Community & Stakeholder Engagement
- Stakeholder engagement in the IA process must be planned. A plan must be developed for even the most simple and straightforward impact assessments.
- The engagement of stakeholders is not something that happens towards the end of the IA procedure; it needs to be part of the whole process from onset to conclusion. An engagement strategy and plan should therefore be integral to the IA process.
- Stakeholder engagement is about conducting the IA process in a way that ensures all relevant information is captured and is not distorted.
- There is a need to target and tailor-make engagement. This means accommodating and adjusting to different stakeholder roles and interests, types of knowledge, and cultural differences.
FIVE IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW
1. Timely profiling of target groups/stakeholders is essential to ensure successful contact and mutual understanding.
2. Trust can be earned despite stakeholders’ having differences of opinion on the plan or project.
3. The content and presentation of the message is as important as its actual content and requires attention, experience, and skill.
4. Be patient; some groups need time to process the data and ideas communicated to them.
5. There are no insignificant groups in the process; be empathetic but neutral.
Copied from Effective Stakeholder Engagement - IAIA Fastip
FIVE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO
1. Identify all stakeholder groups and their interests and information needs .
2. Develop a strategy and make a detailed plan with events and goals for both specific stages and for the whole IA process. Review the plan frequently.
3. Choose spokespersons for their content knowledge, empathy, presence, and experience in communication
4. Avoid mass gatherings: smaller focused meetings (site visits, round-tables, focus groups) catering to the needs of specific audiences are preferable.
5. Prior to meetings, ask participants to put forward any matters or questions they wish to have addressed in the meetings.