Embedding an evidence-led, best-practice culture of engagement: learning from the evidence (NECR448)

Hafferty, Caitlin ORCID: 0000-0002-4512-1338 (2022) Embedding an evidence-led, best-practice culture of engagement: learning from the evidence (NECR448). Project Report. Natural England, York.

Full text not available from this repository.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: We define engagement for the purposes of this document as: A process whereby individuals, groups, and/or organisations choose to take an active role in decisions which affect them (after Reed 2008). Public engagement is key for making better quality decisions for more sustainable outcomes. Through effective and inclusive engagement, we can work to empower voices which are often marginalised in scientific and policy decision-making. This report provides the evidence behind what engagement is and why it is important, what the benefits are, the potential risks of “poor” engagement and how to mitigate them, how different “types” of engagement can provide useful classifications for practitioners, and how practitioners can use theory (different ways of thinking and knowing) to inform best practice. This includes consideration of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on how we engage in an increasingly digitised world. This report shows how the available evidence can be used to inform best practice engagement strategies, frameworks, standards, models, methods, toolkits (and so forth). One central message in this report is that “best practice” engagement and its outcomes will vary between different situations. Practitioners should recognise that the quality of the process and outcomes will change depending on the purpose and objectives for engaging, as well as organisational cultures of engagement, institutional capacity, wider socioeconomic and political contexts, and the characteristics of participants. Key tips: 1. Engagement is a process not just an activity. 2. Take time to understand the local context in which engagement is being carried out. 3. Engage stakeholders in dialogue as early as possible in the decision-making process. 4. Recognise the importance of integrating local and scientific knowledge and implement this in practice. 5. Manage power dynamics effectively, for example by using skilled facilitators who can help marginalised voices be heard and build trust in the process. 6. Think about the length and time scale of the engagement process and how often it might be necessary to engage with participants. 7. Recognise that different (digital/remote and in-person) tools and approaches for engagement will work differently in different situations. 8. Engagement coordinators need to manage participants’ expectations of the engagement process. 9. There are risks to engagement, some of which can be managed or mitigated. 10.Frameworks for engagement need to be institutionalised within organisations as a culture of engagement.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Additional Information: Full text is available from Natural England via the official URL. The supplementary material 'Best practice engagement infographic pack' is available through the related repository record.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Engagement; Participation; Environmental decision making; Inclusion; Democracy; Stakeholders; Consultation; Codesign; Deliberation; Involvement
Related records:
Subjects: J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General) > S900 Conservation of natural resources including land conservation
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Anna Kerr
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2022 08:31
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 12:42
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/11432

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