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  1. 1. Book 1: an introduction to engagement 1 Effective Engagement: building relationships with community and other stakeholders Book 1an introduction to engagementVersion 3
  2. 2. Book 1: an introduction to engagement 1 Effective Engagement: building relationships with community and other stakeholders Book 1an introduction to engagement
  3. 3. 2 Book 1: an introduction to engagement Published by: The Community Engagement Network Resource and Regional Services Division Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment 8 Nicholson Street EAST MELBOURNE 3002 Melbourne, September 2005 © State of Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment 2005 This publication is copyright. Reproduction and the making available of this material for personal, in-house or non-commercial purposes is authorised, on condition that: • the copyright owner is acknowledged • no official connection is claimed • the material is made available without charge or at cost • the material is not subject to inaccurate, misleading or derogatory treatment. Requests for permission to reproduce or communicate this material in any way not permitted by this licence (or by the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act 1968) should be directed to the Customer Service Centre, 136 186 or email Authorised by the Victorian Government, 8 Nicholson Street, East Melbourne Printed by Digitalhouse, 244 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne 3205 Printed using recycled materials ISBN BOOK 1 1 74152 241 2 ISBN BOOK 2 1 74152 247 1 ISBN BOOK 3 1 74152 253 6 ISBN CD-ROM 1 74152 265 X ISBN SET 1 74152 259 5 A version of this publication is available at For more information contact the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) Customer Service Centre 136 186. For copies of this publication, please call Information Victoria on: 1300 366 356 within Australia (local call cost) 61 3 9603 9900 (International call) This publication may be of assistance to you but the State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication. Version 3
  4. 4. Book 1: an introduction to engagement 3Acknowledgments iThis set of three books builds on the Community Engagement Project A special note of thanks to:work undertaken to develop versions Team: Martin Butcher, Robert Chaffe, • The Coastal Cooperative Research1 and 2 of Effective community Kate Henderson, Frankie MacLennan. Centre for the kind permission toengagement: workbook and tools, Community Engagement Strategic reproduce various tools from thecommencing in 2002 and published Reference Group: Julie Ann Ashley, Citizen Science 2004. The contributors to previous Annie Bolitho, Beth Burley, Chris • The Department of Sustainabilityversions are acknowledged and this Corrigan, Peter Darmody, Fiona Dunn, and Environment’s Communitybody of work has been the foundation Alex Edwards, Simon Lynch, Dianne Engagement Network.for continuous improvement in the Marshall, Pauline McCarthy, Murraypractice of engaging communities and • Staff from the Department of McIntyre, Julia Roache, Ian Stewart.other stakeholders. Sustainability and Environment Other major contributors: John and our project partners for theirSince then, there have been significant Amor, Vikki Cail, Earle Cleaver, Alistair contributions towards the review,policy shifts, organisational changes Christie, Jon Cuddy, Andrea Delaney, testing and practice of variousand developments in the field. This Lucy Gannon, Dominique Horne, aspects of the theory, planninglatest version, Effective engagement: Peter Howden, Nicole Hunter, Emily process, tools, worksheets andbuilding relationships with community Jenke, Fleur Maidment, Megan templates.and other stakeholders, draws on McCarthy, Cathryn Pilioussis, Heather • Various project areas from thethe recent research, learning and Shaw, Leon Soste, Wendy Taylor, Department of Sustainability andexperiences of a range of practitioners. Kim Wilson. Environment, the Department ofIt also reflects the need for congruencebetween engagement, organisational Usability testers: Meredith Hartley, Primary Industries and externalcapability and integration to build Derek McCormack, Greg Milne, partners, who tested thisresilient relationships, resulting Daniel Mudford. publication’s relevance with theirin a more holistic approach to communities and contributed case Publishing: Victor Trifkovic, studies.engagement. Rebecca Rose. • Victorian Catchment ManagementMany people from diverse Photographs: − Martin Butcher, Authorities for contributing to thebackgrounds and disciplines have Robert Chaffe, Rachael Dawkins, development of the websitecontributed to the discussion, thinking Andrea Delaney, Kate Henderson, associated with this publication.and testing of the concepts, models Celeste Hervey, Erin Jancauskas,and practices in these three books, and John Kane, Trish Kevin, Gavan Lamb,the associated website. In particular, Kate McArthur, Adrian Newman,we would like to acknowledge Josette O’Donnell, Tracey Pennington,those people who have provided Andrew Pritchard, Peter Riches,leadership, vision and input during the Henry Schneider, Annette Taylor,development of this resource. Justin Teague, Glenn WatsonWorkbook Project Manager Lyneve (The Standard), Lyneve WhitingWhiting and Editor Peter Riches led and the DSE photo library.the development, ensuring rigour, Illustrations: Simon Kneebone.establishing relationships and managingthe integration of content to ensure Sponsors: Regional Servicesrelevance to a wide range of (Department of Sustainability andorganisations and the communities Environment) through Ian Voigt,with whom they work. Judy Backhouse and Ken King.
