The Power Of Local Community Relations


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Describes a participatory mapping exercise to enable local people to capture the extent and power of their networks

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The Power Of Local Community Relations

  1. 1. The Power of Community Relationships - a Participatory Training Exercise Paul Cutler
  2. 2. The Mapping Exercise <ul><li>A 2 hour workshop session (with breaks) for 25 local stakeholders from the community </li></ul><ul><li>Participants have a mix of backgrounds including service users, family members, professionals, journalists, business and voluntary sector </li></ul><ul><li>Representativeness - gender, ethnicity, age, disability and other issues </li></ul><ul><li>Uses tools and techniques from mapping theories and action research </li></ul><ul><li>Part of a wider participatory programme and a two day workshop </li></ul>
  3. 3. Purpose of the exercise <ul><li>To answer the question what stakeholder groups exist in the local community? </li></ul><ul><li>To answer the question who might be represented on a local participatory forum? </li></ul><ul><li>To explore the potential and possibilities of mapping skills and tools </li></ul><ul><li>To demonstrate the power and diversity of local networks </li></ul><ul><li>To demonstrate the proximity of powerful actors in the community - ‘2 degrees of separation’ </li></ul><ul><li>To identify excluded stakeholder groups and explore ways of reaching out </li></ul><ul><li>To map the assets of local knowledge shared by stakeholders and consider the potential of deploying these assets in new ways </li></ul>
  4. 4. Strengths of the exercise <ul><li>Creative and holistic </li></ul><ul><li>Practical - learning by doing </li></ul><ul><li>Mingling - on hands and knees </li></ul><ul><li>Breaking down barriers between multi-agency groups </li></ul><ul><li>Visual and colourful </li></ul><ul><li>Unlocks hidden or unconscious knowledge and local expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Illustrates patterns, assumptions and dynamics that stakeholders are not always aware of </li></ul><ul><li>Surprises people about themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Contrasts with other sessions in the programme </li></ul><ul><li>Fun </li></ul>
  5. 5. Position in the Participation and Policy programme <ul><li>Development of a local participatory forum </li></ul><ul><li>Public action for community level learning and change </li></ul><ul><li>Policy skills workshop </li></ul><ul><li>Open forum </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory forum </li></ul><ul><li>Local action </li></ul>
  6. 6. Exercise principles <ul><li>The exercise (like the workshop) is a shared journey and this is clearly communicated </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitators are participants too and do their own maps </li></ul><ul><li>Participants own their maps </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity issues - gender, ethnicity, age, disability, sexuality and literacy </li></ul>
  7. 7. Running the exercise - part one <ul><li>Introducing the purpose of the session </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to mapping skills </li></ul><ul><li>Providing the tools - paper, pens, collage material </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying mapping groups or individuals - stakeholder choice </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting the participants as they map </li></ul><ul><li>Managing the time </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing the participants back to the main group </li></ul><ul><li>Maps put on the walls and participants have 10 minutes to look at the different maps </li></ul>
  8. 8. Running the exercise - part two <ul><li>Group discussion / feedback about the experience of the exercise and the process of mapping </li></ul><ul><li>Participants (usually three) are asked to volunteer to explain their map to the wider group </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitators make observational comments and invite reflection from the other participants </li></ul><ul><li>Map makers supported to annotate their maps where appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Group exercise to look at links between stakeholders, access to sources of power and influence </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity considered and barriers to stakeholder participation - who is missing, who is marginalised? </li></ul><ul><li>Group summary of original aims of exercise - involvement in participatory forum </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitators conclude and link outcomes to previous and future sessions of the workshop </li></ul>
  9. 9. Outputs from the exercise <ul><li>Maps </li></ul><ul><li>Annotations and participant analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Proto-list of forum members </li></ul><ul><li>Proto-list of stakeholder diversity in the local community </li></ul><ul><li>Records of discussions, flip charts and other material </li></ul>
  10. 10. Outcomes from the exercise <ul><li>Greater awareness of stakeholder relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthened networks that can be deployed by local people </li></ul><ul><li>Energy and enthusiasm </li></ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence - sharing something personal that is recognised as valuable </li></ul><ul><li>Forum design and development moved forward </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping skills that can be used in other areas and in the work of the forum </li></ul>
  11. 11. Adult learning <ul><li>Learning by doing </li></ul><ul><li>Unlocking local knowledge and experience in the group </li></ul><ul><li>Learning as a group </li></ul><ul><li>Creating a learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>Using tools, techniques and principles </li></ul><ul><li>Transferable skills to the real world </li></ul><ul><li>Space to explore real world case studies and examples - concepts in action </li></ul><ul><li>Taking responsibility and control of personal and organisational learning </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying barriers and using community level opportunities to side step them </li></ul><ul><li>Ground rules, comfort breaks and respect </li></ul><ul><li>The learning process is the equal of the learning content - sustainable learning and development </li></ul>
  12. 12. Capturing the learning <ul><li>The actual maps - on the wall </li></ul><ul><li>Photos of the maps </li></ul><ul><li>Flipcharts and records </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation forms and feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory Action Research </li></ul><ul><li>Life stories </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective diaries </li></ul>
  13. 13. Examples of the mapping
  14. 14. Learning from the learning <ul><li>The unexpected networks </li></ul><ul><li>Hidden capacities and strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Iterative feedback to improve the quality and effectiveness of professional systems and build new creative stakeholder relationships </li></ul><ul><li>The service user as expert </li></ul><ul><li>Taking risks </li></ul><ul><li>From maps to models…. </li></ul>