Stakeholder & Public Engagement






Equality and Diversity - Refugees in Scotland’s Communities

Refugees in Scotland’s Communities was a process to refresh Scotland’s strategy on integrating refugees and asylum seekers during 2012-13. It was coordinated by the Scottish Government, Scottish Refugee Council and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).  It involved a series of themed meetings, bringing together groups of experts to consider particular policy areas that relate to the integration of refugees – housing, health, education, community cohesion, etc.

Ketso was the key tool for engagement wih stakeholders in this series of workshops. You can download and read the results in the integration strategy 'New Scots'.

Mhoraig Green, Policy Manager, COSLA Strategic Migration Partnership says:
"It was decided to use Ketso in the themed meetings, following their successful use at a workshop on the impacts of migration that COSLA held in November 2012.  Ketso has proved useful in creating a space where different people, from policy makers, to service providers, to representatives of refugee organisations, can engage on a level playing field. It ensures that all of their views are fed into the strategy review. 

Ketso is also helping to build a picture of what is working well in terms of refugee integration in Scotland, to identify gaps and to generate lots of good ideas about the way ahead."

Doing Ethnic Diversity at Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland: Workshop Summary

Auckland Council, Aotearoa New Zealand, authors: Carina Meares, with Helen Te Hira and Claire Gooder

A series of three workshops was held in to inform Auckland’s diversity policy, an integral part of achieving the Auckland Plan vision of Auckland as ‘the world’s most liveable city’, one that ensures opportunity for all Aucklanders.

These workshops used Ketso to gather input from 36 participants.

The acknowledgements state ”I was particularly keen, I told her, that everyone’s voice be heard, and that there be time for contemplation as well as articulation! Helen suggested using the Ketso toolkit for creative engagement, a way forward that has met and exceeded my expectations, both with respect to enabling everyone to contribute and to making sur e there was time for thinking as well as talking .” (pg. 4).

 You can read the full report here.

Evaluating service delivery with young refugees and asylum seekers and families, British Red Cross

Phil Arnold, Senior Services Manager, Refugee Support & International Family Tracing Services, British Red Cross

I first came across Ketso in 2013, when we used the toolkit to evaluate the support we provide to young people involved in the ‘Chrysalis Project’ of the Red Cross in Scotland.  I have been also seen Ketso in action in cross-sectoral dialogue through the New Scots work with the Scottish Government and planning the Refugee Festival Scotland with refugees and other partners.

Part of the services for young people we offer is the Chrysalis Project, which provides a life skills programme for four days a week for groups of young people. The numbers of young people wishing to use the programme massively outstrips the supply of places, so we have been exploring new ways to support young people.  In this workshop, we wanted to look at how we can work alongside colleges to offer more support.

We worked with two different groups of young people, those using our service and those in college, to explore what is working at the moment and possible new ideas for the future. This allowed us to compare the ideas arising within these two different groups, compared to some of the other workshops we have been involved in using Ketso, where the emphasis was on mixing up people from the public sector and refugees in to encourage dialogue amongst very different groups.

I have seen two main benefits to using Ketso – around equality of conversation and the amount of ideas it can generate to stimulate new thinking.

Firstly, Ketso makes for very productive conversations where everyone is able to make a point; there is a visual point as well as a verbal one. It creates an equality of discussion and opportunity for everyone, whether they are very quiet, or a group leader. It does this in a completely non-confrontational way, allowing people who would otherwise struggle to speak up in a group setting to be included. 

The second benefit is the sheer amount of ideas generated and the ability to see new perspectives from the process. Ketso sparks lots of different ideas in a short space of time. For instance in the evaluation of the Chrysalis Programme, 81 different ideas were generated. There were lots of ideas about what is going well in different parts of the service, which was useful for recognising where things are working well, but we also had suggestions that we hadn’t necessarily thought about before. These ideas generated have been incorporated in our service planning. We used the outcomes of Ketso in different ways, photos of people working at the felts and the felts themselves help us to evidence the involvement of young people in the evaluation. We also used the spreadsheet to analyse the results, including the graphs, and created simple word documents that encapsulated the outcomes.