  5. 5. 4 Book 1: an introduction to engagementForewordEffective engagement: building In keeping with DSE’s Capabilityrelationships with community and Framework and our commitment toother stakeholders is a practical building organisational capacity, thisplanning guide that captures and publication includes an extensive toolkitshares information about tools widely to assist staff design and implementused in engagement activities. engagement activities.Originally launched in March 2004 to You will see changes that reflect theassist the Department of Sustainability feedback from staff as well as newand Environment (DSE) and the information from practitioners, includingDepartment of Primary Industries a range of case studies and samples of(DPI) to build organisational capabilities practical community engagement effective engagement, the publication To increase the reach of this publication,has found its way all around Australia, it is also now available on the web.ranging from local government to the To ensure that DSE is well placed tonot-for-profit sector to ambulance deliver on the Victorian Government’sservices. agenda, we will need to work inI am proud to say the previous version an inclusive way with the Victorianof the publication was recognised community. This will ensure that thein the Victorian Public Sector People policy, program or project we deliver hasManagement Awards in the Managing considered the diversity of opinion andEthically section for its excellence. is well placed to gain understandingSo it is with great interest that I note and support in the community.the continuous improvement and the This workbook is for all staff.sharing of learning that is taking place. I encourage you to make full use ofThe Victorian Government, through it as we work with communities,its Growing Victoria Together (GVT) other government and non-governmentpolicy, is committed to working closely agencies to achieve better outcomeswith Victorian communities to capture for Victoria.diversity of opinion and give moreVictorians the opportunity to be heardon issues that matter to them.This requires better access to decision-making processes. DSE is thereforecommitted to seeing stakeholder andcommunity engagement embedded inpolicy and project work. Lyndsay NeilsonDSE’s portfolio is complex and the Secretaryrange of views and opinions held in Department of Sustainabilitythe community can be diverse and and Environmentpolarised. In this challenging environment,it is important that staff have access toengagement methodologies andrelationship-building tools.
  6. 6. Book 1: an introduction to engagement 5Contents 1 Introduction 6 1.1 Changing the Way Government Works – the Victorian Government Commitment 6 1.2 Victoria’s Diversity 7 2 Using the Effective Engagement Kit 8 2.1 Purpose 8 2.2 Who Is It For? 9 2.3 Feedback 9 3 What is Community Engagement? 10 3.1 Defining Community Engagement 10 3.2 Benefits of Successful Engagement 11 3.3 Principles of Engagement 12 3.4 Participatory Engagement 13 3.5 Related Concepts 14 4 Planning and Managing Engagement 16 4.1 Initial Considerations 16 4.1.1 Forming a Project Team 16 4.1.2 Managing Risk 16 4.1.3 Occupational Health and Safety 17 4.2 Stakeholders in the Project 17 4.2.1 Stakeholder Identification 17 4.2.2 Engaging Diverse Groups 18 4.3 A Model for Engagement 26 4.3.1 IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum 26 4.3.2 Implications for Engagement 28 4.3.3 Exploring the Types of Engagement 30 Appendix A Glossary 40 Appendix B Recommended Resources 42 B.1 Publications 42 B.2 Websites 42 Appendix C Bibliography 44 C.1 Publications 44 C.2 Websites 45 Appendix D Diversity Groups Additional Contacts 46 D.1 General 46 D.2 Indigenous 46 D.3 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse 46 D.4 People with Disabilities 47 D.5 Young People 47 D.6 Seniors 47 D.7 Gender 47 Appendix E Feedback Sheet 48
  7. 7. 6 Book 1: an introduction to engagementIntroduction1.1 Changing the Way Government Works – the Victorian Government CommitmentThe Victorian Government is committed For government, the challenge is to Government is committed to a futureto open, accountable democracy. The extend the capacity to listen closely in which all Victorians are livingPremier, the Hon. Steve Bracks, has said to interest groups, as well as to those sustainably within their natural andthat genuinely democratic governments who may be under represented in built environments. In addition toare required to place greater emphasis current decision-making. Longer term economic and social policy directions,on establishing a true democratic results may be enhanced by including Our Water Our Future action plan3 ispartnership between the people and their a diversity of views from a range another demonstration of the importantinstitutions. These views are outlined in of interests. Another challenge for relationship between the environmentGrowing Victoria Together: a vision for government is to support communities and people. Many contributors areVictoria to 2010 and beyond. It states to build their capacity to more actively needed to work towards such athat a vibrant democracy is achieved participate in development of our complex, multi-dimensional aim.through greater public participation and shared future. To this end, government Productive and effective relationshipsmore accountable government. One of is also making a commitment to spanning the diversity of communityGVT’s measures of success is that more community strengthening, something and the breadth of VictorianVictorians from all backgrounds are that is explored further in section 3.5. Government departments are neededgiven the opportunity to have a say on for the Victorian community to achieve The Victorian social policy documentissues that matter to them.1 its sustainability goals. A Fairer Victoria: creating opportunityThis requires a commitment to greater and addressing disadvantage provides a This journey will require a commitmentflexibility and innovation in, and by framework for addressing disadvantage from staff and managers, a willingnessgovernment. and lack of opportunity. It is one of the to challenge current practices, and a many government mechanisms to foster desire to learn from each other andOne of the challenges ahead is for a the strengthening of communities, listen to a diversity of opinions, to ensuregreater diversity of Victorians to be particularly those groups who have Victorians have the opportunity to bemore actively involved in decision- traditionally been less involved in heard on issues that matter to them.making. This can be achieved through decisions affecting their local andappropriate engagement to increase broader community.2participation in decisions that affectVictorians and their local communityfrom an environmental, social, economicand cultural perspective.1 State Government of Victoria (2005) Growing Victoria Together: a vision for Victoria to 2010 and beyond, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne2 State Government of Victoria (2005) A Fairer Victoria: creating opportunity and addressing disadvantage, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne3 State Government of Victoria (2005) Our Water Our Future action plan, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne
