|Brief description of technique
|Community leaders are identified as belonging
to a group or community which can often be underrepresented
in generic consultation activities because of language
barriers or other deterrents. community leaders
can have an ongoing role in representing their constituencies
and are typically trained or provided with some incentives
for their involvement.
|To what kinds of consultation situations
is this approach best suited?
This type of consultation approach is particularly
suited to communities where there is a range of different
diverse backgrounds and consultations in languages other
than English would benefit the community.
There may be other groups often under-represented in
consultations, including young people, older people
and people with disabilities, where this would be a
This approach can also be suitable for consulting with
Indigenous and Aboriginal communities.
|How are target populations identified and
Existing community groups or associations may be approached
to represent someone to participate in Community leadership
programs. State-based organisations representing particular
language or ethnic groups could also provide contact
There will not always be organised groups to call on.
This process would be assisted by a stakeholder-mapping
exercise and the ongoing engagement and support of key
groups within the community in council activities.
Specific targeting of community groups could be undertaken
by contacting existing venues or activities where these
groups generally congregate.
An advertised process of calling for people to nominate
as community leaders is another option. Such
nominations would require documentation or references
showing broader support within their designated community
|Brief outline of how the process usually
A typical consultation using community leaders
can include the following components:
- Group leaders within the community are identified.
- Information about the policy issues to be discussed
are distributed to the group leaders, possibly via
an informal or formal 'training' program.
- Group leaders facilitate informal conversations
within their group on the relevant topic.
- Group leaders provide feedback on the group discussion
- Formal sessions are held with each group to discuss
the main issues raised in previous discussions.
|What level of reporting back to participants
|Results are then distributed to groups for feedback,
suggestions and recommendations and group issues are followed
up as necessary in appropriate language formats.
|How this approach is usually evaluated?
|Post-consultation interviews or evaluation forms
can help to determine what community leaders thought
of the experience, training, council support and impact
of consultation on the relevant community group.
- Engages individuals and groups in conversations
regarding issues that had never been available previously.
- Enables participants to be heard in a preferred
language, increasing the potential for meaningful
- The council has the opportunity to engage with large
groups from diverse backgrounds and gather more information
about core community issues that are important to
- Increases the level of understanding about the role
of local governments in a variety of different communities.
- Can create a base of individuals who can be engaged
for a variety of consultation activities.
- May increase the capacity and skills of selected
community leaders for further individual and
- This is not a formal research method, so data received
is qualitative, rather than quantitative, so more
difficult to analyse.
- Selected Community leaders may be paid for
their services or have their costs reimbursed.
- Training for leaders may be conducted externally
and will attract fees.
- There is a range of potential costs for a formal
advertising process from advertisement placement through
- Costs for the actual consultation between the community
leader and their constituents will include venue hire,
catering and other presentation expenses.
|Council or other authority
|City of Greater Geelong
|Name of Project
|Peer Driven Consultation in Diverse Communities
|Date of consultation
|November - December 2000
|Aim of consultation
- To update the Municipal Public Health Plan.
- To involve people who are traditionally excluded
from consultation and conversations about public health.
- To compare the community input from the first Municipal
Public Health Plan with the issues raised by an alternative
consultation approach with diverse communities.
|Consultation methods used
Used existing community groups to collect information
on public health issues in community languages
|Description of consultation
- We identified six group leaders in culturally diverse
- We provided information about public/social health
to the group leaders during an informal training program.
- Group leaders held informal conversations within
- Group leaders fed this information to us.
- We ran sessions with each group (at times and places
that suited them) to discuss three questions:
- What is public health?
- What is social health?
- What do you think we should include in a public
- We pulled together the results and compared the
outcome with the consultation outcomes from the first
version of the Municipal Health Plan (which was a
traditional random survey). Both processes revealed
that people were concerned about the big issues, such
as access to services and information, water and air.
|Success of the consultation
- Finding out about the concepts of public and social
health. No-one had ever explained them before.
- Being involved in conversations on public health
that had never been conducted in the past.
- Being able to participate in a preferred language.
- That we came to their meeting time and venue, which
made participation easier.]
- Engaged with over 340 people from 23 community language
groups in a major strategic planning process for the
- 'Saved' money by connecting with existing structures,-
placing less reliance on interpreters.
- Learned about the core issues of access, water and
air that concern to all people.
- Learned that this approach could be used for other
strategic planning consultation processes.
- Learned that our communication processes can overlook
groups in the community, even on relatively straight
forward processes such as changes to waste and recycling
- Learned that some groups in the community have a
different view of the role of local government based
on experience in other countries, where local government
may deliver different services and perform different
The Municipal and Public Health Plan Reference Group
has been able to follow up a number of ideas raised
as practical solutions during the consultation:
- The International Women's Group applied for a council
community grant (having never heard of these grants
before) to undertake an information project.
- The Macedonian Men's Group was supported to deal
with a problem arising from some group participants
with mental healthand behavioural difficulties disrupting
the group because it did not meet their needs.
- The Migrant Resource Centre has developed a program
to bring together the community, councillors and council
staff to provide clear information on council's role