Another useful resource on community engagement

The Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment has a useful three-volume set of books on community engagement (available as PDFs). The fist volume is an introduction and covers a range of concepts that can be helpful in planning community engagement (e.g. the spectrum of public participation, the six “C”s of community engagement and a typology of participation).

They describe the second volume as a planning workbook and the third volume is a “toolkit” of various resources. The toolkit, which is also available as a webpage is quite useful in identifying a range of strategies that can be used in community engagement including Open Space Technology, Citizen Juries, Community Profiling and Photo Voice. For each strategy they include a description, the objectives, the outcomes, its uses and strengths, some special considerations/weaknesses, the resources required, a description of the method and a few other characteristics.

While the toolkit is far from exhaustive (e.g., it doesn’t include charrettes or asset mapping) and I would question some of the descriptions (e.g., it suggests that the participation level of Open Space Technology is low and that it provide information only), it offers a useful overview of a range of tools and is a good starting point.

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), environmentalist, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace & sustainability.
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