Another advantage of using Ketso is the fact that it develops a sense of ownership – for instance in this community education programme, it helped developed a sense of ownership and community engagement, developing a level of trust in the programme, a sense that we are listening to people, so they feel that they are being taken seriously. Such a process needs an element of leadership, the assumption is that you actually want to listen to what people are saying, and that does require an attitude of listening.

To use Ketso effectively, you do need to think about what you want to find out, and work out the right questions. Whilst it generates a lot of info and creates lots of opportunity for discussion, it needs facilitation to be able to maximise the benefits. After you have used Ketso for the first time, it becomes easier to use. Even during the first session it is effective, but as you see what comes out of a session and how many different ideas it can generate, you see how it can be really useful.

It is important to take a step back every now and then at and look at how things are going, especially when you are really busy and involved in the hectic day-to-day. Using Ketso gives a chance to reflect and think about what is going well and opportunities for improvement. It needs to be used in conjunction with other forms of ongoing monitoring, such as a suggestions box and one-to-one discussions. It is, however, really valuable to also have group discussions where people generate ideas and bounce them off each other.  In this context, Ketso creates a good environment for conversational equality.

Co-production of research with Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants

GRAMnet (Glasgow University Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network) has used Ketso extensively to bring together practitioners, researchers and refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to explore issues affecting these communities in Scotland.

The team says they have found the toolkit especially useful for exploring sensitive issues, as everyone is given an opportunity to have an input in a non-threatening way.

GRAMNet co-director Professor Phipps has commented, “What struck me was a comment from a refugee, that most research methods make vulnerable people feel like they are in a deportation interview, but with Ketso people feel they can genuinely explore ideas together."

Ketso was originally developed to enable communication amongst people with mixed languages (Sesotho, Tswana, Zulu, Afrikaans, Xhosa, English) and different levels of literacy. Its tactile tools enable everyone to have put their ideas on the table and to develop shared understanding.

Ketso sessions have been tested and repeated with The Iona Community in Glasgow and on the Isle of Iona, with international partners on the Ross of Mull exploring learning and sustainability, with the Scottish Government Refugee Integration Strategy, with the Refugee Council’s longitudinal study of community refugee integration, with Pan African Arts Scotland and also with Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC).

GRAMNET has facilitated the use of KETSO with its Collaborative Masters Programme with Projects linked to RC HAVEN, Unity Centre, Bridges Programmes and Glasgow City Council. This is an innovative new project run by GRAMNET to enable research projects in the area of asylum, migration and refugee research to be carried out with partner organisations, but led by Masters students. One participant commented: "I can't believe how much work we got done in just over an hour! I thought that would take three weeks."

The demand for Ketso facilitation through GRAMNET in Scotland has grown exponentially through the combination of partnership working and strategic development. In addition GRAMNET has used KETSO in Palestine, Jordan and in community-based research into poverty reduction in Russia.

Ketso Used in an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Brainstorming Session in the USA

Anonymous Author

I was the Chairperson of an AA committee called Public Information and Cooperation with the Professional Community, or PI/CPC. This committee had not been active in our District for a number of years and I felt Ketso would help us sort out and prioritize opportunities to educate the public and professionals (Doctors, Justice, Clergy) about AA.  Using Ketso we were able to lay out a variety of actions we could implement in our District and to assign leads on these actions to individuals. Ketso was a great help in seeing what needed to be done, enabling creative problem solving as well as helping us to set priorities given our limited resources.


Integrating Co-Production into the Delivery of Programmes and Services

Following the success of the Refugees in Scotland’s Communities Project, Joe Brady from Scottish Refugee Council gave two excellent talks to a wide range of stakeholders and community development students at The University of Glasgow in Feb. 2014, and again at The University of Manchester in March 2014. 

Joe Brady says: 

"The tool [Ketso] prompted lively discussion amongst very diverse participants, which included refugees, and ensured that all points of view were taken into account, in topic areas which can be quite controversial and raise difficult and challenging issues. 

