Making community participation meaningful - JRF 4 Making community participation meaningful Opening

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    Making community participation meaningful A handbook for development and assessment

    Danny Burns, Frances Heywood, Marilyn Taylor, Pete Wilde and Mandy Wilson

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    Making community participation meaningful

    First published in Great Britain in July 2004 by

    The Policy Press

    Fourth Floor, Beacon House

    Queen’s Road

    Bristol BS8 1QU


    Tel no +44 (0)117 331 4054

    Fax no +44 (0)117 331 4093


    © University of the West of England 2004

    Published for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation by The Policy Press

    ISBN 1 86134 614 X

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

    A catalogue record for this report is available from the British Library.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    A catalog record for this report has been requested.

    Danny Burns is Professor of Social and Organisational Learning at the University of the West of England, Bristol.

    Frances Heywood is Research Fellow at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol. Marilyn Taylor is

    Professor of Urban Governance and Regeneration at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Pete Wilde and

    Mandy Wilson are Directors of the COGS Consultancy.

    All rights reserved: no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any

    form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written

    permission of the Publishers.

    The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has supported this project as part of its programme of research and innovative

    development projects, which it hopes will be of value to policy makers, practitioners and service users. The facts

    presented and views expressed in this report are, however, those of the authors and not necessarily those of the


    The statements and opinions contained within this publication are solely those of the authors and not of The

    University of Bristol or The Policy Press. The University of Bristol and The Policy Press disclaim responsibility for any

    injury to persons or property resulting from any material published in this publication.

    The Policy Press works to counter discrimination on grounds of gender, race, disability, age and sexuality.

    Cover design by Qube Design Associates, Bristol

    Printed in Great Britain by Hobbs the Printers Ltd, Southampton

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    Contents SECTION 1: Introduction 1 What is the purpose of such a detailed framework? 2 What is community participation? 2 Why is community participation essential? 2 Key principles which have underpinned our work 3 What these frameworks can be used for 3 Key lessons from the road testing of the original frameworks 5 The structure of the framework 8

    SECTION 2: A new framework 9 Health warning 12 Applying the framework 12 Additional advice 14

    SECTION 3: Reflective questions for addressing key considerations 16 1 What different communities exist within your locality? 18 2 Who or what has determined the rules in your partnership or for your initiative? 22 3 What is the balance of power within the partnership/initiative? 24 4 In what ways, and to what extent, are communities involved? 26 5 What level of investment is there in community participation? 28 6 Is there strong leadership to support community participation? 30 7 Do decision-making structures allow for local diversity? 32 8 Are you able to work in a joined-up way? 34 9 Are service structures compatible with community participation? 36 10 Is your group able to run in an effective and inclusive way? 38 11 How does your group or organisation ensure that its representatives on committees and 40

    boards are accountable? 12 How effective is your information and communication? 42 13 Do you have an effective approach to community and organisational learning? 44 14 Has participation made any difference? 46

    SECTION 4: Tools and exercises 49 A: Speedos 50 B: Steps and barriers 53 C: Stakeholder cards 55 D: Objectives exercise 57 E: Drawings and pictures 58 F: Spider’s web maps 59 G: Level of participation scale 60 H: Meetings checklist 61 I: The ‘hats’ form 62 J: The decision trail 64 K: Recording meetings 69




    Acknowledgements iv


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    Making community participation meaningful


    This work was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in collaboration with Embrace West Midlands and three Regional Development Agencies:

    • Advantage West Midlands • South West Regional Development Agency • Yorkshire Forward Regional Development Agency

    The authors would also like to give particular thanks to the full research teams whose work underpinned this publication. To Paul Burton, Helen Bovey, Annie Rosewarne, and Carol Ferron-Smith.

    Special thanks to Peter Marcus of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation who was absolutely essential to supporting and developing this project. Thanks also to John Low of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for his thoughtful comments and to all of the steering group members, who have included:

    Bill Badham, Children’s Society, Professor Gary Craig, University of Hull, Naomi Diamond, Engage East Midlands, Scott Dickenson, Audit Commission, Cherida Fletcher, South West Regional Development Agency, Alison Gilchrist, Community Development Foundation, Owen McFarlane, Embrace West Midlands, Alan Matthews, Yorkshire Forward Regional Development Agency, Professor Marjorie Mayo, Goldsmiths College, University of London, Diane Shepherd, Sharrow Community Forum, Caroline Simpson, Advantage West Midlands Regional Development Agency, Hilary Wilmer, Churches Regional Commission, Charles Woodd, Home Office, Active Communities Unit, Tricia Zipfel, Neighbourhood Renewal Unit

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    This publication is a companion handbook to What works in assessing community participation, which describes and analyses the way in which two assessment frameworks for benchmarking community involvement in regeneration were road tested.

    The two frameworks are:

    • COGS (2000) Active partners: Benchmarking community participation in regeneration, Yorkshire: Yorkshire Forward.

    • Burns, D. and Taylor, M. (2000) Auditing community participation: An assessment handbook, Bristol: The Policy Press.

    The aim of the process was to find out if the assessment frameworks were useful, to assess what worked most effectively, to refine the frameworks and if possible to amalgamate them on the basis of what we learned from the road-testing process. As a result of our work we have produced this combined framework which can be used as a resource for the development and assessment of community participation.

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    Making community participation meaningful

    What is the purpose of such a detailed framework?

    When we constructed the first versions of these tools we were clear that we needed a process which was as detailed as a management or a financial audit. Institutions have to go through months of inspections to show that their management and financial systems work effectively, but if they can show that they have a statement which supports community participation, that is usually taken to