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Participation

Participation Portal Introduction

Make the most of this portal by reading our introduction which will help you navigate, search and browse.

Welcome to the participation portal. Whether you are new to the field or a veteran participation practitioner there should be something here to support your work or develop your interests.

We will be adding to this introduction as the portal develops so check regularly for updates.

Guide to Effective Participation


Whether experienced practitioner or newcomer this guide is an essential read. Written for people promoting, managing or facilitating a participation process it provides a healthy mix of practical guidance grounded in tested theory and accepted methodologies. There’s a summary, but I recommend the fuller version, an easy read packed with pertinent information on the challenges, methods and pitfalls of participation.

The guide explains Wilcox’s five rung ladder of participation which is based on Arnstein but simplified (and arguably easier to achieve). Each level; information-consultation-deciding together-acting together-supporting, is excellently defined and differentiated. The handy summary table could be used to promote conversations with colleagues about the level of participation required.

We chose it! Connecting collections and communities


This is a toolkit developed by Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. The toolkit provides partnership work as cyclical, as a long term investment and not a ‘quick fix’ or tokenism.

Revisiting Collections With Young People and Community Groups


These guidance notes deal with engaging young people and community groups in the co-interpretation of collections in museums.

The Community Toolbox


This is a website that provides comprehensive guidance to community partnership professionals who want to conduct research within a community before embarking on a partnership.

Community Engagement: exploring a relational approach to consultation and collaborative practice in Australia


This journal article argues for a need to differentiate between engagement, consultation and participation. The writers make the point that we have moved beyond tokenism to real involvement and decision making with communities and the article refers to Arnstein's model of citizen participation.

Partnership Perspectives


Written for community partnerships with higher education campuses, this guide is also a useful training manual on issues such as agreements with communities on mission, values, goals, measurable outcomes, building mutual trust, genuineness, respect, power balances, sharing resources and credit.

Developing partnerships for service-learning. Starting points for community-based organisations


A short, helpful, referenced guide on service-learning for community organisations. Service-learning is formal teaching combined with a related service in the community.

The Partnership Handbook


Useful for practitioners who initiate partnerships, rather than being approached for partnership. The sections on what a partnership is not; degrees of involvement; the process; knowledge attitudes and skills required are particularly helpful.

Revisiting Archive Collections: a toolkit for capturing and sharing multiple perspectives on archive collections


Of these two toolkits one was written for museums and one for archives. They are engagement rather than partnership toolkits with a mention of the importance of user-generated content.

The Partnership Toolkit: Tools for building and sustaining partnerships


Although written for Canadians, this is a very useful practical guide for smaller and larger organisations entering a partnership. The content is simple, clear and includes useful diagrams on levels of partnerships illustrating mere cooperation to a collaboration and then integration.
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