Ketso has also been used operationally as well as strategically in my experience. On 26th April, 2013 – the integration department used it to plot the implementation of our new BIG Lottery funded Holistic Integration Service. This helped us to take a wider view of the issues than may have been possible without a tool to capture all of the angles of discussion. Based on the value we found in using Ketso in this internal workshop, we have integrated it into the delivery of this service and currently plan to use it in a wider induction/ review day in early August. This development day will involve partners from general welfare, education and employability sectors e.g. Workers Educational Association Scotland. We have also identified the potential for Ketso to achieve a goal of engaging with grassroots groups and are developing a programme of engagement seminars which we hope to design and deliver with the Scottish Refugee Policy Forum. These seminars will be rights and options focused, address the issues identified by communities, offer an opportunity to share our holistic integration services learning and influence statutory providers in the delivery and development of services and policy. 

Asset based planning has been discussed for many years, and this is one of the few times that I have actually seen it work in practice. I feel strongly that our sector, and others, often focus on vulnerability to the neglect of recognising resilience: this tool provides a safeguard against this trap. An example of this that I shared at a networking session have been the RiSC thematic working groups, where unexpected opportunities and goals were identified e.g. the importance of arts and cultural engagement and the need to develop a national engagement framework for new communities; and the opportunity for enterprise – both private and social enterprise. I believe if that we had not used Ketso as a participation and engagement tool these may not have been identified or been so prominent."

The slides from the talk, showing how the Scottish Refugee Council has been using Ketso to engage with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and refugees and asylum seekers across Scotland, can be downloaded here.

Exploring co-production

As part of the workshops, 62 participants from a wide range of sectors across Scotland and the NorthWest (from fields as diverse as refugee integration, health and social care, fuel poverty, environment, probation services, drama, community development, community learning, English as an Additional Language, libraries, Higher and Further Education). explored co-production and ideas for ways they could integrate co-production into their work (using Ketso). You can download the full set of results from both workshops here.

645 ideas were developed in total. The graph to the right shows the distribution of types of ideas against the themes that helped structure the discussions. There was the most discussion around three themes: 'Engaging with Service Users' and 'Sustaining Partnerships' and Accessibility and Equality'. A relatively high number of challenges were noted in discussion of the context and bigger picture.  This graph was developed from the full set of results

A selection of the key points that were raised in the workshop on Co-production  (as highlighted by participants) were:

What works:

  • Honesty
  • opportunities to put forth ideas
  • Shared power
  • Shared vision
  • No wrong views or answers
  • Everyone starts on same power level
  • Time to talk + listen
  • Identifies links between people's thinking
  • Involving all of the stakeholders
  • the follow up is true to the ideas
  • Authentic participation / involvement

New Ideas:

  • Individual/community resilience
  • Valuing stories
  • Encourage socialising and different types of events/meeting with partners
  • Detailed monitoring + evaluation - is what you are doing really working
  • Take people out of their comfort zone
  • Claiming self empowerment
  • Removal of Barriers
  • have FUN!
  • Wider range of stakeholders
  • Channel for feedback
  • Publicity of positive stories for users
  • Having the courage for new solutions
  • Service user:-Bringing in new activities, team building exercises to revive people and encourage them
  • Having a positive view-focusing on what can be done rather than what can't
  • Make small wins

Social and cultural costs and benefits of migration to Scotland

In November 2012 Ketso was used in an ESRC Festival of Social Science event that brought together policy makers, local authorities, refugees and asylum seekers. The social and cultural costs and benefits of Central and East European (CEE) migration to Scotland is a collaboration between the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities  (COSLA) Strategic Migration Partnership, GRAMNet and the Centre for Russian, Central and East European Studies.

GRAMNet co-director Professor Kay said: “I wanted to make sure that this workshop included everyone’s voice, including those affected by current policy and practice. Ketso is ideal for not only making sure everyone is heard, but also allowing participants to learn from each other. They can develop new ways of thinking through using the kit”.

Following the interview phase of this research, Ketso was used in a workshop to "explore means of better informing policy and public debates, decision-making and practice regarding migration and its impacts".

Derek Mitchell, Chief Officer COSLA Strategic Migration Partnership commented:
"Ketso allowed the workshop participants to engage well with each other and develop ideas collaboratively, even although they were coming at the topic from a variety of perspectives.

