Reflections on Practice: Questions to Get Started

As noted previously, community engagement can be put into practice in myriad ways. However, there are some common dynamics that arise, particularly in engagement around climate adaptation that are useful to consider.

Questions to Get Started

When considering how to engage, it is useful to start with a deeper look at the purpose. Often, we might ‘know’ we need to engage but to what end? Some of the questions outlined in the Strategic Communications and Partnership modules offers resources for this reflection on the ‘why’ of engagement.

Additional questions to consider include:

  • Are you hoping to build longer-term relationships?
  • Do you need the support of this community or constituency to move forward?
    • How early in the process can they be involved?
    • What power can you share with or hand over to them?
  • Are there questions about values, priorities, or hopes that can shape the outcome of the process?
  • Is there a community or constituency who will be particularly impacted by this process?
  • Is there a community or constituency whose experience and expertise is important to understand or whose input can shape this process?
  • What is the current state of relationship, connection and trust with the communities you want to engage? What preliminary work is needed to create the conditions for engagement?
  • What is the current level of understanding or awareness about the topic or issue(s)? What will you need to do to ensure the community or constituency has accessible information so they can participate in a meaningful way?
    • What other barriers might exist to their participation? What can you do to address them?


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Strategic Dialogue and Engagement for Climate Adaptation Copyright © by Simon Fraser University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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