  8. 8. 11.2 Victoria’s Diversity Total population of Victoria SeniorsUnderstanding the diversity and • 4,612,097. • The population is ageing. Currently,dynamism of the Australian and 17% of the population is 60 years of Indigenous AustraliansVictorian population is fundamental for age or over. This will grow to nearly • 0.6% of the total Victorian population 25% in 2021.developing the capability to engage the (25,078) are Indigenous in the delivery of its vision • The number of seniors in rural Victoriafor sustainability. An ageing population, • 52% live outside of the Melbourne will grow twice as rapidly as those inincreased cultural diversity, lower birth metropolitan area compared with metropolitan areas in the next 20rates, higher education rates, significant 27% of the non-Indigenous years.change in religious affiliations and population. Genderincreased participation of women in • 57% are under 25 years of agelabour markets – coupled with the compared with 34% for the total • 51% (2,365,889) of Victorians areongoing, rapid rate of technological population. female and 49% (2,246,208) arechange – present challenges and male. • 2.9% are over 65 compared withopportunities for decision-makers. 12.6% for the total population. • Women comprise 54.3% of Victorians with Bachelor degrees, and 38.5% ofIt is important to be aware that there Birthplace Victorians with postgraduate degrees.will be diversity within the commonly • 24% of Victorians (1,083,048) were • There were 55,100 female apprenticesused community or social categories. born overseas in 233 different and trainees in training as of 31For example, not all men will share countries. March 2004, comprising 41.1% ofthe same view on an issue and neitherwill all Muslim women. In addition, • 44% of Victorians were either born the total number of apprentices andany individual may be described by overseas or have at least one parent trainees.more than one of these categories; for born overseas. • Victorian women’s average weeklyexample, a female may be young, from • 72% of those born overseas were earnings are 20% lower than those ofSudan and have a physical disability. born in non-English speaking Victorian men. countries.The following snapshot of information Disabilityfrom the Australian Bureau of Statistics Religion • 18.7% of Victorian women and2001 Census illustrates the diversity of • 72% of Victorians follow 116 17.2% of Victorian men (395,300)Victorian communities and highlights different religions. have some form of disability that isthe need for effective engagement by considered profound, severe,government. Languages spoken moderate or mild. • 21% of Victorians speak a language • There are an estimated 150,000 other than English at home, people with severe or profound comprising 180 different languages disabilities in Victoria. and dialects. Young people • 34% of the population is under 25. • 19% of Victorians (932,000) are between the ages of 12-25. • 74% of all young Victorians live in metropolitan Melbourne.
  9. 9. 8 Book 1: an introduction to engagementUsing the Effective Engagment kit2.1 Purpose • Book 1 outlines the principles and Creating an Engagement Plan is aThis kit comprises three books, Book 1: importance of effective engagement fluid and circular process. There is noan introduction to engagement, Book and sets out a model for developing ‘right way’ to approach community2: the engagement planning workbook best-practice engagement activities engagement. Every situation andand Book 3: the engagement toolkit, with communities and other circumstance is different and requires aplus a CD-ROM. The purpose of the stakeholders. tailored approach to enable appropriatekit is to provide you with the necessary • Book 2 is a practical guide that takes participation. This kit cannot provideinformation and resources to plan the you step-by-step through an a proven formula for success butcommunity engagement component engagement planning process using offers an exploration of the theory ofof a project – from design and delivery an ‘evidence-based’ approach. This engagement, guidance in planning andthrough to evaluation and incorporation book also provides a number of a number of tools that may be useful.of learning. sample engagement planning documents and engagement caseThis is the third edition of this studies.publication. Its development providedthe opportunity to build on the work • Book 3 is a listing of variousundertaken in previous editions as well engagement tools with details of theiras to capture and share the experiences purpose, use and requirements.and learning of staff across theorganisation and beyond.
  10. 10. 3 22.2 Who Is It For? 2.3 FeedbackWhile this kit has been designed for This publication is an evolving documentDSE staff in a variety of roles – ranging developed in consultation with DSE andfrom policy, research, statutory, partner agencies for staff and otherproject and service-focused roles – it users. The relevance and completenessis a valuable tool for all practitioners of the three books is the responsibilitycommitted to engaging the community of the people who use it. Feedbackand other stakeholders. on its usefulness, and any ideas for amendments or inclusions such as newThese books will be of interest to theory, your experience in the form ofanyone planning a project with diverse a case study or additions to the toolkit,stakeholder groups, where managing are central to its dynamics and facilitating effectiveparticipation is crucial to achieving a A feedback form is included insuccessful project outcome. Appendix E for your consideration.This kit will also be useful for DSE andother government staff in statutoryroles. While the form, timing andmethod of engagement may be set outin an Act or Regulation, the theory andprinciples as set out in these books canbe applied to a variety of situations;from preparation of notice requirementsthrough to holding public informationsessions.
