The organisations we work with are usually quite clear about why they should involve people and communities in their work. They might want to share power and control, or generate new ideas, identify unmet need, or simply make sure they are still relevant.
They usually also know how to do it, though they might want to get better at it. For example they might want to do it more rigorously, reach beyond the ‘usual suspects’ or use more creative and engaging methods.
The Lasting Difference toolkit can help you think about your own reasons and methods for involving people. Here are some other resources to help you improve involvement.
This straightforward guide was written by people with learning disabilities for services that support them. The Charter’s principles and practices are straightforward but powerful. Any organisation interested in involving the people it serves should find the Charter useful.
Best-practice standards for engaging unpaid carers. This is a short, straightforward document which sets out standards for practice based on the outcomes of involvement. This makes it useful for measuring how well involved people are – and how effectively. As with the Charter for Involvement, the standards here are well thought through and could be adapted for other groups and settings.
More than just a set of standards to follow, VOICE also provides you and your team with a systematic framework for planning, carrying out and evaluating community engagement. The free online planning tools provide a helpful guide for steering your way through all the stages of involvement, from inception to completion and review.
We produced this guide with and for organisations that support carers, but all of the tools in it can be – and have been – used widely in other settings. For us, it’s the go-to guide for consultation methods, with all the most helpful tools in one place. Also contains helpful case studies and a question bank to help you develop your own involvement ideas.