Adapting an engagement activity

It’s rare for an engagement technique to be perfect and actionable as it is on the page.

It’s okay and often encouraged, to adapt engagement activities – a little or a lot, to make sure you get the outcomes you want.

Your situation is unique, and your stakeholders may have particular needs or experience that influence what will work best for them. You need to prioritise your stakeholder needs over adhering to a process.

When thinking about your user needs, think about how the following might influence your design:

  • Confidence and power dynamics: are there traits or cultural dynamics within your participant group that might impact their ability to contribute?
  • Efficacy: do your participants feel ready and able to contribute?
  • Expertise: will they feel like they are ‘expert’ enough to contribute meaningfully?

How can your engagement activity be adapted to address any barriers to contribution that may exist within your stakeholder group?

Max Hardy describes a citizens’ jury process he adapted to improve expertise considerations with Melbourne Water to get to recommendations on a tricky water issue.

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