These questions have been extracted from “echo”, a framework developed as part of the Axis of Influence series in 2009. Echo specifically explores how public agencies can assess and improve their openness and ability to respond to community influence. Originally researched in Dudley in collaboration with Dudley Community Partnership; Dudley Primary Care Trust; West Midlands Police and Dudley MBC Directorates for Urban Environment; Adult, Community & Housing Services; Children’s Services ; Chief Execs Directorate as well as Neighbourhood Management and Community Safety Team – Echo was later put forward as the Non-statutory guidance for the Government’s Duty to Involve, and delivered across the country by 2 of SAND’s Directors and their colleague, operating as www.changesuk.net
Progress may be assessed by responding to a series of questions (including indicators of change) such as:
- Does service delivery reflect – or is reinforced by – input from LGBT+ communities?
- Do staff feel supported by the agency to be ‘out’ themselves?
- Do staff have dialogue with LGBT+ communities around priorities, possibilities and progress under the Covenant?
- Does the agency provide strong accountability mechanisms so that people can see how decision-makers have acted on their priorities?
- Is the agency aware who is excluded and marginalised from the conversation – for whatever reason – physically, culturally, economically?
- Do agencies help to provide spaces where older and old LGBT+ people and groups can meet and participate in discussions on their own terms – not just in ‘invited’ spaces
Do people from LGBT+ communities and groups experience the value of being engaged with your group/organisation/department?
- Feel they can influence things?
- Know the routes to influence?
- Feel consulted and asked their opinions?
- Take part in the process of shaping priorities and joint decision making?
- Know the results of their influence?
- See the link between their input and the result?
- Feel confident that they have been heard?
- Understand why things change – or not?
- Understand different views and perspectives?
- Know the routes to ‘complain’ when they feel discriminated against
These questions are extracted from “Voice”, the first framework developed as part of the Axis of Influence series, in 2007. Voice specifically explores how community groups and networks can assess and improve their influence on service providers. Originally researched and developed in Dudley, with members of Dudley’s Community Empowerment Network, Voice was later the focus for the Community Development Journal and presentation at the International Association of Community Development Conference, in 2012. Voice has been delivered across the country by 2 of SAND’s Directors and their colleague, operating as www.changesuk.net