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									                     Additional Guidelines:
                       Ways of Working
Guidelines on how to find out more about how the ways of working
with communities are having an impact

Introduction
A key feature of many community organisations is that they base their work on
values and principles that influence how they work with people.

For example:

       a community centre may be committed to empowerment, an underlying
        principle which staff and volunteers use to guide their work with individuals
        and groups
       a youth project within a centre may be involved in challenging racist views
        that some young people have about new Eastern European migrants coming
        to the area
       an older people’s club within a centre may be keen to involve people from
        different cultural backgrounds in order to address issues of diversity.

Many centres are involved in such work, often with a lot of energy and
commitment. Staff and volunteers may use particular approaches in their work in
the centre – these can be called ‘practices’ or ‘processes’ – but to use everyday
language here in these additional guidelines, we call these ‘ways of working’. Such
ways of working often reflect the heart of what a centre is concerned with, so to
include them in an impact assessment would be useful.

ChangeCheck can act as a tool to help to understand how different ways of working
are having an impact.

This section can help you to look more closely at these issues, focusing on how that
impact is affecting people. In order to do this, as well as other options, we suggest
an additional question (as shown below) is added to the questionnaire for individual
users of the centre (Survey Form A) which directly asks about issues such as
empowerment and using everyday language. The information collected from this
question can then be added to the data fed into the review session.



          Created with ChangeCheck, part of bassac’s Community Impact Programme

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        www.changecheck.org                                   Email: info@bassac.org.uk
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Background
The ChangeCheck method, as described in the handbook, already examines the
question of how a centre’s work is affecting communities in several ways. For
example:

      the five roles framework for anchor organisations provides insights into the
       mix of roles a centre may be playing in its neighbourhood. This is asked
       about in the groups questionnaire (Survey Form B)
      the questionnaire for individual users (Survey Form A) includes open-ended
       questions about the difference the centre has made to people’s lives. This is
       a rich source of information on experiences and views that complements the
       hard data on levels of impact
      the questionnaires for groups (Survey Form B) and agencies (Survey Form C)
       also contain open-ended questions that give space for respondents to
       describe the ways in which the centre is having an impact.

As discussed in the Further Considerations, the action planning part of the review
session is a good opportunity to look at these issues.

There are number of options:

      The soft data on values and ways of working from the sources just described
       above can be considered and contribute to assessing levels of impact.
      Where the review session identifies that levels of impact in some areas are
       in need of strengthening, it is an opportunity to encourage and ask questions
       in relation to ways of working. For example, are the ways of working being
       used in that particular area in need of changing and reflecting the
       organisation’s values more closely?

   It is important to consider these issues as part of the ChangeCheck review,
   rather than to just identify a low level of impact and set a target to raise it.


Gathering information on ways of working
In addition to these opportunities, we can gather further information by using an
additional question about ways of working. This is based on a useful framework, as
described below. Many community organisations and development workers use
what is called a ‘community development approach’ as an underlying set of values
and principles to inform their work. These are described in the Strategic
Framework for Community Development, a framework developed and published by
the Community Development Exchange (CDX). This statement can be viewed on
www.cdx.org.uk and is included below with thanks to CDX.

In order to explore principles and ways of working more fully, an additional
question can be added to the individual user questionnaire (Survey Form A):

      the additional question asks about the specific ways in which the centre has
       made a difference to people’s lives
      this is presented in tick box format with a number of simple statements,
       making it relatively easy to use the data that is collected
      this additional question is included below in a format that you can copy and
       paste, and adapt to your needs
      the information collected from this question is hard data and can be collated
       in a similar way to the other hard data questions
      as described above, the existing Question Two in the user questionnaire
       (Survey Form A) may also provide useful insight into the ways of working.
       This is a ‘soft’ data question.
      the findings from these two questions in combination, involving both hard
       and soft data, can be presented during the review session and used to
       prompt discussion on the use of values and ways of working.
      discussion will be needed with staff and volunteers to ensure that they are
       involved in any changes and can contribute their own ideas and concerns.

We now include text for the new question which you can copy and paste into the
Survey Form A for users. Please note, the list of statements are intended to act as
a checklist to select from, rather than for use as it stands.


