Making big decisions that affect a large group of people can be tough. When residents are affected by the projects that are going on in their community, a spotlight is shown on each decision that is made. Planners are under more pressure than ever to make the right choices for their community, so how do you ensure that the process you're using to make decisions is transparent and effective?
Planning with a collaborative style of decision-making must treat information and data as an asset within their decision making approaches. Using data gathered from community input gives decision makers a way to identify desired opportunities, predict future community trends and explain why certain decisions were made. Here are four reasons to defend your planning decisions with your data...
1) Ensure your community that their opinion matters
Using data from your community outreach consultation to back up each decision that was made in the planning process is an easy way to prove to residents and stakeholders that their opinion matters. This data helps to explain to residents and stakeholders why and how each decision was made in order to benefit largest part of the community possible.
2) Help residents to understand what their input is used for
When you use specific data to explain why each decision was made within a plan, it helps residents understand what exactly their input was used for and why it was needed.
3) Make the process of reporting back to the community after a consultation much easier
One of the most important phases of a public outreach consultation is reporting the results back to the community and stakeholders. Participants want to know what is going to happen with a decision making process when their opinion is asked. When you use a digital community engagement strategy, all of your data is stored for you in a safe space to easily access after your consultation.
4) Determine the next step
Having all of your data in one space enables you to set the sorting steps to ensure that you can easily access everything you need to be able to make decisions and prove to your community that you made the decision to best suit the needs of the community.