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Public engagement: theory and practice

Categories: Bespoke, Public Engagement,

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Delivered through the medium of English

 

Aims

Accredited by Agored Cymru

To provide greater awareness and understanding of participative engagement.

 

Content

The third sector is always striving to connect with new audiences so that we can include them in our conversations. This comprehensive modular course is aimed at providing a greater awareness and understanding of participative engagement. You’ll gain a range of skills as well as build your confidence in engaging with citizens and the community. The course comprises four stand-alone modules spread over two days.

You can attend all four, or simply those that interest you the most. If you attend all four modules you’ll have the option of completing a third day which secures accreditation.

Modules one and two run on day one of the course.

  • Module one focuses on planning engagement including why engagement is important, who to engage with and engaging with seldom heard groups.
  • Module two has a practical focus on facilitation skills and participatory techniques for engagement.

 

Modules three and four run on day two.

  • Module three teaches a participatory technique for analysing qualitative data from a consultation process and drawing meaningful conclusions and recommendations from this analysis. It also looks at how to provide feedback following a consultation.
  • The fourth and final module helps participants to achieve best practice in public engagement practice. It refers to theoretical models of engagement and demonstrates the use of the Participation Cymru Toolkit as a practical tool for evaluating engagement.

 

You’ll learn a range of tools and have the opportunity to put some methods into practice. If you continue to day three, you will demonstrate a participatory method as part of your assessment, and establish conclusions and make recommendations from qualitative data in a structured way. Following the training, participants seeking accreditation will also be required to submit a piece of work for assessment.

 

About the trainer

Alain Thomas, the principal consultant was born in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales in 1954. He has 12 years’ experience as a community development practitioner and has been a community development consultant since 1989. He attended Afon Taf High School in Merthyr Tydfil and has an honours degree (University of Wales Aberystwyth) and post graduate qualifications in Social Administration (University of Manchester), and Community Social Work (University of Wales Swansea).

Alain Thomas Consultancy was established in 1989 to provide cost-effective and flexible support to organisations of all kinds involved in community development. Alain Thomas Consultancy can call on the services of several associates with complementary skills and experience.

 

Learning outcomes

By attending the course you will:

  • Understand the purpose of engagement
  • Identify stakeholders
  • Apply a range of tools for engagement
  • Understand effective methods for communication throughout the engagement process
  • Facilitate participative activities

 

Who this course is for

Frontline staff and managers seeking comprehensive, accredited training in community and citizen engagement.

 

Additional information

A registration fee of £21 per learner will be charged for those who register to complete the Agored Cymru assessment.

 

 

Planning a public engagement programme (Public engagement: Module one)

Aims

This course will give you an understanding of how to plan a public engagement programme, why it is important, who to engage with, including engaging with seldom heard groups.

 

Content

There is no “silver bullet” for public engagement, but there are practical steps that can be taken to reduce or remove any barriers. This course will look at different ways of reaching stakeholders who may be difficult to engage with.

The course opens with an overview of key policy landmarks which define the unique Welsh context for public engagement. It considers who may want public engagement and why.

You’ll use a participatory “stakeholder analysis” technique to identify which organisations and informal groups need to be involved in your public engagement strategy, how you need to relate to them, which of them are priorities for engagement, and which might be difficult to engage with.

The final part of this module briefly presents an overview of the consultation process and refers to different models of engagement (these are covered in more depth in module 4).

 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you will understand:

  • Why engagement is important
  • The reasons why organisations and the public engage
  • Who to engage with in relation to a defined project
  • The potential barriers to people engaging and how to overcome these

 

Who this course is for

Frontline staff and managers seeking an understanding on how to plan a public engagement programme.

 

 

Skills and techniques for delivering public engagement (Public engagement: Module two)

Aims

This course will give you an understanding of the skills and techniques required to deliver a public engagement programme.

 

Content

This very practical module focuses on the skills, tools and techniques that will help an individual practitioner deliver an effective engagement programme. The course explores some of the key skills and qualities of a facilitator – including questioning skills.

It provides an overview of engagement methods which may be suitable for different levels of engagement and then focuses on techniques which are particularly useful for consultation.

The course provides an introduction to Participatory Techniques for public engagement. You’ll practice several of these simple, intuitive and highly effective techniques which have a proven track record. All participants will receive a handbook describing additional useful tools.

 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you will understand:

  • The role of the facilitator in public engagement
  • How to use a range of different participatory techniques and when they should be used

 

Who this course is for

Frontline staff and managers seeking an understanding of the skills and techniques used in public engagement.

 

 

How to use data from public engagement consultation process (Public engagement: Module three)

Aims

This course will look at using a participatory technique for analysing qualitative data from a consultation process and drawing meaningful conclusions and recommendations from this analysis. It also looks at how to provide feedback following a consultation.

 

Content

Consultations gather the views of the public – but often the most important part of the process is the last to be considered. This module aims to enable participants to analyse the qualitative data gathered by consultation exercises and come to meaningful conclusions – and including the public in the findings.

This course explains the process of analysing qualitative data – it introduces a participatory technique to analyse this type of information and suggests a systematic process for drawing conclusions and making recommendations. You’ll then apply these processes to a set of notes from a consultative exercise, draw conclusions from them, and make recommendations for future action based on any conclusions.

The final part of this module explores why it’s important to provide feedback following a consultation exercise and considers the strengths and weaknesses of different ways of providing feedback.

 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you will understand:

  • How to gather and use valid qualitative data
  • How to draw conclusions from qualitative data analysis
  • Identify and evaluate methods to provide feedback to the public

 

Who this course is for

Frontline staff and managers seeking an understanding of how to use qualitative data from public engagement consultations.

 

 

How to achieve best practice in public engagement practice (Public engagement: Module four)

Aims

This course will look at how to ensure your public engagement practice is effectively designed to make a difference

 

Content

The final module of our public engagement course provides a theoretical framework for engagement which contextualises the learning from the previous three modules. It looks at different models of engagement and draws out some key principles of good practice in public engagement along with some common mistakes.

You’ll also learn how to use the Participation Cymru Evaluation Toolkit to evaluate and improve your own engagement practice.

 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you will understand:

  • The different models and good practice in engagement
  • When consultation may or may not be appropriate
  • How to improve your engagement process

 

Who this course is for

Frontline staff and managers seeking an understanding of how to ensure their public engagement process is effectively delivered.

 

All our courses can be delivered bespoke and tailored to meet your organisation’s needs, please get in touch if you would like to discuss this further.