  11. 11. 10 Book 1: an introduction to engagementWhat is community engagement?3.1 Defining Community The word ‘community’ is also a Cavaye extends this definition as very broad term used to define it specifically relates to the role of Engagement groups of people; whether they are government, noting communityWhenever a group of practitioners stakeholders, interest groups, citizen engagement “... is the mutualgather to discuss ‘what is engagement,’ groups, etc. A community may be communication and deliberationa discussion about diversity of a geographic location (community that occurs between governmentterminology usually emerges. of place), a community of similar and citizens.”5Depending on the situation in which interest (community of practice), oryou are working, ‘engagement’ a community of affiliation or identitycan cover consultation, extension, Community engagement can take (such as industry or sporting club).communication, education, public many forms and covers a broadparticipation, participative democracy ‘Community engagement’ is therefore range of activities. Some examples ofor working in partnership. a planned process with the specific community engagement undertaken purpose of working with identified by government practitioners include:For our purposes, ‘engagement’ is groups of people, whether they areused as a generic, inclusive term to • Informing the community connected by geographic location,describe the broad range of interactions of policy directions of the special interest or affiliation, to addressbetween people. It can include a government. issues affecting their well-being .4variety of approaches, such as one- Linking the term ‘community’ to • Consulting the community asway communication or information ‘engagement’ serves to broaden part of a process to developdelivery, consultation, involvement and the scope, shifting the focus from government policy, or buildcollaboration in decision-making, and the individual to the collective, with community awareness andempowered action in informal groups or associated implications for inclusiveness, understanding.formal partnerships. to ensure consideration is given to • Involving the community through the diversity that exists within any a range of mechanisms to ensure community. that issues and concerns are understood and considered as part of the decision-making process. • Collaborating with the community by developing partnerships to formulate options and provide recommendations. • Empowering the community to make decisions and to implement and manage change.4 Queensland Department of Emergency Services (2001) Charter for community engagement, Community Engagement Unit, Strategic and Executive Services, Queensland Department of Emergency Services5 Cavaye, Dr. J (2001) ‘Community engagement framework project: scoping and review paper’, Cavaye Community Development/ CEO Committee on Land Resources, Queensland, citing OECD (2001) ‘Engaging Citizens in policy-making: information, consultation and public participation’, PUMA Policy brief No 10, July 2001, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  12. 12. 33.2 Benefits of Successful For government: For stakeholders and communities: Engagement • Community input can improve the • With purposeful and well-plannedEffective engagement is a vehicle that quality of policy being developed, engagement, there will becan be used to build more resilient making it more practical and relevant. opportunities for a diversity ofrelationships with community. It can • Community input can ensure services voices to be heard on issues thatlead to the identification of mechanisms are delivered in a more effective and matter to people.for building a community’s strength efficient way for that community. • Communities can expect governmentand its ability to join with government • Engaging with communities is a way to meet certain standards ofand other stakeholders in dealing with for government to check the health of engagement and give feedbackcomplex issues and change. the relationship face-to-face. It can on government’s ability to meet also explore ways in which those standards.The following is a summary of thebenefits of successful engagement for government and community could • Communities are able to identifyboth government and stakeholders. work more closely on issues of priorities for themselves. concern to the community. • There may be more ownership of • Engaging with communities is an solutions to current problems or opportunity for government to check building plans for the future so that its reputation and status. Asking the the community shares in decision- community how the organisation is making and has a higher level of meeting local needs could be a responsibility for creating that future. positive or at least informative • Engagement can foster a sense of engagement exercise. belonging to community and • Early notice of emerging issues puts considerable benefits from working government in a better position to together on behalf of the community. deal with those issues in a proactive • Individuals may become empowered way, instead of reacting as anger and and proactive with regard to issues conflict arise. that affect them. • Good engagement enhances the reputation of the government as open, accountable and willing to listen.
  13. 13. 12 Book 1: an introduction to engagement3.3 Principles of Additional principles that apply to the relationship between stakeholders and Engagement the organisation implementing theBroad principles underpin engagement engagement are:and a practical knowledge andadaptation of these will increase the • A commitment to reciprocity thateffectiveness of your engagement includes stating what you require ofactivities. In a review of existing the community, and delivery of whatliterature and theory, Petts and Leach6 you will provide in exchange. Establishdeveloped a list of engagement what you are promising as part of theprinciples which includes: engagement process. This could include provision of information or feedback• a need for clarity of objectives, on how contributions have influenced and of legal, linked and seamless decisions, through to implementation processes of stakeholder decisions.• consensus on agenda, procedures • Building genuine relationships with and effectiveness community and other stakeholders.• representativeness and inclusiveness • Valuing the opportunities diversity• deliberation has to offer.• capability and social learning Brown and Isaacs7 have developed• decision responsiveness the Six ‘C’s model as a set of basic principles to guide any engagement• transparency and enhancement planning process. of trust. The Six ‘C’s of Successful Community Engagement Capability The members are capable of dialogue. Commitment Mutual benefit beyond self interest. Contribution Members volunteer and there is an environment that encourages members to ‘have a go’ or take responsibility/risks. Continuity Members share or rotate roles and, as members move on, there is a transition process that sustains and maintains the community corporate memory. Collaboration Reliable interdependence. A clear vision with members operating in an environment of sharing and trust. Conscience Embody or invoke guiding principles/ethics of service, trust and respect that are expressed in the actions of the community.Note: the six Cs may be seen as targets or filters to measure the quality of thefunctioning of the community.6 Petts, J & Leach, B (2000) ‘Evaluating methods for public participation: a literature review’, R & D technical report, E135, Environment Agency, Bristol7 Brown, J & Isaacs, D (1994) ‘Merging the best of two worlds the core processes of organisations as communities’ in P Senge, A Kleiner, C Roberts, R Ross & B Smith (eds.) The fifth discipline fieldbook: strategies and tools for building a learning organization, Doubleday/Currency Publications
