Engaging Communities Through Issues Forums

Principle Three: Relationships Between and Among People and Our Built and Natural Environments Matter

Forums allow for building on the human capital within your community. Strategic engagement of key stakeholders and other participants allows for building on their expertise and resources to develop collective knowledge and actions. Existing frameworks can help enhance engagement. a. Community Capitals Framework. The Community Capitals framework, shown in Figure 4, identifies the types of Community Capitals and assets that can contribute to collaborative problem solving. By engaging individuals from different community capital areas, you bring a diverse set of perspectives, problem solving skills, and resources (Emery & Flora, 2006; Flora et al., 2005).

Figure 4 – Community Capitals Framework

From: Flora, C.B., Emery, M., Fey, S. & Bregendahl, C. (2005). Community Capitals: A tool for evaluating strategic interventions and projects. North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Iowa State University, https://naaee.org/sites/default/files/204.2-handout-community-capitals.pdf

b. Using Community Capitals to Develop Assets for Positive Community Change. By mapping the ways in which the public problems or issues interrelate with human, natural, political, cultural, social, built, and financial capital, you can identify individuals who work in those spheres to serve as key informants, to serve on the planning committee, and to invite as forum participants. Click here for more information. c. Appreciative Inquiry Framework. Appreciative Inquiry is an asset-based model and process where affirmative questions frame what we want more of rather than focusing on deficits. The core process is built on 5-Ds (Define, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver) to solve problems. The


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