What to do once you have gathered your information
- Keep records of who you consulted (number of participants and general demographics), and how (how many sessions, method of consultation). This will help demonstrate the validity of the information gathered.
- It can be helpful to group the information gathered into “themes” when analysing your information. There might be key words or phrases that come up a lot, and you might start to see patterns in the types of feedback you are receiving.
- Once you have the information, it’s important to continue to communicate to the group how their information is being used, and what changes/initiatives might come about as a result. The participants in your consultation invested their time in the process. Communicating to them what the “return” on their “investment” is, will help keep them engaged with your organisation, and make it more likely they will participate in future consultations.
Most importantly: Don’t be afraid of feedback, know what you want to learn, be prepared, make sure people feel heard, and keep the lines of communication open.
Click here to download a Community Consultation Checklist.