As you are implementing your plan, you will want to share your experiences and successes. It is also helpful to create opportunities for others to hear about the work you provide. You will also need to document the work as you go to track progress, share learnings and evaluate the outcomes of your initiative.
Documenting the work is important because it:
- often initiates reflection on the work
- records learnings for you and for others
- is an opportunity to provide the community evidence of their work and progress towards an agreed goal
- makes it easier to bring more people to the table if it is something that can be sent out, seen in local business or services, or used as a talking point at meetings
- builds some evidence for evaluating the outcomes of the work.
Ways that we, and others, have documented the work include:
- Case Studies
Writing case studies or following stories and sharing with others is a good way to drill deeper into the work, and document it in a way that is useful for others to learn from. Make what you did, how you did it and what you learnt clear
Infographic type documents are a great way to share information in a way that is easy to digest. It requires few words and utilises graphics to get the message across. (LINK – Summary of work for SoP Infographic)
- Harvest documentation
You can harvest information that is shared at a meeting or forum, and then share it back with those who attended and the broader community to record the event, process the information and share it widely. Harvesting can take many forms:
- Graphic harvests – A graphic harvest is a “live” documenting of a meeting or forum using pictures and images. It is usually done by someone with some skills around documenting in this way, but it can be learned and is a useful skill to have. Like infographics, graphic harvests are an engaging way to get your message across without having to read through lots of text. They represent a summary of the key ideas and concepts of the meeting, forum, or even an initiative or project as a whole
- Harvest sheets – Creating and retaining working paper from meetings, for example group notes and individual reflections. These can then be summarised and analysed after the event to reflect on the process and the learnings, and reflected back to attendees and the broader community
- Photos – Taking photographs of the proceedings and notes that are taken can be a great way to share what happened
- Interviews and attendee profiles – Conducting interviews with people who attended and reporting back on who they are and what they experienced
- Website – Some place-based approaches have the resources to create and maintain a website. Websites are a great way to communicate up-to-date information with stakeholders, providing the internet is accessible and reliable in the community.
Consider who in community have skills and interests that align with documenting the work. For some people, documentation, particularly creative methods of documentation, will be something they have a lot of energy for.
Sharing the work is important because it:
- values the people who are working on the ground
- helps maintain and build momentum
- keeps the community and broader stakeholders informed, even when they can’t be actively involved
We develop communication plans to consider who we want to reach and decide on the different ‘channels’ we use to share our work.