National Standards for Community Engagement

Scottish Community Development Centre. (n.d.). National Standards for Community EngagementCommunities Scotland. 

The Scottish Community Development Centre developed this set of national standards as a means of assuring good public process between communities and agencies. The standards are seen as a fundamental part of community planning while acknowledging the importance of increasing inclusion of minorities and disadvantaged populations. The standards were originally developed in 2005 and have been in wide use in Scotland. The standards address how organizations with a public-interest focus can improve: involvement of stakeholders, overcoming barriers in participation, project planning, methods assessment, team collaboration, information sharing practices, implementing feedback mechanisms, and more. There is a focus on measuring indicators and community-led action research though implementation guidelines are lacking.

IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation

International Association of Public Participation, Spectrum of Public Participation, poster.

Created by the International Association of Public Participation, this chart helps scaffold the process for increasing meaningful engagement by addressing the goals, public communication, and example participation techniques. IAP2 is an international organization for knowledge sharing and capacity building of best practices for public participation. This straightforward graphic is based off of the Arnstein’s ladder of public participation and includes the categories of: inform, consult, involve, collaborate, empower. While this graphic does not provide any practical guidelines, it presents a clear framework for thinking about the work of public participation and can be a useful reference point.

Sharing circles and Anishnaabe symbol-based reflection

Lavallée, L. F. (2009). Practical application of an Indigenous research framework and two qualitative Indigenous research methods: Sharing circles and Anishnaabe symbol-based reflection. International journal of qualitative methods, 8(1), 21-40.

Abstract: Increasingly research involving Indigenous people is being undertaken by Indigenous researchers, who bring forward worldviews that shape the approach of the research, the theoretical and conceptual frameworks, and the epistemology, methodology, and ethics. Many times such research bridges Western practices and Indigenous knowledges; however, bringing together these two worldviews can also present challenges. In this paper the author explores the challenges and lessons learned in the practical application of an Indigenous research framework and qualitative inquiry. Two qualitative Indigenous research methods, sharing circles and Anishnaabe symbol-based reflection, will be discussed.

Conversation method in Indigenous research

Kovach, M. (2010). Conversation method in Indigenous research. First Peoples Child & Family Review, 5(1), 40-48.

Abstract:  In reflecting upon two qualitative research projects incorporating an Indigenous methodology, this article focuses on the use of the conversational method as a means for gathering knowledge through story. The article first provides a theoretical discussion which illustrates that for the conversational method to be identified as an Indigenous research method it must flow from an Indigenous paradigm. The article then moves to an exploration of the conversational method in action and offers reflections on the significance of researcher-in-relation and the inter- relationship between this method, ethics and care.

Evaluating Research Outcomes: Worksheets & Assignments

@KingBaino, 2016. “Checklist: Evaluation Outcomes,” Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Zahara, Alex, 2016. “Checklist: Evaluation of Research Outcomes,” Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Liboiron, Max, 2016. “Assignment: Evaluation of Research Outcomes,” Memorial University of Newfoundland.

If research aims to make change, then an evaluation checklist helps the researcher determine if their research has created the desired impact. It can also guide the researcher to think about how they might conduct, write, or disseminate their research in such a way that it is more likely to make change. The above assignment on Evaluation of Research Outcomes asks students to create an evaluation checklist for their action-based research. The two checklists by @KingBaino and Alex Zahara are two examples of what such an evaluation entails. The @KingBaino checklist is focused on influencing policy on development aid through a master’s thesis and white paper, and Zahara’s checklist is about conducting deeply ethical and action-oriented research on contamination in Aboriginal territories for a PhD dissertation.

Conducting a Survey in Your Community

Laboratory for Community and Economic Development. (n.d.). “Conducting a Survey in Your Community.” Accessed March 29, 2016.

From the website: When community groups want to take action, influence policy, change things around, or shake things up, a community survey is an effective way to find out what people are thinking and how they feel. The Laboratory for Community and Economic Development has developed an online, Internet-based survey tool to help your community:


  • Gather information about people’s attitudes and opinions.
  • Find out how residents rank issues, problems and opportunities in order of importance and urgency.
  • Give local people a voice in determining policy, goals and priorities.
  • Determine resident’s support for initiatives.
  • Evaluate current programs and policies.

Anonymous Sources in News Stories: Justifying Exceptions and Limiting Abuses

Boeyink, David E. 1990. Anonymous Sources in News Stories: Justifying Exceptions and Limiting Abuses. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 5(4): 233–46.

Abstract: As discussion intensifies, and critics exploit what they see as a serious press abuse of anonymous sources, this article explores current practices and policies, as well as examines justification for and danger of anonymous source usage. Seven guidelines are listed and discussed which may help editors and reporters decide whether to use the anonymous source: editor authorization, just cause, last resort, fullest possible identification, proportionality, just intentions, and second source verification.