Step 1. Identify
Identify your target group, spatial context & social issues
This step applies to a) those who have a known concern or opportunity that could affect the community, but also to b) those who are already working with a specific group or community.
Step 1 will depend on which of these categories is most applicable.
Known issue: Before embarking on any project that will require engaging with a specific group(s) or audience(s), it is essential to first identify them. This will help to inform and adapt the selection of engagement methods employed, thereby offering the best chance of success (e.g. arrange a women only focus group or organise workshops outside of office working hours). Points to consider whilst identifying your target groups:
- Local context (e.g. political, social, economic, cultural, etc.)
- Resources available and resources required to reach that group (e.g. sign language interpreter, wheelchair accessible meeting space, etc.)
- Who is directly and indirectly affected by the issue/subject (e.g. planning, social isolation, etc.)
- Who could influence other groups or individuals (e.g. local priest, vlogger)
Known group: Conversely, if the starting point is an existing group, the first step will be to identify the issues affecting them that could provide the motivation for their engagement. This could include:
- Defining the geographical limits and administrative areas that are relevant to the group
- The nature of the relationship between people and place, perceived identity and stigmas
- Their personal perception of their neighbourhood
- Meeting places and community hubs available and accessible to use for the group’s engagement
Good practice in Barcelona
As part of a wider project to address odour pollution at an international level (D-Noses), a number of local pilot studies were identified in which to test the innovative bottom-up approach. One of these pilots was Barcelona in an area around the waste treatment sites. Before any engagement was carried out, it was necessary to map all the potential stakeholders. This was an exercise led by Mapping for Change, working with partners - Ibercivis who are based in Barcelona. The activity began by placing the issue of odour pollution at the centre of the page. From there the team considered who else may be affected by or affecting the odour. Lines were drawn away from the centre to group the current and potential stakeholders. Despite some members of the project team having worked and lived in the area for a number of years, the mapping exercise brought new and previously forgotten stakeholders to the fore and uncovered other target groups, influencers, supporters and potential inhibitors, giving a fuller picture of the situation. This became the foundation for engagement planning, using it to identify any barriers and motivations of different groups and establishing the most effective way to communicate and engage with them. A stakeholder map is unlikely to ever be complete as new stakeholders will be discovered throughout the project. See an example of a stakeholder map in section 3.
Those affected by odour pollution in the Forum Area