Influencing change at both systemic and population levels takes time and requires more than just conversations.
WHAT WE ARE LEARNING ABOUT OUR COMMUNITIES
Some communities have an abundance of resources to support their journey, but these resources are often:
- And lack citizen input in design and delivery
Key to building success at a community level is:
- Citizen involvement, not just those who normally step up but those who are less likely to be heard
- Federal, State and Local government participation
- Local councils working as part of collectives to support social change for our children
- Existing services to come together with ECCQ and community
Some communities already have a strong community ‘collective’ way of working and do not need interference from us, but we are there to support if they feel it would benefit their aims and focus.
COMMUNTY ENGAGEMENT ADVISORY GROUP
In the first two meetings, the group has contributed positively to:
- Defining ‘community’ when considering engagement
- Key values and actions in the engagement.
- Exploring ideas to shift hard to engage communities.
BUILDING COMMUNITY CAPACITY AND EMPOWERMENT TO BE LEADERS OF CHANGE
It is important we do not throw out all the valuable work that is happening now, as without it there would be nothing, ECCQ is aware of their responsibility to shift the dial on what communities are doing and how they are doing it. This involves focusing on:
- Empowering communities;
- Capacity building and;
- Creating a strong base of social capital to enable the emergence of community owned and led action groups.
Our first step is to enhance the capacity of a smaller number of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes and to encourage them to take these strengths back into their communities and influence the greater empowerment of all.
Community Engagement Toolkit
Community engagement is about ensuring that those most impacted by social challenges have a say in designing and implementing solutions.
The participation of intended beneficiaries and their families, neighbours and trusted leaders can be an integral part of data-driven processes to achieve better results.
A shift in power where community members own their and help produce the result will lead to greater impact.
WORKING ON SYSTEMS CHANGE
Communities are complex systems – and not one size first all – we need to ensure when working with local communities and other stakeholders that we take time to
- Understand the issues from several different viewpoints;
- Challenge the existing perceptions, biases and beliefs that continue to feed into the status quo;
- Encourage individuals to enter a space where they are aware of their own beliefs and values that influence their perceptions and that they can respectfully accept the beliefs and values of others.
OUR WORK WITH FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNEMNT
This is more than just talk and ECCQ is working to influence government actions that will empower community at all levels and make a difference to CQ children’s lives – without policy, funding and contract change the traditional foundations will stall communities’ abilities.