gif)\
 +\
 + **1 Taking stock: Situation assessment**
 +
 +-   What else is happening which might affect us?
 +-   Who are the key interests?
 +-   What are the barriers to action?
 +-   Who holds the power, and are they prepared to share it?
 +
 +See *CATWOE, Community profiling, Stakeholders,​ Surveys, SWOT i*[*in the
 +A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **2 Taking stock: Self assessment**
 +
 +-   What do we feel able to do?
 +-   How confident are we?
 +
 +See *Capacity-building,​ Skills audit, SWOT i*[*n the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **3 Clarifying purpose, values** **and vision**
 +
 +-   What are we trying to achieve?
 +-   What will it seem like if we succeed?
 +
 +See *Aims and objectives, Mission, Nominal Group Technique, Outcomes,
 +Purpose, Vision i*[*in the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **4 Roles**
 +
 +-   What part am I and others playing in the process?
 +-   What responsibilities do we each have?
 +
 +See *Accountability,​ Recruitment,​ Roles i*[*in the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl) **\
 + 5 Increasing commitment**
 +
 +-   How can we get people to play an active part?
 +-   Why are people not interested?
 +-   Are my colleagues with me?
 +
 +See *Apathy, Commitment, Ownership* [*in the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **6 Communication** Are we talking the same language?
 +
 +-   Are we talking the same language
 +-   Do we understand each other?
 +
 +See *Communication,​ Meetings, Presentations* [*in the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **7 Developing criteria**
 +
 +-   What do we think is most important?
 +-   Do we agree on priorities and values?
 +-   How do we use this to choose between different options?
 +
 +See *Criteria, Evaluation, Values* [*in the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **8 Negotiation**
 +
 +-   How can we reach agreement on what to do and how to do it?
 +
 +See *Negotiation,​ Outcomes i*[*n the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **9 Getting resources**
 +
 +-   What money, advice and other resources will we need?
 +
 +See *Fundraising,​ Resources* [*in the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **10 Developing skills/​capacities**
 +
 +-   How will we develop the ability to work with others and achieve what
 +    we want?
 +
 +See *Capacity-building,​ Skills audit* [*in the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)
 +
 +11 Generating options
 +
 +-   How can we think creatively to produce a number of different
 +    possible options for solutions?
 +
 +See *Brainstorming,​ Creative thinking, Ideas, Options, Nominal Group
 +Technique* [*in the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **12 Making decisions**
 +
 +-   How can we choose between the different options and work out what to
 +    do next?
 +
 +See *Action plans, Cost/​Benefit Analysis, Strategic choice* [*in the
 +A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **13 Developing structure**
 +
 +-   What type of organisation may we need - either in the short term to
 +    make decisions, or in the longer-term to carry out plans?
 +
 +See *Business planning, Competence, Constitutions,​ Structures* [*in the
 +A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **14 Managing structure**
 +
 +-   How will we run any organisation?​
 +-   What skills and resources will we need?
 +
 +See *Competence,​ Governance, Management* [*in the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)\
 + **15 Evaluating progress**
 +
 +-   How will we judge whether we are succeeding or failing
 +
 +See *Criteria*, *Evaluation* [*in the A-Z*\
 +](AZparticl)
 +
 +A community participation questions set
 +=======================================
 +
 +To ensure a broad. coherent approach to community participation,​
 +consider the following:
 +
 +### 1 Commitment
 +
 +Has the nature and extent of commitment to participation. amongst all
 +those involved, been made clear at the outset? Have major differences
 +been addressed?
 +
 +### 2 Education for participation
 +
 +Has some opportunity been provided to ensure some positive \`induction'​
 +to the participation process for local people, professionals,​ elected
 +members and others?
 +
 +### 3 Applicability
 +
 +Has it been decided whether, and in what general ways, a participative
 +approach is applicable to all types of specific project or continuing
 +initiative?
 +
 +### 4 Initiation
 +
 +Has something been done to ensure that the pattern and detail of
 +participation activity is not determined totally by whoever initiates
 +it? Is there a shared feeling of \`ownership'?​
 +
 +### 5 Scope
 +
 +Within a general principle of attempting to achieve the fullest possible
 +involvement on any project, are all parties clear about, and do they
 +accept, the level of participation on offer?
 +
 +### 6 Delivering agreed scope
 +
 +Are those in positions of power to influence the end outcome (elected
 +members, officers, developers, funders) able to deliver the agreed level
 +of involvement?​ (If it cannot be delivered, it should not be offered.)
 +
 +### 7 All Stages
 +
 +Is participation being started as early as possible in the planning and
 +development process, and how can you make it something which should go
 +right through from initiation to completion (and even into later
 +community management)?​
 +
 +### 8 Defining Overall Community
 +
 +Have the definitions of \`area'​ and \`overall community',​ used to
 +determine who has an opportunity to be involved, been negotiated with
 +all parties. and how will they be redefined if necessary as work
 +proceeds?
 +
 +### 9 Engaging Communities
 +
 +Have the ground rules for how the many sub-communities within the area
 +are defined, located and accessed been considered at the outset and
 +agreed with all parties, and how will it be enlarged and extended as
 +work proceeds?
 +
 +### 10 Approach
 +
 +Have those managing the involvement process, along with other parties,
 +agreed an overall, coherent approach which ensures that all relevant
 +issues are addressed and which considers the participation process over
 +time?
 +
 +### 11 Relevant Methods
 +
 +Have the methods to be used been carefully chosen to relate closely to
 +the scope of the work, the definitions of communities used, the stage of
 +the involvement and the available skills and resources?
 +
 +### 12 Range of methods
 +
 +In general, is a range of methods to be used in order to increase the
 +chances of engaging the largest number of people?
 +
 +### 13 Resources
 +
 +Have all resources available for the work been assessed, considered and
 +valued - including \`work equity'​ by community groups and others? Is
 +there agreement about how those resources are best disposed throughout
 +the work?
 +
 +### 14 Management
 +
 +Through what means will those managing the participation process ensure
 +that the manner in which work is handled creates a sense of trust within
 +the community about the fairness and neutrality of the process?
 +
 +### 15 Resolution
 +
 +Has there been consideration at an early stage of the manner in which
 +the many views and ideas emerging from the participation process are
 +assembled, weighted and used in relation to reaching any decisions? In
 +particular, who will do this?
 +
 +### 16 Going forward
 +
 +Has thought been given to how practice should be evaluated in retrospect
 +and time given, for all parties, to consider how best to take forward
 +the lessons learned into subsequent involvement activity?\
 + ..... and finally:
 +
 +### 17 Context
 +
 +What general support is there from your organisation,​ is the time right
 +to be doing this, are there any specific '​windows of opportunity'​ you
 +can use to get things going? Where are the enemies and the barriers
 +likely to come? Can you influence any of these?\
 +
 +This question set was supplied by consultants BDOR.
 +
 +### [](howto)
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +### Guidelines and How to...
  
partnerships/guide/theory.txt ยท Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)