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Community Engagement

Community Engagement Policy

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that community engagement is integrated into decision making and planning at KFPL. The policy also serves to ensure that community consultation is conducted in a manner that appropriately reflects the complexity, community interest and impact of KFPL decisions.

Community engagement is an important tool for building and sustaining community trust.

2. Scope

The policy applies to all KFPL services and operations, with the exception of maintenance and repair issues which are exempt except for the requirement to “inform” the public.

3. Definitions

Stakeholders are defined as library users, individuals and/or communities, funding bodies or organizations that have an interest in the outcomes of a project or initiative.

4. Guiding Principles

  • Inclusion: We want to hear from and include all who have an interest or stake in the outcome of a decision. We will provide equitable opportunity to participate.

  • Respect: Our engagement with the community will take place in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

  • Transparency: We will be open about decision processes, procedures and limits. We will communicate clearly in a timely and publicly accessible way. We will provide relevant background and context when informing or engaging the community about the initiative.

  • Clarity: We will be clear about defining the community’s role in any public participation process. The promise, purpose and limitations on engaging the community and all stakeholders will be clear.

  • Effectiveness: We will allocate sufficient resources to provide the appropriate level of engagement, use these resources wisely, setting and meeting reasonable timelines.

  • Accountability: We will be accountable for the process and outcome during and after the engagement process. We will report back to stakeholders regarding what we heard and how these results were used in reaching the decision.

5. Policy

The Community Engagement Toolkit shall be used to determine when and what level of community engagement is needed.

6. Communication

When communicating with stakeholders, the Library will do so in accordance with the complexity and impact of the issue as determined by the Community Engagement Toolkit and in a manner that reflects the guiding principles.

In order for owners and stakeholders to provide meaningful input, they need to understand the project or initiative. KFPL will build this knowledge by sharing the details of the project in plain language. Details shall include what has been done so far, why engagement is needed, what is being considered, what are the constraints, and how input is going to be used. To build credibility and trust in the engagement process, stakeholders will also need to understand:

  • The overall engagement timeline

  • Details of the engagement activities

  • Who will be reviewing the input and making decisions

  • What is expected of them as a stakeholder

It is important to develop a clear communication plan that will shape the whole engagement process and provide clear answers to stakeholder questions/concerns from the earliest stages to reporting back results. Owners and stakeholders are unable to provide input if they don’t know about the opportunity to do so.

The engagement plan should work together with the project’s communication plan to generate awareness about the engagement opportunities.

7. Engagement Planning

The Library will utilize the Community Engagement Toolkit to help shape a plan for engagement. The engagement plan serves as a roadmap for the engagement process and helps clarify:

  • Engagement goals and objectives

  • What KFPL are seeking input on

  • Who KFPL stakeholders are

  • Details such as engagement scope, budget, timelines, dates, roles and responsibilities

  • At what level on the Spectrum of Strategies and Promises stakeholders will be engaged

  • Decisions that are not open to input

8. Reporting Back and Evaluation

One of the foundations of a good engagement process is to ensure stakeholders know what has been done with their input. If stakeholders take the time to provide input they want to know what was done with it.

KFPL will compile and consider stakeholder feedback and report back on:

  • What was heard (pulling all sources of input together).

  • What decision was made and how the input was used.

  • If nothing was changed as a result of the feedback, why?

It is best to include raw data in an Appendix in order for contributors to see their individual voices represented and ensure the reporting is an accurate reflection of the data.

By ensuring this feedback loop happens, stakeholders will be more inclined to participate in future engagement opportunities. If they know their time and efforts are being respected, we will continue to gain trust and credibility.

Evaluation is important for continuous improvement. KFPL will evaluate both the engagement process and engagement outcomes. Good engagement is not a formula.

The engagement plan should be designed to meet the unique needs of the stakeholders and the project at hand. By evaluating the process and engagement outcomes, KFPL can document lessons learned that can be applied to future projects. This extra step ensures we continually refine and improve our engagement efforts and approach.

9. Appendices

KFPL Community Engagement Toolkit

10. Authorities

11. Document Control

Original Policy Date: 2017 March

Last Reviewed: 2017 March

Changes made: Change made to Scope - June 28, 2017 (motion 2017-48)

Next Review: 2018