Community education engagement planning

Behaviour change by others is a common desire for many agencies. Finding ways to actively engage community members is all to often seen to be a scary and intimidating business. Complicating factors include such issues as there being no one absolute answer to topics such as health and safety, and another is that many people either have a quite reasonable understanding of the topic anyway, or have good reasons to act the way they do. In a series of courses designed and run for the Country Fire Authority I introduced five engagement tools or techniques that would help the staff and volunteers run conversations with small groups on the topic of fire. As well as practicing to use the tools, the participants also developed their own plan documenting a community group they wanted to target, what the focus for the conversation should be (eg. Parents with young children and house fires) and which tools they might use to enable a conversation. This enabling them to take a planned and purposeful approach to engagement on community safety which they could monitor and evaluate themselves. The tools are Put yourself on the Map, Lucky Draw, Learning Matrix, On the Line and Three Best Bets.


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