Community Transformation

Completed Scope of Work

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A final report is produced in this stage, along with a strategy for its distribution. Closing activities recognize the group’s accomplishments and set the scene for future alliances.

A completed, high-quality report containing findings and recommendations is delivered in this stage, along with a rollout strategy that ensures its timely and widespread distribution to interested stakeholders.

This stage honors the contributions of participants, invites reflection on their experiences, and galvanizes group members to become involved with one another in new collaborations and community alliances going forward.  For many people, their capacity to contribute in the future will be stronger as a result of their participation in this initiative.

A post-project debriefing and evaluation by participants and conveners seeks guidance on improving future endeavors.

The increased capacity of individuals to contribute to the community as a result of their participation is as vital an outcome as the promised end product.

  • Produce a report containing findings and recommendations.
  • Develop a rollout strategy for distributing the report to interested stakeholders via articles, websites, networking, presentations, and media exposure.
  • Craft “sound bites” for report-related presentations.
  • Encourage the ongoing collaboration of participants in future community alliances.
  • Debrief and evaluate the project with participants and convener.
  • Acknowledge working group participants for their individual and collective accomplishments.
  • Build in time for group member self-reflection as part of the closing activities.

Deadlines are missed.
Glitches associated with merging and editing multiple contributions can result in missed deadlines and start a blame game. The creation of an editorial team can help maintain the group’s momentum and keep the group’s “climate” feeling positive.

Limited budget for report.

Budget constraints sometimes require that the final report be pared down. This can mean that fewer photos get included or fewer hard copies get made. In the latter case, widespread distribution of the full report can still be done as a PDF attachment.

Pre-existing tensions can resurface.

In a group whose members have some history with one another, a group can move all the way through its deliberations without being too deeply distracted by those pre-existing tensions — only to discover, at the very point of completion, that an argument boils up to the surface. The facilitator may allow an old argument to surface, but then slow down the discussion by asking the parties to state their positions clearly and explain how those positions relate to the purpose at hand. Through this process of honoring the individuals involved and bestowing on them the responsibility to assess relevance, they are more likely to recognize that their dispute needs to be dealt with elsewhere.

Maximize the use of down time.
Travel time and in-between meetings and meals provided opportunities for a facilitator to informally secure feedback from individuals about the efficacy of the project process design. As the process nears completion, the facilitator might encourage people to talk about their future plans and their post-project intentions to work in their own communities. The facilitator can help people think about ways they could leverage their new-found relationships with other working group members and resource persons. In anticipation of taking the next steps with others in the group, it may be beneficial for those involved to revisit earlier protocols regarding contact information, preferred methods of communication, and receptivity to interacting off-line.

Related Examples

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