  14. 14. Book 1: an introduction to engagement 133.4 Participatory The greater the degree of decision-making, Pretty and Hine8 have developed a the higher the level of ownership of the typology of ‘participation’ to differentiate Engagement decision and, consequently, the greater actions according to the level of powerGovernments, agencies and organisations the likelihood of a positive project outcome. agencies wish to devolve to participantshave relied on forms of community and in determining outcomes and actions.stakeholder participation for many years. Therefore it is important to consider theParticipation is used to describe the activities implications of your proposed level of In determining the level of participation, itof steering committees and reference groups, participation when designing your is necessary to first identify the purpose ofwhich provide direction, guidance and engagement approach. The key message the engagement. This publication adoptscommunity representation. In addition, for designing engagement processes is to the International Association of Publicparticipation is an essential part of avoid promising a level of participation Participation (IAP2) Public Participationextension, education and other learning and power that is never intended to be Spectrum (see section 4.3.1) as aactivities that encourage people to adopt given, or designing processes that claim to transparent model for determining thenew technologies and share experiences. be empowering, but merely offer ‘token’ most suitable types of engagement to levels of participation. match the purpose and to manage moreEngagement that is participatory often effectively the dilemmas and trade-offsresults in community and other stakeholders regarding participation.having ownership of a direction, course ofaction or decision, and its implementation. Typology of Participation Typology Characteristics of each type Manipulative Participation is simply pretence, with ‘people’s’ representatives on official boards but who are not elected participation and have no power. Passive People participate by being told what has been decided or has already happened. It involves unilateral participation announcements by an administration or project management without listening to people’s responses. The information shared belongs only to external professionals. Participation by People participate by being consulted, and external people listen to views. These external professionals define consultation both problems and solutions, and may modify these in light of the people’s responses. Such a consultative process does not concede any share in decision-making, and professionals are under no obligation to take on board people’s views. Participation People participate by providing resources, for example labour, in return for food, cash or other material for material incentives. Much on-farm research falls into this category, as farmers provide their land but are not involved incentives in the experimentation or the process of learning. It is very common to see this called participation. People have no stake in prolonging activities when the incentives run out. Functional People participate by forming groups to meet predetermined objectives related to the project, which can participation involve the development or promotion of externally initiated social organisation. Such involvement does not tend to be at early stages of project cycles or planning, but rather after major decisions have been made. These institutions tend to be dependent on external initiators and facilitators, but may become self-dependent. Interactive People participate in joint analysis, which leads to action plans and formation of new local institutions or participation the strengthening of existing ones. It tends to involve interdisciplinary methodologies that seek multiple perspectives and make use of systematic and structured learning processes. These groups take control over local decisions, and so people have a stake in maintaining structures or practices. Self-mobilisation People participate by taking initiatives independently of external institutions to change systems. They develop contacts with external institutions for the resources and technical advice they need, but retain control over how resources are used. Such self-initiated mobilisation and collective action may or may not challenge existing inequitable distribution of wealth and power.8 Pretty, J & Hine, R (1999) Participatory appraisal for community assessment, Centre for Environment and Society, University of Essex
  15. 15. 14 Book 1: an introduction to engagement3.5 Related ConceptsThere is a large body of literature onthe subject of community engagementwith broad agreement on the basicconcepts, principles and good practiceapproaches. This theoretical bodyprovides the foundation for theguidelines and processes of communityengagement outlined in the threebooks of this kit. The following tableprovides a brief exploration of someconcepts closely related to communityengagement.Recommendations for further readingare provided in Appendix B.
  16. 16. Book 1: an introduction to engagement 15 Community Engagement Related Concepts Active listening Sometimes known as empathetic listening, active listening is where an individual confirms they have heard and understood by paraphrasing the information back to the speaker. Active listening can be applied in many situations involving the engagement of others, including facilitation and consultation processes used in community engagement. It is used to demonstrate the information has been received and understood, whether it is in an individual conversation, a survey or workshop. Appreciative Appreciative inquiry rejects the more traditional ‘problem-focussed’ approach and instead seeks to inquiry identify what is working well or opportunities for positive change. Appreciative inquiry as an engagement approach aims to encourage imagination, innovation and flexibility with stakeholder groups and build on the positives that already exist (e.g. collecting good news stories, visioning for a sustainable future). Community As a stakeholder scoping tool, community profiling is a means to achieve an increased understanding profiling of the diversity of the community. The purpose of undertaking a stakeholder profiling exercise is to ensure inclusiveness and therefore a better engagement process and outcome. A community of concern may be defined by geography (place), identity (industry or affiliation) or interest. The type and level of documentation collected when undertaking a profile is determined by the purpose and complexity of the engagement. Participatory profiling is where the community is actively involved in the research, resulting in the community having greater participation in determining an appropriate course of action. Community The basic premise of community strengthening is that valuable knowledge and ideas are readily strengthening available within communities, and the role of government is to develop mechanisms for sharing this knowledge. Community strengthening helps to mobilise community skills, expand networks, harness energy and resources and apply them in ways that achieve collaborative and positive social change. Systems thinking A systems approach encourages the exploration of the relationships between social, environmental and economic interactions. This approach resists breaking a problem into its component parts for detailed examination. By examining the links and interrelationships of the whole system, patterns and themes emerge that offer insights and new meaning to the initial problem. In a community engagement context, encouraging a diversity of views can lead to a new understanding of the situation and the identification of opportunities for action that may not have otherwise occurred.99 Bawden, R & Macadam, R (1991) in Bawden, R (1995) Systemic development: a learning approach to change, Centre for SystemicDevelopment, UWS, Hawkesbury
