As you begin work in your region, it is imperative that you have processes to track outcomes and report on activities to your stakeholders. Securing long-term engagement is going to depend on participants’ ability to understand the value of the regional collaborative, and their ability to justify their investment of funds or staffing to support the collaborative.
The amount and type of information to track and share may vary, depending on the regional adaptation collaborative. One potential process feedback mechanism is formal and regular collaborative meetings such as the quarterly public networking meetings put on by the San Diego Climate Collaborative. Another mechanism might be newsletters, which both San Diego and the Capital Region Collaboratives put out. Yet another mechanism might be the use of a needs assessment such as the Bay Area Collaborative developed which can be used to inform the direction of a collaborative. Another format is to fold feedback into your workplan as LARC will be doing with their “Framework.” Whatever approach is taken, it’s important that the activities and outputs align with the overall goals of the collaborative so the feedback supports learning and maturation of the collaborative over time.
Members and subscribers tell us that the CRC biweekly newsletter is a valuable resource… the newsletter connects members and readers with funding opportunities, tools, and the latest research, and also provides a means by which the CRC can share its own events, key issues, and opportunities.
-Shelley Jiang, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
In the early stages of work, regional adaptation collaborative members might gather with stakeholders and focus on providing process-oriented feedback. As the collaborative matures, members might be able to shift focus to project-oriented feedback, examining completed projects and their impacts.
Feedback is also essential to the long-term fiscal viability of a regional adaptation collaborative. For example, in order to prove the value of membership dues a collaborative must clearly communicate its worth to members and hear and respond to valid criticisms.
A collaborative with intentional processes for gathering and providing updates on progress on a regular basis will be equipped with the information needed to shape future efforts in an effective way.