Working Together and Enabling Community Led Change

We will:

  • encourage all of our communities to take part
  • come to the places where you are
  • work together with you and others to make the best use of time and money

There are many different ways that we can work together with our communities, and we have only listed a few examples below. The Involve UK website gives a good overview of other methods.

Co-production is a way of working where service providers, users and potential customers work together to reach a shared outcome or solution. The principle is that those who need or are affected by the service are best placed to design it. Co-production | Involve.UK

There are a number of great examples of co-production in NEL we can learn from, including most recently the development of a mental health strategy in 2023.

Deliberative democracy takes back decision making to the ideas established in ancient Greece where large gatherings of free and equal citizens took part in authentic discussions to enable consensual decision-making. There are different forms of deliberative process including citizen’s juries, panels, and assemblies but most are underpinned by a series of principles which can be summarised as follows:  

  • The debate should be convened to answer a key question
  • Debate should be informed and informative, enabling people to explore issues from a range of perspectives based on sound argument rather than personality.
  • Participants should be willing to talk and to listen with civility and respect.
  • Participants should represent a range of backgrounds and perspectives from across the general population.

For more information about Deliberative Engagement visit Methods | Involve.UK

Case study: Leeds Citizens Jury on Climate: 4000 letters were sent to a random selection of residents and those interested were asked to apply online or call in. ‘what should Leeds do about the climate emergency? People were asked to give 25-30 hours to deliberate and got a £250 gift voucher for taking part. 25 people were recruited to a profile based on the make-up of Leeds and they deliberately recruited people across climate change views. An oversight group included council officers and elected representatives, MP, youth climate activists, extinction rebellion, major emitters, chamber of commerce. • Session 1 – no one with any outside expertise. Residents spent time together, mapping neighbourhoods, their thoughts on what is helping to address climate change and the things that are not. They created a climate ‘tree’ to understand the root causes. • Session 2 – residents invited professors and doctors presenting on science. They were allowed 20 minutes each, residents banned PowerPoint, and all held a ‘red card’s’, which they could hold up at any time to tell the invited guests ‘We don’t know what you’re talking about’ or ‘use plain English’. The guests left the room and people reflected on what they’ve heard – inviting guests back to answer any remaining questions • Session 3 – covered the context in Leeds and the idea of developing a theory of change. Discussed legislation, nudge, regulation, campaigns, and community action etc. • Over the next three sessions priority areas were selected – housing, transport, communication & community involvement. Local experts and representatives were invited. They then started to look at budgets, so they brought in finance people. The jury wrote a set of recommendations for the Leeds Climate Commission. The jury not only made a brilliant set of recommendations, but they are also now highly motivated individuals creating their own change across the city.        

ABCD challenges the traditional deficit-based approach that tries to solve problems by focusing on the needs and deficiencies of individuals and communities. Instead of starting with a focus on what’s wrong, ABCD starts with a focus on what’s strong, and identifies local assets (people, physical assets etc.) and individual strengths to build sustainable community development.

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) – Nurture Development

Participatory Appraisal is a family of approaches that enable local people to identify their own priorities and make decisions about the future. The organising agency facilitates, listens, and learns.

Participatory appraisal | Involve.UK

Page last updated: 06 Oct 2023