Creating change through community consultation


OK, it may not be the first thing you do. But community consultation has got to be among your Local Drug Action Team’s highest priorities when developing a plan to tackle alcohol and other drug (AoD) harms.

Whether a geographic community, or a community based on gender, ethnicity, age, religion, shared interests, or a combination of some or all of these demographic characteristics, your community is a powerful resource.

Effectively engaging your community will allow you to test assumptions, and will provide essential feedback, insights, experiences and skills that will be important to establishing, tailoring and sustaining your local change initiative.

Taking the time to plan how you engage with stakeholders has the potential to make a huge impact on the success of your initiative.

This toolkit is about giving you a process and tools to unlock this potential.

It’s based on a flexible engagement process that the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) has used (and is further developing) to guide its own work.

Here we will walk you through some steps that we’ve found successful. We also include a series of tools that will help you get the most out of each stage.

Resources on this page will be updated as they evolve. They have been informed through our own community consultation work and a collaborative project undertaken with Whitelight. They draw on ‘design thinking’ and ‘human-centred design’ practices.

Leading community action

You may have years of experience in community consultation, or none at all. Either way, establishing a process (or reviewing your existing one) of community involvement is likely to be a big contributor the success of your program.

The tools for success

These tools are intended to help you understand your assumptions and encourage new ways of thinking and problem solving within your group and community. They’re designed to help you move through the consultation process, and are perfect for generating new ideas and facilitating collaboration: no matter what size your group.

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