Listen, acknowledge community members’ feelings, respond empathetically and try to understand community members’ concerns and the barriers preventing change. This in itself is a useful process to identify outcomes for a particular community.
Community members may indeed change or add new indicators to their co-produced framework. It’s important for you to understand what each indicator means to a particular community. How would they define this additional asset or attribute?
The indicators are provided as a starting point for engagement and aren’t intended to be prescriptive. It’s expected that community members may not wish to include some of the indicators in their co-produced framework. Some attributes or assets may not meaningful to them. If, however, community members want you to give them a definition of the ‘unclear’ indicators you can refer to Definitions of Indicators.pdf.
What if community members ask whether they should rate the indicators from an individual or community perspective?
Encourage community members to think about their preference and leave the choice to them. Your role is to note the choice they have made and to understand why they have made it.
Ask community members how they would prefer to discuss or capture information. Do they want to draw, sing or act instead? Filming? Audio? Other means of data capturing?
What if your own perceptions and potential biases about a community are not aligned with how a community defines itself?
Reflect on how this might impact your work with the community. Reflexivity is crucial. Capturing how your perceptions change during this process is central to evidencing process outcomes as these are related to community members’ experiences of using a service.
You really want to know how communities ‘define’ themselves. Are individuals within the community comfortable with the ‘categorisation’ you have in mind? It may be that you’re putting community members in a ‘box’ that they don’t identify with (for example, BME).
Co-production involves building trust and sustaining relationships. It is crucial to engage on a continuous basis (what is reasonable) and not parachute in to a community to suit organisational objectives. This is important to capture quality of life outcomes (the perceived quality of an community member's daily life). Be transparent about lack of resources and capacity so the community is aware of the challenges you face. Stay engaged in open conversation. Radical honesty all the way!
Part of the process of co-production involves understanding differences and negotiating potential ways forward. Capturing how you negotiate differences is central to process outcomes and change outcomes – it’s related to communities’ experiences of services and will help you understand what improvements community members are seeking.