  17. 17. 16 Book 1: an introduction to engagementPlanning & managing engagementBook 2: the engagement planning 4.1.1 Forming a Project 4.1.2 Managing Riskworkbook provides a step-by-step Team Risks associated with communityprocess for developing an Engagement engagement can be classified as either:Plan. In the following section, Team support and mentoring iswe address some of the broader an important component of the • risks you are trying to address byconsiderations in planning and engagement process. While the nature conducting the engagement, ormanaging effective engagement, and of a project sometimes requires people • risks that could prevent you fromexplore a model for matching the type to work on their own, there are a achieving the objectives of yourof engagement to your purpose. number of advantages in developing engagement. the Engagement Plan within a team, such as: Business units or project teams that4.1 Initial Considerations have deliverables for which they areIncluding an explicit community • It allows for the inclusion of a responsible often cite the communityengagement component within your depth and breadth of views, as one of their sources of risk. This riskoverall project can sometimes be the ensuring diversity is built into can be related to either the communitydifference between project success the planning process. not doing something that is requiredor failure. How you approach the • The workload and the learning to achieve the desired outcome, ordevelopment of an Engagement Plan opportunities can be distributed the community doing somethingfor your project will be dependent more evenly. If the purpose of the that prevents the project teamon the size of the project, the level of engagement is to encourage action from achieving their objectives (e.g.complexity and the number of staff and change, the people directly blockades). Engaging the key projectinvolved. For medium to large projects, involved in the process are more stakeholders is often a strategy used toit is recommended you treat community likely to move with the change. mitigate this risk.engagement as a separate, discrete Engagement team members may comeproject component. Accordingly, we If risk mitigation is your goal for from within your existing project team, conducting the engagement, this shouldrecommend you develop a specific or they may be external, dependingEngagement Plan for working with be clearly stated up front. You also need on the skills required. The composition to be careful that your engagement isthe various project stakeholders. of the project team may also change actually going to reduce the likelihood throughout the development and of the risk eventuating. By not DSE staff can arrange for a Project implementation of the Engagement conducting the engagement properly, Office facilitator to run a scoping Plan. The team composition will reflect you could increase the risk instead of workshop to help develop the the different tasks and skill sets required mitigating it. engagement component of their at each step of the engagement process. overall project implementation Further information and specific Depending on the dimensions of your processes to manage risk in a plan. Engagement Plan, the following criteria community engagement can be found may assist in developing a project team in the ‘Risk Management’ section of for the engagement component of your Book 2: the engagement planning project: workbook. • the range of experience and skills (e.g. local knowledge, familiarity with community engagement processes, existing relationships with stakeholders) • the physical location of team members • the level of diversity within the team (internal and external to your overall project).
  18. 18. 44.1.3 Occupational Health DSE staff are required to complete a 4.2 Stakeholders in the and Safety Job Safety Analysis (JSA) to identify ProjectThe health and safety of employees, and assess occupational healthvolunteers, contractors and community and safety risks associated with 4.2.1 Stakeholdermembers is critical to any engagement undertaking work duties within Identificationactivity, event and program. Risks to the workplace. This procedure is Stakeholder identification and analysishealth and safety need to be identified designed to ensure DSE maintains a is integral to the engagement planningin the planning stage, and a risk control safe and healthy workplace for all its process. By understanding andplan developed, implemented and employees, contractors and visitors. managing the relationship betweenmonitored. The JSA includes a Site Safety stakeholders (including community Survey which is an onsite check of members) you increase the likelihoodOften the engagement component of the job environment, to be used of achieving your desired overallyour project will require you to bring when conducting activities at non- project outcome. Conversely, failurestakeholders together in public places DSE locations. This also applies to appreciate the dynamics of the(e.g. local hall, park). In such instances, to activities involving DSE staff relationships that exist betweenit is recommended you first undertake a being run by other organisations. stakeholders can lead to obstructionssafety audit of the site to identify local DSE requires that a level equal to that have a negative impact on yourhazards and risks. A site safety audit is or higher than DSE’s own OH&S overall project.used to record each hazard or risk andthen outlines the proposed action to and risk management practices Book 2: the engagement planningcontrol these. This can include simple be followed by staff, contractors workbook will take you throughthings such as making sure water is and volunteers of the non-DSE the process of identifying the keyavailable for all participants. The organisation. stakeholders and their interest in theprocess should also cover disability DSE staff should refer to the project, their level of influence and(e.g. mobility, sight, hearing), gender ‘Policies & Procedures’ section of what they consider to be a successfuland specific cultural requirements. the organisation’s intranet for the outcome.All organisations participating in the latest versions of the Job Safety Book 3: the engagement toolkitproject are advised to meet regularly Analysis and Site Safety Survey. provides a range of tools for identifyingduring the course of the engagement Non-DSE staff are advised they need the best course of action to engage andto ensure all OH&S controls are being to complete similar documentation communicate with stakeholders.implemented within the agreed to ensure they meet public liabilitytimelines. responsibilities, and should referWhere OH&S issues are identified during to their own organisation’s OH&Sthe course of the engagement, the and risk management policies andimpact of these hazards or risks should assessed. If they are considered tobe high risk, activities should cease untileffective controls are implemented.
  19. 19. 18 Book 1: an introduction to engagement4.2.2 Engaging Diverse GroupsThe Victorian community is diversewith people of different backgrounds,needs, values and aspirations. Victoria’sdiversity reflects the many characteristicsthat capture difference between people.Observable and unobservable, thesecharacteristics include ethnicity, gender,age, tenure, functional background,socio-economic background, values,sexual orientation and physical andmental ability.This broad definition of diversity buildson the concept of equal opportunity.It goes beyond the concept of rectifyingthe disadvantage of target groupsby emphasising the importance ofan inclusive culture and of valuingdifference between individuals andcommunities. While we should aim tobe inclusive in all our work, at However, do not be daunted by the Over time you will build your owntimes it may be necessary to tailor our volume and complexity of diversity networks, become more aware of theengagement processes and activities to statistics or by the anecdotes about relevant issues and of what questionsenable some communities or individuals working inclusively. This section has to ask that relate to your work. Beingto fully participate. been designed to provide some insights inclusive will become an everyday part and information about working with of your thinking and planning.To assist with your planning, we have diverse communities to help you askprovided the following information the right questions, successfully directto help you engage some of the DSE staff should refer to the your lines of inquiry and find further Department’s intranet, under Socialcommunities who are often overlooked assistance where required.or who face additional barriers to and Cultural Diversity, for moreparticipation. For example, a young A selection of organisations who can information and resources to assistadult may be studying, seeking work assist you to engage with Indigenous, with engaging diverse groupsand raising young children (like many culturally and linguistically diverse within the community.other Victorians), but they may also (CALD) people, young people, seniors,have recently arrived from a war-torn women and people with disabilities hascountry, suffered torture and have been provided in Appendix D.English as a second language. This is notan uncommon occurrence in Victoria.
