How to set goals and measure impact

Equitable engagement requires an ongoing and long-term commitment to continuous learning. When planning and designing an engagement process for any project, whether it be a development application, an area study, or a secondary plan study, equity needs to be deliberately and intentionally embedded from the start of the process. Starting points for this work include: identifying who the community is in the neighbourhood(s) that you are working in, setting specific goals around reaching equity-deserving groups in that neighbourhood (including acknowledging and responding to barriers to engagement and past interactions that the City has had with those groups), building trust and focusing first on relationships, valuing the lived experience of communities, ensuring two-way dialogues, creating opportunities for power-sharing in the process, and committing to transparency and accountability mechanisms. The goals themselves can then help create processes for measuring impact - both of the engagement processes and the outcomes from them.

Remember that measuring impact doesn’t have to only be a single point in time, or exclusively quantitative, it can also be ongoing for the duration of a project and be qualitative in nature.

Lessons Learned

  1. Setting goals and measuring impact go hand-in-hand
  2. You can develop goals and impact metrics with community leaders and organizations
  3. Define what success can look like right at the start
  4. Start with conducting research to build an evidence-base for goal setting
  5. Check-in, evaluate and reflect on the goals regularly
  6. Shared goals with community help build trust and accountability into the process


Related Case Study


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