Our work at Spark is grounded in the belief that we have a better chance to achieve sustainable meaningful change when those most affected by the problem are part of the problem-definition and solution. Importantly, we are committed to an inclusive process to make sure the voices of those who are not in the room for every meeting are heard. We have engaged communities, consumers, and other stakeholders in a wide variety of planning, research, and implementation processes using approaches tailored to match the culture and values of each group. Spark offers a variety of community, consumer, stakeholder engagement services, such as:
- Facilitation of community meetings and forums that build trust, going beyond one-way, one-time interactions;
- Adaptive facilitation across a variety of communication avenues including multi-lingual meetings, monolingual Spanish language meetings, and meetings that accommodate the needs of deaf, deaf-blind, blind, visually impaired, and hard of hearing consumers;
- Consumer, youth, and family engagement processes designed to build individual and community capacity to authentically participate, creating a space for them to have a voice in the decision-making process;
- Building the capacity of public agencies and task forces to meaningfully engage their consumers;
- Consensus-building among diverse stakeholders, including conflict resolution; and
- Research methods designed to engage community members as part of the solution, including techniques for building an understanding of common values and shared beliefs.
We recognize solutions are only effective if they take into account the perspectives of those affected. Our techniques for engagement bring a wide variety of voices into the process to define the problem and its solution, as well as refine the solution as it is implemented.