Going through the results afterwards, we found a real depth to the ideas that were generated and it was really interesting to see the common themes and key points that emerged".

The following detail about the workshop is taken from the final project report:

“A facilitated workshop was organised to consider means of developing the research further and filling the various gaps in the evidence base that currently exist. Funding was awarded by the ESRC to host this workshop as part of their annual Festival of Social Science and it took place on Friday 9 November 2012 at the COSLA Conference Centre in Edinburgh. It involved approximately 50 people comprising a number of the interviewees as well as practitioners and policy makers with a particular interest in this subject area...

Delegates at the workshop were split into seven groups with approximately seven members each. They had been provided with a draft version of the research report in advance of the workshop and were also provided with a presentation on the day in order to contextualise the discussions that would follow. Thereafter, the groups were asked to consider four key questions in relation to the research, namely:

  • What do we already know about the social and cultural impacts of migration?
  • What do we want to find out about the social and cultural impacts of migration?
  • What are the challenges to evidencing these impacts?
  • What are the solutions to these challenges?

In answering these questions, delegates were also asked to prioritise the issues that they felt were most pressing and were asked to come up with research proposals which they felt might address the gaps in the evidence base that they had identified.”

You can read more about the worksshop here

Equality and Diversity - work in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trangender  communities

Ketso was used in a community consultation event in the 'Everybody In' project, a collaboration between Equality NetworkBEMIS (Black and Ethnic Minority Infrastructure in Scotland) and GRAMnet. This explored Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues for asylum seekers.  The project has been working to create guidance around migration issues with LGBT networks. This came from a realisation that often a reason for people seeking asylum is persecution due to sexual orientation, which needs to be handled sensitively in the host community. 

Rebecca Kay, Professor of Russian Gender Studies, University of Glasgow and a co-founder of GRAMNet commented: 
“Ketso really worked well in helping people explore research issues but also to think about how to convert them into action”.

You can download the report from this project, ‘Sanctuary, Safety and Solidarity: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Scotland’ here.

Ketso has been used in a number of interactive events to explore issues facing the LGBT community. For example, in the 2011  Scottish Transgender Alliance Forums,  46 participants used Ketso to develop ideas and discuss priorities for a funding application submitted to the Scottish Government Equality Unit.

In 2012, the North East of Scotland lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inclusive (LGBT+) Development Group hosted an LGBT+ Fair at the Aberdeen Arts Centre. Ketso was used as one of the tools to engage with LGBT+ community members across the North East, to enable the Development Group to set their Equality outcomes for 2013.

The Future of Public Service Delivery - an interactive dialogue

In January and April 2012 the Ketso team ran two workshops entitled ‘Learning from Renfrewshire’s Community Planning Conference success – an introduction to Ketso’. People from the public sector, community interest groups and academia from across Scotland attended both workshops, with people coming from the rural areas as well as the major cities. The first was at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in Edinburgh, which 43 people attended. The second workshop was co-hosted by Renfrewshire Council and was attended by 25 people.

Kasia Owczarek, in the Policy Officer Partnership Team Chief Executive's Service at Renfrewshire Council, presented the recent work they have been doing with Ketso, including using the kit to engage with over 400 people in their annual Community Planning Conference (click here for more information).

You can download the PowerPoint slides used in the workshops here:

Delegates also worked with Ketso in an exericse to discuss ‘the future delivery of public services’. This workshop explored the themes and issues developed in the recent report from the Commission On The Future Delivery of Public Services (click here to download). The themes discussed (as developed from the report) were:

  • Improving Performance and Reducing Costs
  • Prioritising Prevention
  • Promoting Equality
  • Working Together to Achieve Outcomes
  • Building Services Around People and Communities

Given that there were participants from Local Authorities, the health service, charities (including several working with refugees and migrants), academics and museums, the discussions were lively and broad ranging. 

You can download the Excel spreadsheet with the results here:

A synthesis report and summary will be  developed soon. In the meantime, some key points that were highlighted as important by participants in the Paisley workshop are summarised below. Graphs showing the proportion of different types of ideas discussed are also shown.

What works well already?   

