The second part of the RFO training was focussing on engagement methodologies. In this full day virtual activity, the trainers ilse Marschalek and Maria Schrammel (both from the Centre for Social Innovation in Vienna) introduced the most important aspects on how to implement engagement processes. To bring more clarity in the diverse field of participation, a closer look on some definitions has been taken, also the different levels of participation and the related promises to be made to the participants were discussed. Participation goals should always match the promises made, thus clarity and transparency are the most relevant pre-requisites of each engagement process. One has to be explicit about who will be involved and why, when and how. Furthermore, the purpose of participatory approaches has to be made clear from the very beginning. All participants should receive full and clear information about the aims of the process and its likely impacts.
In order to reach out for participants several steps have to be taken to identify target groups and to understand how each participant could influence the process or in which way they could be involved. Visualisation tools help to map target groups and make their primary interests, alliances or conflicts with other participants noticeable.
In interactive exercises trainees from seven Research Funding Organisations (RFOs) were discussing do’s and don’ts of successful participation processes, settings and conditions. They reflected on prerequisites which need to be considered in terms of hosting an activity, “harvesting” and validation of results. An ABC competition of lessons learnt show the most important aspects as collected during the training:
ilse Marschalek, ZSI