Innovation Exchange

Community involvement through the ‘Engage Dundee’ project

Introduction

Key activities

Benefits and impacts

Learning

What was the Problem/Issue?

 

Finding out from communities what they wanted and needed in their local area and feeding these into the preparation of the LOIP and Local Community Plans.

Theme: Community Planning and Empowerment

What did we as a CPP do?

 

Asking the community what was working well and what needed to change. Made use of the Place Standard as a core part of our engagement and supplemented this with postcards, local events, a social media campaign, focus groups etc.

 

Looked at city priorities and local priorities. A pupil council was consulted on the tools being used. They re-worded it so it could would receive a better response from children & young people. We put this round local secondary schools and in some areas got direct responses.

 

Captured lots of responses from all of the above methods with postcode information used to locate the different responses across areas. Several responses highlighted through Engage Dundee that were common to several areas went directly into LOIP. These were across all five strategic themes.

 

Planners and the Information & Research Team pulled together dashboards for city wide and locality based action.

What helped us to improve community participation?

 

Following the huge response to Engage Dundee (over 6,000 responses in total), Communities Officers and Community Workers organised local feedback events. This went some way to continuing engagement with local communities by looking at the results and starting to think about ‘what next’.

 

Learning to work with the right people in your locality (Community Connectors) and knowing who has the skills to carry this work forward (various front line staff in several agencies and departments).

 

What were the barriers to improving community participation?

 

The Engage Dundee work was positive but didn’t trigger as big a forward response to consider ‘what next’ as we would have hoped for.

 

There was a slow realisation regarding the large amount of work to be done for an engagement process on this scale. The engagement work was to be carried out by staff alongside their day job which did put a strain on resources. As we all live and work in communities we all had a stake in this work which helped motivate staff to work hard on this engagement process.

A partner commented that ‘we now have this information and we are going to tell people what we are going do’. They were concerned that we should be asking ‘should’ we do this rather than telling people what we will do. Dundee needs to get better at following up on the results of engagement like this, e.g.;

 

  • As part of the feedback process, asking community members if the identified priorities feel right to them
  • Developing an ongoing process of consultation and feedback with communities

 

Following on from Engage Dundee, Dundee allocated £1.2m of its budget to a participatory budgeting process. This enabled communities to decide on their priorities from a range of infrastructure projects, on a Ward by Ward basis. The projects were identified from Engage Dundee responses.

 

At the time of writing, Dundee is developing a new Community Engagement Strategy. It is anticipated that this will address the above points and help to bring the range of local Partners closer together to strengthen community engagement in years to come.

Case study added to site: December 2018

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