Step 5: Evaluate Participation Process & Outcomes
Reflection on the stakeholders’ involvement process and outcomes is an essential step, which helps you to improve your Public participation plans (PPP) in the future.
To evaluate the efficiency of the civic engagement, firstly, it is essential to thoroughly document the civic engagement process and the outcomes. Depending on the methodological choice documentation this process may vary. E.g. digital methods may capture the history of stakeholder actions and their implications, whereas, analogue methods may require video- and audio recordings combined with observation. Secondly, it is important to collect feedback from participants about the process and the outcomes. Feedback may be given in a format of individual or group interviews (debriefing) or in the format of questionnaires. One-to-one conversations may encourage people to share their concerns more openly. Group debriefings provide a variety of perspectives and may even result into generating solutions for the revealed problems. Anonymous questionnaires may reach out to those individuals, who avoid sharing their concerns publicly.
While documenting participatory activities try to capture some basic information, such as:
Evaluate the process and outcomes, asking yourself the following questions:
The weak point of many civic engagement processes is the integration of the data, collected from participants into the the actual plans. Therefore, we advise you to think carefully if and how you are going to do that. Furthermore, if you do integrate stakeholder contributions into the plans, then how do you convey this fact to the stakeholders?