Community and Stakeholder Engagement Policy amendment
In order to conduct high-quality engagements, procedures have been developed to guide City officers through the process. To support this, an amendment to the City’s Community and Stakeholder Engagement Policy is now being advertised to formally recognise these procedures and ensure this becomes a Council endorsed approach.
Description and background
In July 2019, Council adopted the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Policy. Its purpose is to establish a high-level framework for meaningful engagement with the community based on best practice principles where legislation and other Council policies and procedures don’t apply.
The policy required that more detailed procedures be developed to provide further clarity to Council, the community and staff about how best to decide, plan, develop and implement an engagement approach on any given project or initiative.
An intuitive end-to-end engagement framework is now operational has been developed to achieve the following objectives:
- To have a suite of engagement activities which are fit for purpose and provide the community several opportunities to receive information and have their say at the right time
- To identify the impact each project will have on relevant stakeholders and to adjust the engagement approach accordingly
- Use metrics to validate the project’s impact assessment and to justify the project officers’ project insight.
The framework identifies five stages of engagement to include:
- Decide and analyse
- Plan and design
- Develop and prepare
- Implement and engage
- Close off and evaluate.
To support its implementation, a suite of resources has also been developed to support each stage and embeds a culture of engagement into all project teams across the organisation.
One of the key features of this approach is a new e-Tool for use by officers when planning their engagement approach. The e-Tool allows project managers to interrogate each project and uses metrics and an intuitive line of questioning to help officers assess the level of impact their project has on:
- The community
- Elected Members
Once the impact level has been established, the e-Tool creates a tailored engagement plan that recommends specific actions for all three groups to respond to the likely level of interest and impact.
A summary of the procedures are provided in Useful documents below.
Community engagement is a purposeful two-way exchange of ideas and information that enriches and shapes the way the City plans, delivers and implements projects and initiatives.
Engagement often takes on many forms and uses a range of tools and methods depending on what is required to successfully achieve the objectives of the engagement., It also includes working closely with the marketing, communications and digital team.
Community engagement is an important philosophy and process to ensure that the community receives relevant information about City projects and initiatives at the right time, for the right amount of time.
It’s also important that there are multiple ways for the city to receive that feedback accessible to all members of the community.
The City must take into consideration the history of any project, anticipate the needs of the community and Council and adjust the engagement approach based on that context.
The City’s e-Tool asks all project teams a number of qualifying questions to establish whether a project is either ‘inform’ only or is required to ‘engage’.
The City has used the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) framework to guide the development of the policy and the procedures. This framework identifies the following levels of engagement depending on the impact of the project:
Specific engagement activities or events relevant to the Stirling context are outlined in the e-Tool.
How do you determine the level of impact a project will have?
The new e-Tool which has been developed by the City, and forms part of the engagement procedures, asks the project team a series of detailed questions to allow them to establish the impact of their project on key stakeholder groups (Community, Elected Members and Administration) and select the appropriate engagement approach.
For each group the impact may be Low, Moderate, High or Significant. The scores are aggregated, and an overall impact of the project is established.
What is the purpose of this policy amendment?
This policy amendment proposes to capture the engagement operational procedures in a Council endorsed policy. This will provide certainty to Council, the community and staff about how to decide, plan, develop and implement an effective engagement.
Why aren’t specific engagement activities included in the policy?
We have decided not to include specific engagement activities in the Council policy as they are contained within the e-Tool itself.
Not including them in the policy means we can include new or adapt existing activities as required and as technology and methodologies evolve without the need for a policy amendment.
How does this policy work with other policies and state legislation?
If there is state government legislation that outlines engagement (advertising / consultation) requirements, it must be followed as a minimum. A Town Planning Scheme Amendment or Local Law review is an example of this.
The City may choose to also include additional activities these procedures propose should the matter be considered ‘complex’ should it satisfy certain criteria.
Community engagement on policy amendment
Compile and analyse the feedback received
Compile and analyse the feedback received
Report prepared for Council to consider outcomes of advertising
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