Participation Toolkit

Participation Toolkit

The Participation Toolkit suggests a range of tools, guidance and resources which can be useful for planning community engagement.

This is not an exhaustive list, but includes some well-known methods which are tried and tested, as well as some more recently-developed techniques.

Not sure where to start? Our step-by-step guide to engaging asks a series of questions to help you plan your engagement activity.

Use the filter buttons to help you to choose a method that meets your needs.

After Action Reviews

A facilitated discussion about an activity or project that allows the participants to review what happened, track progress, and capture lessons for the future.

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Citizens' jury

A representative group of 12 to 25 people considers evidence from a range of experts and agrees some recommendations.

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Comments cards

A simple and low cost way for service users to write down and post their thoughts and/or feedback.

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Displays and exhibitions

Provide information to people in a public space, with some opportunities for people to share their views.

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Dot voting

A quick and informal way for people to give feedback on, or prioritise, a range of options using sticky dots.

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Electronic voting

People give their views on an issue using electronic means to cast and count votes. It can be useful during events and conferences as part of the wider participation process.

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Emotional touchpoints

A simple but powerful way of helping people share their experiences which can challenge assumptions about what matters to them.

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Facebook groups

Online communities within Facebook’s platform which users can join and where participation is encouraged. Groups are built around common interests or goals and may be closed or open.

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Focus groups

Facilitated discussions between a small number of people who share experience or knowledge as a specific community or demographic

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Graphic facilitation

Use of words, symbols and pictures to facilitate and record a conversation or process.

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Head, heart, bag and bin

An informal and user friendly method of gathering feedback on a topic, event, project or training.

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Ketso

A visual tool which encourages dialogue and collaboration.

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One-to-one interviews

A conversation between 2 people, a researcher and a participant, which can range from highly structured with pre-determined topics or a free flow.

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Patient diaries

Gather qualitative information about people's experience of using services in order to help shape service improvements.

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Presentations and talking to groups

Talking directly to people in their own setting is a good way of getting information across and building an ongoing relationship.

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Process mapping

A picture of a person's 'journey' through a particular health or social care service which can help to understand the experience of care from a user perspective.

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Public meetings

An open discussion about a topic held in public with an opportunity to receive information and ask questions

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Speed networking

Participants exchange information with one another in a short timescale.

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User panels

A representative group of service users, carers and communities whose lived experience helps to influence and improve services.

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World cafe

Linked conversations from several small groups helps to identify common themes and bring about new insights.

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Written information

High-quality, trustworthy and accessible information underpins effective community engagement.

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Last Updated: 29 June 2020