Mine-Scarred Lands Initiative Tool Kit: Involving the Larger Community
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Many of the MSL Initiative communities found that it was advantageous to inform and involve the broader community in their revitalization projects. This not only helped to build community support for projects, it also produced new ideas and minimized the potential for conflict and delays. Some considerations learned through the projects include:
Ensure that all stakeholder issues and groups are identified early in the project
Some MSL communities enlisted the help of facilitation experts in this effort. Learn more about facilitation experts in the Using Outside Assistance with Project Planning and Coordination section.
Provide clear and factual information about the project on a predictable and consistent basis
Make use of existing communication channels in addition to developing new ones
For example, some MSL communities provided an update of the project at other organizations meetings or added a written update within a community newsletter.
Use a variety of outreach tools and mechanisms to provide information about the project
Some project teams: wrote fact sheets, newsletters, press releases, and issue papers; created Web sites; gave presentations and briefings; and held focus groups and public meetings.
Identify opportunities for public input associated with project milestones
Project teams learned that it is important to be clear about the kind of information they needed from their community, how they hoped to get it, and what they intended to do with it. They reported back to the community to describe how their feedback was used and how it influenced the project plan or decision. Be open and transparent in making decisions.