  • Growing recognition of the community in solutions (It's about ownership. Agencies can't do it [improve services] to people)
  • There is more realisation that change is needed (Who for - has to be across the board) - need to ensure inclusive communication and approaches
  • Greater involvement of non-traditional services in community engagement (Greater diversity of services offered)
  • Talking to people - (importance of community involvement) 
  • Becoming learners   

Challenges and problems

  • Fear of flexibility/change (Common theme!)
  • Get over target obsession (Important to only measure the right stuff)
  • Institutional fear of changing thought process (Even though we know change is needed we don't like to do it) and bureaucratic inflexibility (a solution - Invest in greater advocacy for middle management)
  • Connect strategic thinking to community/local/operational delivery
  • Power in relationships   

Future possibilities

  • Shifting spend towards early years/early intervention
  • Shifting budgets to prevention   
  • Motivation to improve quality of service delivered
  • Establish conditions of satisfaction for working together and work to meet them   
  • Improved communication
  • Don't be afraid of communities' views and ideas   
  • Local people are involved in prioritising what services for local area   
  • Effective use of public feedback when designing services
  • Communities determine priorities and solutions (linked ideas - what works - Community planning and development of community planning structure; Partners working together better)
  • Give communities money to deliver services locally
  • Less pressure on core activists (Consultation fatigue is a real problem)
  • New ideas – housing options (Or challenging existing processes that don't help)
  • More spending and investment in vocational training
  • Strengthening links between employers and education (Needs to happen earlier in schools and be given more importance)
  • Tailor more training (Would be great but need to identify individual needs first)
  • Mandatory training for new elected members   

Feedback from the event and Ketso included:

  • Lets everyone contribute - no dominant voice

  • Limits monopolisation
  • Hugely participative and dynamic
  • Something new to motivate discussion
  • Might uncomplicate participation for folk with (non) background
  • Simple, colourful and gathers ideas well
  • Encourages positive and negative feedback but also solution focussed
  • Enables creative thinking
  • Gets people thinking and talking
  • Reusable
  • It's in the bag, ready to go
  • Used across age groups
  • Can be adapted to various circumstances
  • This would work really well with vulnerable groups (e.g. alcohol) as it is very interactive and simple

Doing More With Less

Ketso encourages people to think creatively. In a time of austerity, we need to think of new ways to do our work. Using Ketso can help us to develop new ways of thinking as well as to help groups decide what is important in what they are currently doing. As ideas emerge on the felts, people can see new patterns and develop new connections between different areas of work.

Ketso has hosted a number of workshops recently, bringing together stakeholders from across the country to explore creative ways to do more with less. We have looked at issues ranging from health and wellbeing to different ways of operating in large organisations, including prisons and Universities. Results from several of these workshops are shown below.

Delivering value in a time of budget cuts

In late 2010 Ketso hosted two multi-stakeholder dialogues with the support of the Manchester Beacon for  Public Engagement. The first, held at the University of Manchester, saw twenty-three stakeholders from across the North West engaged in a lively dialogue, and the second saw an in-depth discussion of issues with nine stakeholders from London and the surrounding area. One of the opportunities that was mentioned for coping with these difficult times was to have more events like these, where people could learn from each other and take the time to reflect on new ways of doing things.  A total of 919 ideas were developed and captured on the Ketso workspaces.

As well as a dialogue around creative ways to deliver public value - such as health, environmental improvement, regeneration, education, public engagement, etc., delegates were given an opportunity to work in pairs on their own projects, asking - what is working well at the moment, what is under threat, what is not working so well, and developing creative ideas of how to do things differently.

The full set of results from the workshops can be downloaded from the links below. 

The ideas that were highlighted as important by participants (taken from both workshops) are summarised here.

Ketso was also used to stimulate debate in a North West Environment Link event discussing the Big Society.  You can download the report here.

Planning for Sustainability in the South West and Wales in a Time of Budget Cuts

The University of Bristol’s Centre for Public Engagement and the UK Systems Society South West and Wales (UKSS SW2) hosted a training session with the Ketso team, in which participants from across the South West and Wales explored the topic 'planning for sustainability in a time of budget cuts'. There were 23 participants, who came from a variety of backgrounds, enterprise development,engineering, health and engagement, sustainability, environmental policy, transition towns, and included students, academics, and people from NGOs, the public and private sector.  Two exercises were undertaken, one to look at sustainability in the area  and the second to look at how to improve stakeholder engagement in the participants' own projects.