                 Additional question for Individual Users

   We are also interested to find out more about the ways the
   Centre has made a difference to people’s lives.

   In what ways has the Centre made a difference to you?

   Please tick any of the following that describe your experiences of
   where the Centre has had a major or substantial impact on you:

   Helped to build my self-confidence

   Valued me as a person

   Recognised my needs

   Valued my strengths and skills

   Helped me to build my skills for community action

   Helped me to do things myself
Valued my culture and background

Helped me to feel less excluded

Supported me to work with other people

Helped me to get along with people from different backgrounds

Helped me to understand the neighbourhood better

Supported me in challenging discrimination

Helped me to take a stand

Helped me to understand how decisions are made locally

Helped me to have a say about decisions that affect me

Gave me the information I needed

Gave me new opportunities

Introduced me to new networks

Encouraged me to question things

Supported me to take action to change things
Practical considerations
In using this additional new question you need to consider:
     The list of suggestions on what to ask about (e.g. helped me to feel less
       excluded), as it stands, is probably too long. It has been designed to act as a
       useful checklist for you to select from.
     As described, the question is based on an important and widely used
       statement of community development values and commitments. You can
       adapt the material to help ask about your own particular values and ways of
       working.
     In the list of statements, we have tried to use everyday language as much as
       possible. Even so, some people may struggle to understand what is meant in
       each case or to how to apply the question to their own life and situation.
       You may need to consider if additional support is needed to help people
       complete the question. The general issue of encouraging a good response
       rate is discussed in the handbook on page 20.

Using the findings in the review session
The data from this additional question can be prepared for use in the review
session.
    The responses on the completed forms can be added up for this question
       using an empty spare form, broadly in the same way as described on page 21
       of the handbook.
    This could lead to a finding, for example, that 87 out 110 people responding
       stated that the centre had had a major or substantial difference to their
       confidence. If however, only 10 people out of 110 responded in this way, it
       would suggest that the ways of working being used are not building people’s
       confidence to a great extent.

Review session and follow-up
As described, the additional question on ways of working can be included in the
individual user questionnaire and the data collected fed into that session for your
ChangeCheck review. Consequently, as well as raising many challenging questions
about the levels of impact of different parts of the Centre’s work, the review
session is also an opportunity to examine the nature of the Centre’s ways of
working.

There is a second way to use the question on ways of working where it acts as a
follow-up to the review session. The review session may have identified areas with
high/low levels of impact that need addressing. For example, if the level of
impact in the area of lifelong learning is very low despite a substantial input of
time resources, this could imply that more information is needed to consider the
processes used and values reflected in this area.
This could involve a follow-up short survey, which is more specific to users of that
particular service. This will need to include the appropriate staff and volunteers in
discussions to ensure they are involved. The question on ways of working could be
adapted to focus on the user’s experience of one particular area of work and
provide further useful material to help strengthen the impact.
           Values of Community Development
         The framework developed by the Community
                  Development Exchange
Values

Social Justice - enabling people to claim their human rights, meet their
needs and have greater control over the decision-making processes which
affect their lives.

Participation - facilitating democratic involvement by people in the issues
which affect their lives based on full citizenship, autonomy, and shared
power, skills, knowledge and experience.

Equality - challenging the attitudes of individuals, and the practices of
institutions and society, which discriminate against and marginalise people.

Learning - recognising the skills, knowledge and expertise that people
contribute and develop by taking action to tackle social, economic, political
and environmental problems.

Co-operation - working together to identify and implement action, based on
mutual respect of diverse cultures and contributions.

Commitments

Challenging discrimination and oppressive practices within organisations,
institutions and communities.

Developing practice and policy that protects the environment.

Encouraging networking and connections between communities and
organisations.

Ensuring access and choice for all groups and individuals within society.

Influencing policy and programmes from the perspective of communities.

Prioritising the issues of concern to people experiencing poverty and social
exclusion.

Promoting social change that is long-term and sustainable.

Reversing inequality and the imbalance of power relationships in society.

Supporting community led collective action.

								
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