Guides to help initiate and manage social processes
This page provides access to a range of guides that provide information, tools and techniques for those wishing to manage the social processes required to support community and regional development. The basic principles are universal and there are a wide range of guides developed in many different contexts that can help us. However, to achieve change policy makers and others need to be aware of the characteristics of complex social systems, and what these mean for the design of constructive interventions. It is also important to clearly set out a theory of change and logic models that build interventions that link operations with the required organizational and social activities.
- Collaborating for Sustainability This 2004 report by Sango Mahanty and Natasha Stacey is a resource kit for facilitators of participatory natural resource management in the Pacific. It provides information and guidance on a number of different phases in the project cycle for a participatory NRM program - i) introduction; ii) engaging stakeholders; iii) learning about natural resource management problems; iv) learning about the socio-economic context; v) planning for Change; and vi) planning for Action. A related 2007 paper by Natasha Stacey and colleagues - The Pacific International Waters Project: Aims, approaches and challenges - points to the importance of supporting these approaches with linked communication strategies which use public relations; social marketing; and community education.
- The Barefoot Guide to Working with Organisations and Social Change This is a free, downloadable, do-it-yourself guide for leaders and facilitators working with local organisations to function and develop in more healthy, human and effective ways. You can also access a growing library of exercises, case studies, tools, readings, handouts, diagrams etc. on the website.
- The community toolbox The Tool Box provides over 6,000 pages of practical information to support your work in promoting community health and development. This web site is created and maintained by the Work Group on Health Promotion and Community Development at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas (U.S.A). The core of the Tool Box is the "topic sections" that include practical guidance for the different tasks necessary to promote community health and development. For instance, there are sections on leadership, strategic planning, community assessment, grant writing, and evaluation to give just a few examples. Each section includes a description of the task, advantages of doing it, step-by-step guidelines, examples, checklists of points to review, and training materials.
- Tools of Change: Proven Methods for Promoting Health, Safety and Environmental Citizenship This Canadian website, founded on the principles of community-based social marketing, offers specific tools, case studies, and a planning guide for helping people take actions and adopt habits that promote health and/or are more environmentally-friendly. This Web site will help you include in your programs the best practices of many other programs - practices that have already been successful in changing people's behaviour.
- The Community Sustainability Assessment Tool The non-profit Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) promotes human activities and technologies that can be harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future. Their sustainability auditing tool provides an "acid test" for comparing an existing community (city, village, neighborhood) with ideal goals for ecological, social, and spiritual sustainability. In addition, this tool is a learning instrument - pointing out actions aspiring individuals and communities can take to become more sustainable. A different - but smaller version - checklist can be found at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/oea/sc/criteria.cfm
- The Guide to Effective Participation This guide was developed by David Wilcox for community activists and professionals seeking to get other people involved in social, economic and environmental projects and programmes. The toolkit part of the pack provides a range of techniques and tools from which organisations and individuals can select. The tools assist in identifying blockages and suggest ways forward. Careful selection and application of the most appropriate tool is an essential part of any job, but organisations using a tool for the first time may need to seek advice. The guide provides some signposts to further information about the tools and their use.
- The Change Management Toolbook This site by Holger Nauheimer provides a sizeable collection of tools, methods and strategies which you can apply during different stages of personal, team and organizational development, in training, facilitation and consulting. It is divided in three principle sections: Self, Team and Larger System. The site's introduction to change management is a good place to start. You may have to register on the site to start using this resource.
- Building Resilience in Rural Communities: Toolkit This toolkit outlines 11 resilience concepts found to be pivotal in enhancing individual and community resilience, and offers ideas on how to apply them. The toolkit is designed to be used by program co-ordinators such as community workers, health professionals, and others working with individuals and groups and community leaders. It can be used in a number of ways - in existing programs, making modifications to include resilience concepts and in new programs to assist in the selecting of concepts most relevant to the program.
- Fostering Sustainable Behavior This site by Doug McKenzie-Mohr was developed for people who design programs to foster sustainable behavior, to provide information that can enhance the success of their efforts. The site consists of six resources:an online guide which illustrates how to use community-based social marketing, searchable databases of articles, downloadable reports, graphics, and case studies on fostering sustainable behavior; and a listserv for sharing information and asking questions of others.
- Local government consultation and engagement resource website This guide was developed by the Victorian State government of Australia. It aims to provide local governments with the information, tools and support to more effectively consult and engage communities in local decision-making processes. This website contains information including: The basics; Consultation methods - How to?; Choosing a method; Engaging the hard-to-reach groups; Case study examples; Consultation planning and process design; and Consultation strategy development.
- The true costs of participation: A framework How easy is it to establish what a participation initiative has really achieved - or simply whether the benefits were really worth the time and money? This document introduces a framework for thinking about the costs and value of participation in a structured way. UK focused, but with implications for participatory processes in all societies, the paper has three main sections: Introducing participation; planning for participation; and methods for participation. This document is based on research and collaborative development through a programme of interviews, workshops, desk research and discussions carried out in 2004/05.
- International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) IAP2 is an association of members who seek to promote and improve the practice of public participation in relation to individuals, governments, institutions, and other entities that effect the public interest in nations throughout the world. This page provides links to a toolbox and a useful typology around public participation.
- Next Step website This site has been designed to provide Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network (MnSCN) members and others with information, access to resources, opportunities for networking, and inspiration on the topic of sustainable communities.
- Recommendations for behaviour change programs to reduce greenhouse impacts in SA This report by Julia Winefield considers how to achieve a shift towards more sustainable and greenhouse friendly behaviour and make recommendations for behaviour change programs in South Australia based on these findings. It does this by an examination of evidence-based theories of behaviour change and actual programs that have been run in Australia and Canada.
- Social capital: A tool for public policy This 2005 study by the Canadian government Policy Research Initiative (PRI) concludes that government action could be more effective if, in developing relevant programs and initiatives, the role of social capital were taken into account more systematically. This summary report shows which areas of policy lend themselves to improvement by the development of social capital, and the types of approaches that could be used to achieve this. More complete studies to support this are provided in the following reports:
- Understanding and influencing behaviours: a review of social research, economics and policy making in Defra This discussion paper draws on experience within Defra using a range of case studies to highlight how policy development is taking practical steps to deliver 'change'. The premise for this paper is that the heart of the issue is not about „behaviour change? but rather how translating a better understanding of behaviours (gained via economic and social research) directly into policy can influence change through the provision of evidence based, highly effective instruments. Whilst not an exhaustive review, the paper demonstrates how research and analysis is helping to understand behaviour, how this shapes our thinking about policy development and informs the choice of interventions adopted. Another useful Defra report is A framework for pro-environmental behaviours