We should select particular sources of data to guide our actions. What kind of data should we use and how we should use it?
I think this is a very important question, but very hard to answer. First I would like to say that for me it’s not just about data. Of course we need indicators, but we need qualitative indicators too.
Before approaching an initiative/idea/project we have the chance to research their actions/results/relationships/connections mainly through quantitative data. I believe that once we create the link, we have the opportunity to increase the quality of the data by:
Organising random walkabouts in the area to listen to the community “affected” by the project. What is people´s perception? Is there a real need? How engaged are people in the development of the idea?
Organising “Community Open Days”: Explore the feelings/willingness/capacity to act from neighbours and potential partners
Organising interviews with “key people”: Gain understanding of what motivated the idea; current situation; strengths and weaknesses; potential partnerships; future expectations; network development, etc…
Organising “Focus groups”: Explore the feelings and expectations of people who have been part of the process or have an influential role in its development; create an interactive group setting aiming for consensus; promote collaborative goal-setting and shared tasks
Some of these ideas can be included in what we have called the “Engagement Protocol”; a set of guidelines which aims to motivate local circles to follow a similar methodology.
Which ones do you consider more important and why?
Good one @Fausto. I believe all four options are indeed important, but that the content of options 1 and 2, which as I understand it, is more related to citizens and community actors’ involvement, engagement and attitudes towards the project/idea. I consider these aspects more important to discover than for instance the motivation of the people who came up with the idea, as in the end the success of the project depends on the acceptance of community “affected”.
To add to this, another option or complementary to the first one mentioned, could be participatory research involving the community actors “affected”. This method would allow CW to get a feeling for attitudes, needs and characteristics of the community group affected by the project and at the same time, it could be a way of connecting directly with the group to improve the idea and eventually faciliate their interest, action and engagement in terms the project.