Being inclusive

Tips on being inclusive.

Some considerations when you are inviting stakeholders to participate in your research.

Potential barriers to consider

The capacity and ability of different stakeholders to participate
For example, some people may not be able to make daytime meetings, some may not be able to travel, some might need assistance to participate.
Consider what is needed for your stakeholders.
Some groups may be harder to reach than others, such as young people, old people, rurally isolated, minority groups or socially excluded groups. If these are important groups for your research, think about how best to engage, e.g. location, type of interaction (in person or virtually).
Levels of community infrastructure
For example, are there public halls, marae or other meeting places.
Contested or divided communities
For example, If there are divisions in the communities where you are researching, consider whether you need to work with groups separately. If there are questions about who would best represent a group, take advice (e.g. using Stakeholder Mapping) or delegate to the group the choice of who to involve (particularly important with iwi and hapū).
Gaps in information
Note that there may be gaps in the information used to identify those you want to work with.
Literacy and numeracy levels or dominance of an oral culture
Considering those you are engaging with, is there additional support that they may need in order to participate? Think about how best to engage, e.g. location, type of interaction (in face or virtually), additional support, how information is presented. Also consider if your research poses different ethical considerations for these groups.

Design issues to consider

Techniques and engagement methods to be used
You may need to use different engagement methods for working with different stakeholders.
Need for independent facilitation
For example if there is a large group, the research is complex and lengthy, or the techniques you are using require facilitation.
Location and accessibility of the venue
Considering those you are working with, is the venue easy to get to and does it have relevant facilities such as access to public transport or car parking?
The number and type of engagement events
Consider if the participants are likely to get ‘participation or consultation fatigue’.
Format and content of communication
Consider your audience. Consider how might you best communicate (pictures, presentation, technical material) and how might you best enable people to participate. Also consider if there is a need for interpreters or signers.

When your research involves working with stakeholders, or collecting data from people, you’ll need to complete a social ethics application, or talk to your social ethics co-ordinator.

Learn more from the Community Planning Toolkit (PDF).

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