Successful programmes always involve diverse community members in their development. Without this input, you have to assume that existing models of delivery are suited to diverse community’s unique needs.
Here are some tips that can help you collaborate with diverse communities.
Take time to understand your community’s unique needs
Understanding your community’s specific and unique needs is a critical step of any sport and diversity programming.
Before you start to plan or develop your programme, take the time to really understand your target community’s needs.
Try to understand your community’s unique needs and challenges. What is preventing them from accessing sport? How can you work together to make it easier for them to participate?
- Try not to assume that you have the right interpretation or response – it is important to work with communities rather than ‘do to them’.
- Accept that existing models might not be suitable and may need to be adapted considerably depending on the community’s needs.
- Consult with a range of community members/representatives and try not to rely on one representative’s interpretation.
- Often there will be conflicting views on need within each community. Keep talking until some common ground is reached rather than rushing ahead to implement.
- Consolidate your findings into one view – and then consult some more!
Co-develop and co-deliver with your community
Developing and delivering in partnership with the community will increase the chances of successful programme.
- Existing models of delivery often don’t suit diverse community’s unique needs. Working in partnership will allow you to adapt/tailor existing delivery models to ensure these unique needs are taken into account.
- Co-development and co-delivery with a community representative will increase the credibility of a programme amongst the community. It also increases ownership amongst your target community.
- It will also mean your partners are more likely to promote the programme amongst their networks.
- Try to involve a range of community members/representatives in this process. Just like the step of understanding need, programme development needs to be done with a number of community representatives rather than one individual.
- Engage the target participants in the planning process by using a blank paper approach then review to see if their ideas can be delivered.
- Remember developing and delivering in partnership with the community will increase the chances of successful programme.
Guide to Designing Programmes
You might like to check out our Connect2sport Guide to Designing Programmes. This web-based Guide outlines key ingredients needed to design quality sport programmes for diverse young people – and provides great examples of how to collaborate with Diverse Communities.