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Evaluating options

Select the best option for your design based on shared criteria

This stage is the opportunity to engage stakeholders in the decision-making process to take the project forward and begin its implementation. As well as valuable data collection, this is a critical stage to demonstrate the listening and engagement with community stakeholders undertaken to date, the transparency of decision making on the project and that the voice of the community is informing the outcome.  

Preparation 

As with the requirement capture stage, a workshop is a useful mode of collecting data and continuing to build relationships with  community stakeholders. Accessibility and removing barriers to participation is essential.  

In order to deliver a workshop (or other mode of engagement) it will be critical to

  • Shortlist the options generated in previous stages, considering criteria such as feasibility and desirability  
  • Provide information (such as information factsheets) about the options, how they will work and the likely impacts on the neighbourhood 
  • Collate tools that may be required to demonstrate and assess the environmental impacts (such as GHG emissions, energy consumption and water consumption) of the shortlisted options, for example the Scoping Calculator
  • Develop a participatory voting mechanism (for example, option ranking).

Workshop Delivery 

The workshop should be tailored to the needs of the community and the project, however it will be important to consider the following aspects as part of the delivery 

  • Using a mix of documenting activities that might include audio and video recording, and field notes, in line with the evaluation approach 
  • Begin with a review of the previous activity, including workshop 1 requirement capture, the shortlist of technology options and any supporting materials such as information sheets, and a brief overview of the workshop 
  • Introduce specific tools that will be used within the session, and if useful a hypothetical scenario to demonstrate the tools 
  • Facilitate discussion with community stakeholders, in smaller groups if appropriate, on the shortlisted options and potential positive and negative impacts of each, encouraging use of any tools to support community understanding and decision making 
  • Draw the participants back together to summarise discussion and create a space for decision making using a predetermined voting mechanism. The option(s) selected will be developed in a subsequent workshop as part of the detailed design stage

Leadership 

This method should be applied with the involvement of community residents in the co-design process. Detailed information on how to get community residents involved can be found in stage 1 – characterising the community.  

The beta version of the LCA calculator was developed for a specific community project, therefore care needs to be taken when using it in a different community. Users need to be aware of the assumption and limitation of the calculator. Results of the LCA calculator needs to be interpreted by taking into account of the assumption and limitation.   

The key personnel involved in this stage includes team lead, workshop facilitator, community facilitator, LCA calculator demonstrator, workshop evaluator. 

Evaluation

This stage generates project documentation and team reflections that should be used (in conjunction with previous documentation, reflections and assessment) to evaluate the workshop. The evaluation principles and processes are detailed in stage 5. If following the workshop evaluation any areas of concern are raised, these should be addressed in the planning and running of the final workshop.