Budget Cut in Portsmouth & A Sustainable Port

In Portsmouth, a social evening followed by a morning of training brought together over 30 participants from organisations as diverse as the Navy, Ministry of Defence, City and County Council, Universities and Involve, which promotes public involvement in the NHS and public health. Portsmouth

The workshops yielded 476 ideas in a three hour workshop about how to promote a Sustainable Port and 229 ideas in an hour workshop around Budget Cuts.

The combined report for both of these workshops is available for download (pdf) here. The full spreadsheets of results from these workshops in excel format are also available to download:

These two events on the 17th & 18th of March, 2010 were supported by the UK Systems Society and the Community of Practice “Making a Difference and Making Things Happen”, and the Ketso team would particularly like to thank Nigel Ward and Christine Welch for their support in organising and running the events.

Sustainable Port - Outcomes

The proportion of ‘existing assets’ was relatively even across the themes (in the themes that were ‘pre-prepared’ and thus discussed at each table). The Navy, the natural harbour and the water-land interface were noted as key existing assets. Several suggestions were made for making more of the land-water interface, including ‘boat-living communities’, ‘hotels on the water’ and even a ‘"Future Portsmouth" ongoing exhibit on a boat’ (this idea garnered a comment ‘Easy to do! Do it now!’). The fact that the port is busy, and enjoys government support and interest were also noted.

There was seen to be considerable scope for more to be made of the historic assets of the Port, in particular with regards to historical tourism. Several existing assets were noted, including events happening on tall ships and the fact that the dockyards are well known. There were several challenges noted, such as the fact that there were many listed buildings and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in the areas. At the same time there were many new ideas around the educational value of the port, with a discussion of the possibility for it to ‘become a major learning centre’ and to ‘release knowledge about maritime’ issues. The possibility of apprenticeships was noted several times, and the idea of a ‘Maritime university’ was mooted.

The theme that had the most coverage was Transport, closely followed by Environmental Care. 16% of the ideas developed by participants were related to transport.

all of these ideas had support from groups of participants:

  • Change of mindset
  • Recruit fundraisers
  • Go green
  • Better use of city assets
  • Effective transport meeting diverse needs
  • Clean, enjoyable place to live/work/visit
  • MOD give up 50% of existing land by 2015
  • Port 20/20 – a vision for Portsmouth
  • Delight
  • Groundswell of local community involvement in future of port
  • New sustainable industry
  • Positive attitude
  • Port is carbon neutral, revenue generating and a major employer.

Budget Cuts

An idea which was noted as important by several participants as a positive aspect of budget cuts was: ‘Cuts down puffed-up empires’. Further positive aspects that were discussed included: that budget cuts provide an ‘opportunity to re-examine processes’ and give  the possibility for ‘improved efficiency’. As can be seen from the graph above, the theme of ‘performance’ had the most ideas clustered around it.  There was a general feeling that there was a possibility for more creativity, and that it was possible to see this challenge as a way to improve services, as long as there was attention paid to people’s opinions, emotions, and the clear priorities of what needs to be done and what is important in service delivery.

Whilst ‘changing practice’ was seen as something that may be a positive outcome from budget cuts, there was discussion around the problem that there is ‘no recognition/understanding of why people are resistant to change’.

Stakeholder engagement was discussed, with a clear emphasis on gathering opinions and ideas from a wide range of people. This theme emerged at each table, and included the concepts: ‘ask the worker on the ground’, ‘get the ‘shopfloor wisdom’, ‘engage the customer’ and ‘involve the public more’. Several possible problems in this area were discussed, however, including: ‘the worker doesn't want to talk to you’, ‘too many opinions’, ‘you might not like the answer’. It was seen as important to have ‘honest, upfront communication’. Involving more people such as staff, stakeholders, ground workers and customers in decision making was seen as likely to give a better overall view of the situation and to enable better decisions to be made.