  20. 20. Book 1: an introduction to engagement 19Here are some general considerations • These contacts can also provide • Initially, you may have to negotiatefor working more inclusively. These advice about the most effective ways ways to help these communities toare followed by some specific of communicating with particular work with you. For example, whenconsiderations for engaging different communities and also vital practical you bring a group of stakeholdersstakeholder groups: knowledge, such as where and how together for the first time, you may a particular group meets or whether find the issues and concerns they raise• Building trust is often the first step in you would need interpreters. are slightly different, or outside the successfully engaging communities that • Community agencies often operate scope of your project. What do you have in the past been marginalised or on low and unpredictable levels of do? You might first try working with engaged in a tokenistic way. This may funding. This can limit their capacity the group to address their immediate initially take time and involve a lot of to participate in an engagement goals or priorities, possibly bringing learning for you, but it will provide process regarding planning or in other agencies to assist. By long-term benefits. environment issues, especially in the demonstrating a willingness to• Some groups are networked within a address the immediate concerns of face of more pressing or short-term community structure, while others are the stakeholders, you are more likely issues such as helping clients to find represented by peak bodies. They are to build a relationship of trust that accommodation, find a job or cope valuable starting points for getting will make it easier to work with this with a mental illness. assistance with approaching and group and others during the current communicating with the group that project and in the future. you wish to engage (refer to Appendix D). Building partnerships for long-term benefits: a practical example In 1997, the Inner West Region Migrant Resource Centre was the first MRC to work with an environment department. They were initially supported by DSE’s Coast Action/Coastcare program to explore different cultural perceptions of coastal resources. Even though this MRC has closed, the networks established through this collaboration still operate successfully.
  21. 21. 20 Book 1: an introduction to engagementIndigenous Cultural awareness training is also aThere are a number of reasons why very important aspect of engagingproject or program teams could decide Indigenous communities. This is likely toto engage Indigenous communities assist you in the following areas:- not least of which is that there may • improved understanding of the issuesbe a legislative requirement for them that are important to Indigenousto do so. For example, The Native people and their communitiesTitle Act (1993) includes a Right to • creating more sustainableNegotiate, which means that native title relationships between Indigenousholders must be consulted in advance people and the wider communityif a government plans to grant certain • the opportunity to explore theinterests to their land. disadvantages resulting from theAnother consideration is the protection dispossession of Aboriginal land.of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage which To identify which Indigenousexists throughout the lands and waters communities need to be engaged, it isof Australia. All aspects of the landscape necessary to determine which groups sitmay be important to Indigenous people within (or perhaps just adjacent to) theas part of their heritage. Maintaining focus area of the project. While someIndigenous heritage ensures a projects have clear boundaries, otherscontinuing role for Indigenous people may be issue-based and thereforein caring for country, something that is without such obvious borders. Inbeneficial to everyone. most cases there are specific contact people or groups within a community responsible for specialised industries such as housing, health, education and land and natural resource management.
  22. 22. Book 1: an introduction to engagement 21 Challenges to Indigenous Engagement10 Fact Implications Solutions you might try Some communities Unable to attend • Allow for longer lead times and include travel reimbursement costs are economically meetings or other in the project budget so that no-one is out of pocket. disadvantaged, engagement activities and individuals due to lack of transport • Meet at community organisations or homes if required. even more so. or finances. • When meeting at other venues, you may need to arrange transport. Community business If community members • Ensure engagement teams are flexible. Multiple attempts may be regarding death, choose not to participate required to capture some audiences. funerals, ill health due to those matters, or any matter of do not be judgmental • Always allow a long lead time and re-attempt to hold your meeting concern can and or view your attempts or engagement activity. will impact on your as a failure. • Arranging a local person or organisation to facilitate any of the meeting or engagement above can assist you to fulfil your requirements. activity arrangements.Making it easy for Indigenous peopleto participate in your activities For DSE staff, the first point of contact when engaging IndigenousThe availability of private transport is a groups should be the Department’sreal issue for many people in Victoria’s Indigenous Facilitators. They willIndigenous communities. This is help you to identify the groupsfurther compounded when engaging and individuals you will need tocommunities in a regional context, and include in your engagement process,where Indigenous Elders are required to facilitate this process and provideattend meetings. their own insights into the issue the project is addressing.10 Shaw, H (2005) ‘A guide to assist staff to engage with Indigenous communities’, unpublished paper, Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne
  23. 23. 22 Book 1: an introduction to engagementCulturally and Linguistically • Different communication styles may • It is important to understand and be required, depending on the group accommodate the considerable timeDiverse and underlying influences such as: commitments of community leaders.When working with culturally As the main contact point for a − sensitivities to discussing personaland linguistically diverse (CALD) community, the leaders will often topics and making decisions onstakeholders, consider the following: receive many external requests from behalf of their community• Working face-to-face in the early government and the private sector for − proficiency in English (written stages of relationship building is consultations, information or and verbal). Some people from extremely important, so you will feedback from the community on a non-English speaking backgrounds need to allocate sufficient time in wide range of issues. At the same may, understandably, lack the planning your engagement. time, community members also rely confidence to use their English• At times, including a social component heavily on their leaders to help them in a public speaking situation in a presentation or event can help with their own difficulties. − literacy in a first language. break down any barriers or fears that • Local councils may have good Remember that for many refugees, people may have about participating. contacts and networks with CALD their schooling may have been This could include sharing food, tree communities in their area, including repeatedly interrupted or ceased planting or a trip to the beach. neighbourhood houses, ethno-specific altogether due to war, political agencies and English-as-a-second- upheaval or having no access to language classes. They may also have formal education services CALD workers on staff. − previous experiences with • Consider early on in the engagement governments, especially in the the possibility of using interpreters to country of origin; torture or assist with the translation of written corruption may be commonplace material or to interpret during in some countries workshops or meetings. − preferred methods to receive and communicate information, such as local papers, radio, word-of-mouth, organisations and the internet. For example, the Somali community in Victoria does not have any print media, so ethnic talkback radio is their prime source of information and their opportunity to discuss ideas and provide feedback − awareness of government programs and processes.
