Staying on course until the goal is accomplished is a challenge. Our goal as outsiders is to see the community (the insiders) accomplish their initial tasks of solving one or two problems. This will build confidence and give them new skills to solve other problems. It will expand their capacity to take on larger problems in the future. And it will, ideally, help them to become a better community in the process.
Here are some ways to monitor, evaluate, and celebrate a community implemented plan:
- Select or appoint an oversight committee/person. This tool can be useful to the community as a whole if they all agree to a person/group to help lead in the oversight of the action steps in their plan.
- Hold regularly scheduled community progress meetings. It sounds simple and yet it tends to be very effective. Regularly scheduled meetings corresponding to deadlines in the action plan can prove to be a great motivation to actors with assignments.
- Goal and Progress (GAP) Analysis. A GAP analysis simply asks three questions…
- What should have been done?
- What has actually been done?
- What needs to be done now to close the “gap” between where we are and where we want to be?
The GAP analysis can be used overall with a plan but can also be used for each individual line/action item as well. The goaled outcome is to identify critical actions that need to be taken to get the community back on track to accomplish its stated goals.
Again, we would love for you to share your experiences in this area as well. Please comment and we’ll try and respond as quickly as possible.