What is the Framework for Community Involvement?
As the key part of Community Involvement, the City of Brantford has developed a Framework to ensure a consistent approach by all City staff for all community involvement plans which consists of four elements:
Guiding Principles of Community Involvement that outline the City beliefs about community involvement and how its staff will reflect those beliefs.
Continuum of Community Involvement which is a tool for determining the scope and purpose of involving the community, supported by the Community Involvement Handbook.
Community Involvement Handbook which provides a step-by-step strategic approach, to developing a Community Involvement Plan and evaluating the effectiveness of the process.
Community Involvement Techniques & Tips Resource Guide which outlines the various techniques and tools available to effectively involve the community and a number of tips for consideration to ensure success.
What will using the Framework do?
The elements of the FRAMEWORK are not exclusive of each other should be utilized for every project regardless of its complexity. Using this framework will move community involvement past a mechanical and arbitrary exercise of saying “we consulted with the community” to creating shared solutions or recommendations that are credible, defensible and sustainable.
Consistent use of the Framework will ensure that:
- The scope of the involvement plan appropriately responds to, and aligns with, the size and complexity of the decision being made
- All stakeholders and decision makers will understand what information is being sought and how it will be included in the decision making process
- The people who need to be involved have been invited to participate
- Timelines, budgets and other resources respond to the scope of the project
- The process clearly adds value to the quality of the decision
What won’t the Framework do?
The framework does not mandate specific community involvement formats to be used at specific times. To the contrary, in this world of complex decisions, sophisticated participants, and changing situations it is impossible to mandate such things as the type of event or whether or not there should be a focus group. The Framework is intended to communicate that it is essential to take a strategic approach to every community involvement plan hosted by the City of Brantford and make it specific to the project/issue.
The Framework will not address all of the challenges of managing the complex issues of community involvement. However, using a consistent, strategic approach will equip staff with the tools you need to deal with the challenges. The Community Involvement Handbook will guide the process and provide supporting tools and resources when deciding on the level and method of community involvement.