  24. 24. Book 1: an introduction to engagement 23People with Disabilities Some people may have more than one • Some people with disabilities haveMost people with a disability do not type of disability. For example, a person carers. It is important to address anyrequire specific disability supports and who has a vision impairment may also communication to the person withlive independently in the community. have an intellectual disability. the disability and not to their carer orHowever, many people with a disability, friend. It is also important to be When engaging with people withand their parents, families and carers mindful of the carer’s needs in disabilities:face inequalities and barriers to organising any engagement activities. • Ask the people you are planning toparticipation in the community. • In general, all engagement should be engage what their needs are. They inclusive so that people withThe main types of disabilities are: will be in the best position to tell you disabilities can participate in the same• Intellectual disability how you can best assist them to ways as others in the community. (For example, a person who has contribute to the engagement However, some people with significantly below average processes. disabilities may have difficulties, for intelligence [based on an IQ test], or • Use organisations or community groups example, being heard or understood who may have difficulty with everyday that support people with disabilities in a large public forum, and it may be life skills.) to help arrange and conduct your necessary to organise smaller forums• Physical disability engagement (see Appendix D for a that better suit their needs. (For example, a person who uses a listing of organisations and their • If choosing venues to get together, wheelchair or has difficulties with contact details). consider whether the site is accessible communication.) • Put the person first, not their (public transport, ramps), whether• Sensory disability disability. Describe ‘a person with a the building is internally accessible (For example, a person who is Deaf, disability’ rather than ‘a disabled (suitable door widths, accessible toilets) blind or has a vision or hearing person’. Remember that you are and whether it meets the specific impairment.) engaging with the person, not with requirements of the people you are the disability they may have. engaging (Braille and tactile signage,• Psychiatric disability (For example, a person who has a hearing augmentation system).11 mental illness.)• Acquired brain injury (For example, a person who was not born with a disability, but acquired their disability; perhaps through a car accident or drug abuse.)• Neurological impairment (For example, a person who has a degenerative condition such as multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s Disease or motor neurone disease.)11 Department of Human Services (2004), Inclusive consultation and communication with people with a disability, Disabilities Services Division, Victorian Government Department of Human Services, Melbourne
  25. 25. 24 Book 1: an introduction to engagement Young People Seniors As with many of the diverse groups Senior Victorians are a growing part that exist in our society, young people of our population. They have a wealth have valuable contributions to make if and diversity of skills, knowledge and enabled to participate. The following life experiences that can enrich our tips may be helpful in engaging young work. It is important to respect their people: wisdom and to think about their needs in planning any engagement. Some • Do not consider all young people as considerations include: one homogenous group. Characteristics such as gender, age • Many seniors are fit, healthy and and cultural background need to be mobile, but it is important to be considered. As with the broader aware of the changing mobility of community, consider which young seniors and the impact it can have on people would be interested and their ability to participate. Two benefit from involvement. significant changes are when people • Building trust with young people is a stop driving and when they can no fundamental basis for effective longer walk unaided. engagement. Consider strategies and • Be aware of the difficulties some tools that are appropriate to establish seniors may have with vision and trust with young people. hearing when selecting and using • Consider whether organisations and engagement tools. agencies who work with young • Do not assume seniors will not take people could assist with your up newer technologies. However, they engagement. may be limited by lack of confidence, • Provide information to young people previous experiences or income, and in ways they can understand. It may therefore require additional assistance be helpful to engage a young person to overcome these barriers. to assist in your planning. Where • Seniors may have time to participate possible, test your planning and any in engagement activities, but prepared material with a small remember that they are increasingly number of young people to ensure taking on additional family roles, in relevance. particular, childcare for grandchildren. • Avoid making assumptions about • Be aware of possible inter- what may interest young people; generational differences between instead allow them to define what is community facilitators and seniors important from their perspective. that may impede clear • Consider issues of privacy and communication, such as language consent. Consent needs to be and values. informed, freely given, specific and • Do not always segregate seniors into current to be valid.12 discrete groups for engagement. It • When considering venues to meet can be beneficial to mix age groups, with young people, think about resulting in a broader understanding places young people may like to of issues by staff and community gather and consider related issues members. such as safety and proximity to public transport.12 Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (2004), Taking young people seriously - consulting young people about their ideas and opinions: a handbook for organisations working with young people, Office for Youth, Department for Victorian Communities, Melbourne