Effective Partnerships

Ketso was used to gather input from delegates in a workshop entitled 'Effective Partnerships' at the 2011 Engage Conference held by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

Following presentations from two successful partnerships, twenty-five participants from Universities, community groups and existing partnerships explored what makes an effective partnership. Delegates spent thirty minutes working as a group following these presentations to share ideas on what works, and to develop shared top tips.

A report from the workshop can be downloaded here.
The full set of results (216 ideas) can be downloaded here.

Engaging Stakeholders with Business

HGM  paints

In a workshop sponsored by HMG Paints in North Manchester, Ketso was used to explore ideas for developing a long-term sustainability vision for North Manchester.

The event was attended by business professionals, academics/researchers and representatives of local organisations, such as North Manchester Partnerships (Economic Development) and Groundwork. The aim was to explore the development trajectories of local businesses and develop ideas for improvement.

Several participants commented that the dialogue exceeded their expectations and challenged them to rethink how their business operates.


Running a Good Workshop

Participants in a Methods@Manchester training event brainstormed ideas around 'running a good workshop'. Ketso was used to gather ideas from participants from Universities across the North West and Midlands. 

You can download the ideas here.

Ideas for engaging with stakeholders

We ran a workshop on  'engaging with stakeholders' in Glasgow on June 13, 2013 with 17 people from organisations working in fields as diverse as access to the countryside, refugee integration, national records and youth skills and training across Scotland.

213 ideas were developed in just over 1.5 hours of discussion. There is a summary of the ideas that were highlighted as important by participants (using the icons of the Ketso kit) below.

Download full set of results

Download action plans developed as practice exercise

What works

  • Scotland's pioneering policies
  • Help communities to make difference at local level (Measure of success: community action - happening on ground)
  • New thinking
  • Reality checking
  • Shared dialogue
  • Listening
  • Keep in touch by phone, Important to keep this - whilst also getting more involved in IT
  • Team working

Future possibilities

  • Co-production (easures of success - Community led services/ organisations. Real Co-production)
  • Co-production is fundamental - if it involves public/users. It doesn't always do this
  • Time banking instead of money (to support co-production)
  • Understanding what other agencies are doing
  • Kitchen or bar conversations between very different groups
  • Trade skills
  • Clear listening and acting on issues
  • ALWAYS need to start by getting everyone on same page!!
  • Start by hearing what page people are on (building on what works - People centred or empowerment focus, Must begin where communities are @)
  • Arrange focus groups ASK them what they value
  • If it’s not working, bin it!
  • Improve feedback following engagement
  • Strong 'joining up' or follow through (don't do anything unless it travels all the way to policy makers) (building on what works - Using people's experiences and knowledge)
  • Exploring use of social media
  • More financial support offered


Challenges (with solutions in brackets)

  • Lack of skilled Community Development support for communities (Develop Community Development skills in all staff as all have to co-produce; Training and sharing skills)
  • Funding issues (Participatory budgeting)
  • Reaching new people (Going out to where the people are. e.g. shopping centre, school gates; Target and variety)
  • Getting people to turn up (Explore social media, web etc. options)
  • People with hard or busy lives can't participate (Write into job descriptions role of co-production and time to do it. Time and prepare access work with communities)
  • Cynical - "Nothing will change" and Scepticism: "It won't make a difference" (Have a 'Parking Board' for cynical comments; Ask: Why will change not happen. Can those engaging take action?; ‘You said x; We did y; and why we didn't where that is the case)
  • Power (Accountability challenge; People power, activism, solidarity; Power e.g. show Councillors what dialogue democracy is and co-production so they move on from old fashion ways; Lots of different types of power - recognising that to put in place ways of dealing with a changing attitudes - can expand; Power e.g. some professionals have legal responsibilities that they feel our barriers to sharing power over core – remove; Power e.g. power should not extend beyond your remit but people often do, e.g. GPs have status and misuse it) (Measures of success – Empowered, Potential , More representative and accountable) 
  • Lack of commitment
  • Agencies not working together
  • Councillors don't understand 'dialogue' democracy. Old fashioned!!
  • Need buy in from key decision makers and service providers
  • Voices won't be heard