Consultancy support of the elaboration of the Community Development Strategy
In November 2018 the cooperation between MLS group company and with one more community was started, it was the cooperation with Shakhove village council as a part of elaboration of Development Strategy
The first stage of our cooperation involved active work on gathering and processing the information that will become the basis for preparing the strategic document.
What exactly does the first stage consist of and what is the value of each event?
Firstly. Carrying out meetings with the Working group
Such meetings are an important step in the process of preparing the Strategy. We are convinced that we should diverge from formalities: the attention should be concentrated on sharing the views on the aim and the ways of its reaching.
Many communities already realized the necessity of elaborating the Strategy, but facing the organizational problems, fragmentary perception of the whole procedure of writing the strategy, huge amount of information which they need to gather, these communities postpone the start of preparing this important document “till later”. Today it means missing many opportunities of development.
Consultancy support in writing the Development Strategy is a tool by means of which the chaotic character of actions is replaced by order and systematic character which allows the team to work as a well coordinated mechanism and keep to the deadlines.
Secondly. Organization of gathering the data for social and economical profile of the community
According to our experience this stage of work is the most difficult for communities. It is exactly in this period that the Working group is expected to actively participate in the gathering of the comprehensive statistical information. One should understand that most often it is impossible to get the data which are necessary for efficient Strategy from outside – the most exhaustive information is in the village councils.
We recommend the communities to do their best at this stage because the data which are gathered will in future be used both for the Strategy and for elaborating the Investment Passport, they will become the basis for realizing the projects of developing the territories.
Thirdly. Meetings with the population moderated by specialists from MLS group
There exist different methodologies of writing the Strategy, some specialists include this stage into the procedure of elaborating the Strategy, some of them don’t. Our company’s firm belief is that meetings with the population are highly important. They are informal by nature, it is an equitable communication of three parties: population, businessmen and the representatives of local authorities. There is no time-limit, no prepared speakers, no voting. Each participant expresses their opinion and the specialists from MLS group moderate the meetings.
The meetings have two significant functions: real involvement of public into the process of elaborating the Development Strategy and realization of the principles of transparent management by the local authorities. The problems which are mentioned during the discussion are not new, as a rule, moreover, they are widely known and some of them are beyond the authority of local government. However, such format of cooperation between the local government, population and business allows to relieve the psychological tension and to transfer to the constructive sphere of discussing the burning issues and to model the mechanism of their settling with the participation of all the represented parties.
The most valuable that such meetings give is the engagement of the public in forming the view on the future.
In Shakhove ATC the meetings took place on December 11 and 12. Three of the discussions involved the inhabitants of the villages of the ATC taking into account the territorial proximity of the settlements, the forth discussion involved the youth, that is the high school pupils of grades from 9 to 11.
Fourthly. Realization of the survey among the representatives of business.
Taking into account the opinion of the representatives of business in strategic planning of community development is extremely important from the point of view of the perspectives of investment attractiveness of the territories. The development of existing businesses and the creation of the new ones are the processes in which all the ATC are interested. Firstly, it allows to fill the budgets and, secondly, it allows to improve the infrastructure of trade and services.
We recommend our clients to effect the communication with businesses by means of the third parties, that is the survey of this category of ATC representatives should not be carried out by the representatives of the authorities. MLS group company realizes the full cycle of the survey: starting from forming the database, evaluating the sampling, embracing 50% of the total quantity of the enterprises to processing and analyzing the data.
Fifthly. The analysis of the results of the population survey carried out by the representatives of the Working group
The population survey is an obligatory stage without which the elaboration of the Strategy is methodologically impossible. Shakhove ATC carried out the sociological survey by means of Working group whereas the specialists of MLS group joined the process at the stage of processing the questionnaires and analyzing the results. This is one of the optional variants of cooperation between a community and external consultants. However, more often population survey is carried out by the specialists of our company with the possibility of including the representatives of the Working group into the network of interviewers. If such a scenario is followed the received data are representative and the active members of the community who took part in the procedure as interviewers have an opportunity to better feel the existing diversity of opinions and assessments.
This is exactly how the stage of gathering data looks like. It is a preparatory basis of well-grounded analytics and it was successfully realized with active participation of Working group of Shakhove community as well as participation of population and representatives of business. Presentation of the results of analytical work is planned to take place in the first quarter of 2019.
We are open for ideas and partnership. If you are interested in the development of a community, in building the relationships between the bodies of local government and the public, don’t hesitate to call +380 97 7213496 or write to: firstname.lastname@example.org