Steps to Successful Community Engagement

ByTom Bulloch
President at Secure Benefits Solutions
Community engagement programs are great opportunities for large corporations and the government to involve members of the society and consequently win their support for particular projects. Investing in community engagement programs gives an opportunity to win the support of the locals while creating incentives for cooperation. The success of such a program depends on how well prepared it is. When preparing a successful community engagement program, the following steps are crucial. Setting transparency and honesty Transparency and honesty are two important attributes that, if well integrated within the entire community engagement process, will lead to increased support. Setting transparency through the process of selecting the targeted community, the program stakeholders, and the decision-making process allow for the engaging parties to trust one another. Setting the right priorities When engaging members of the community, it is important to give them a chance to set priorities in terms of the kind of projects they wish to focus on. The objectives of the community engagement program should be set to offer immediate benefits within the shortest time possible. Community members will highly likely show support for projects that cater to their well-being, such as improving their livelihoods and solving their problems. Mobilization process To win the hearts of everyone within a community, it is important to consider engaging in a rigorous community mobilization process. Mobilizing everyone within the community through door-to-door campaigns or even roadshows ensures that everyone within the society is well aware of what is going on. Involving members of the community to ensure that word regarding the program goes around effectively is a great way to achieve deeper penetration. Electing representation Not everyone within the community can have an opportunity to attend community engagement sessions. This may be solved by endeavoring to hold a community assembly meeting where members get a chance to elect representatives whom they trust to represent their affairs in the meetings. The elected representatives should reflect the community’s diversity in terms of age, gender, and other social-economic parameters. Focus on quick impact projects Members of the community should be targeted with Quick Impact Projects (QIP), whose outcome is evidenced within a short duration of time. Depending on the objective, for example, a community engagement project targeting creating a healthy environment should focus on creating garbage collection centers for an immediate change.
Published: November 20, 2019
community engagement
Tom Bulloch
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