Community

Measurements for monitoring community engagement success

Posted 1 month ago at 5:39 pm

I'm hoping not to reinvent the wheel.  Are there designs and/or methods that will help track, monitor and gauge success of a community engagement strategy?  i am developing a strategy and wanting to use a design to track success. 

6 Comments

Efrain Gutierrez

backbone organization, funder of initiatives, technical assistance provider / consultant

Hi Comfort, 

I would say that the methods used to track, monitor, and gauge community engagement strategies will depend on the strategy itself. I suggest answering the following questions in order to determine how to evaluate the strategy:

  • What is the goal of the community engagement strategy?
  • [sub question] What are the activities we are conducting?
  • [sub question] What are the outcomes each of the activities is hoping to accomplish?
  • Who is the audience for the strategy and what is the impact the strategy is hoping to have in that community/audience?
  • What types of data can help assess whether the outcomes are being accomplished or not?
  • [sub question] What data is already available from government and other sources?
  • [sub question] What existing tools can we use? (e.g., if the client already has a community survey they conduct every year)
  • What evaluation/data gathering activities do we need to conduct? (e.g., interviews and focus groups with community members, a new survey)
  • Does the organization has the skills required to gather the data or do you need a trained evaluator who can help design evaluation instruments, analyze data, and report back?
  • [sub question] What is the timeline?
  • [sub question] When do you need the data and for what purposes?
  • What format is required to communicate findings with different audiences?

I hope this is helpful!

Efrain

Submitted by Efrain Gutierrez on Thu, 2017-08-10 18:12

Comfort Brown

technical assistance provider / consultant

Efran,

Thank you for your informative response.  It was very helpful.  It confirmed that I am on the right track.  I am embarking on a new community engagement with a non profit organization and understand that many of the questions you have outlines must be defined before we might choose the appropriate design and method for measurement.   The response also raised a few strategic questions I had not yet noted.   I particularly was encouraged to seek an evaluator if required.

Thank you.

 

Submitted by Comfort Brown on Thu, 2017-08-10 23:44

Efrain Gutierrez

backbone organization, funder of initiatives, technical assistance provider / consultant

You are very welcome Comfort. I'm glad the responses was helpful! 

Something I forgot to mention is the importance of ensuring that the design of your evaluation (the way you go about knowing if you are making progress) is participatory and inclusive of the voices of the communities you are serving. The evaluation should further equity. If we are not intentional about making our evaluations equitable, traditional evaluation practices might perpetuate negative narratives and further power dynamics in the field. When you think about the evaluation think about the following: 

  • What assumptions are we making as part of the evaluation? Are those the right assumptions? Are the assumptions perpetuating negative narratives of the communities we serve? 
  • Who is defining what success looks like? Is it the community, the funder, or both? 
  • What is the community getting from the evaluation? How are their voices being considered in the design, implementation, and reporting?
  • Are our evaluation findings talking about the community using an asset-based lens? Are we in any way "blaming" the community for the lack of progress? In what ways might the funder also be contributing to the lack of progress? 

This is a lot! You got me thinking :)

Good luck! 

In unity,

Efrain

Submitted by Efrain Gutierrez on Fri, 2017-08-11 19:50

Comfort Brown

technical assistance provider / consultant

Efrain,

You've got me thinking as well!   Thank you for giving me such effective context to consider. I am doing preliminary contemplation and anticipation as I'm leading this upcoming community engagement effort.  I may touch basis from time to time throughout the process.  Thanks again!

Submitted by Comfort Brown on Fri, 2017-08-11 19:31

Efrain Gutierrez

backbone organization, funder of initiatives, technical assistance provider / consultant

Excellent good luck and happy to help!

 

Efrain

Submitted by Efrain Gutierrez on Fri, 2017-08-11 19:50

good

Submitted by MARY JOHN on Sat, 2017-08-19 04:32