An effective community engagement protocol is based on the community engagement principles and provides the commitments against which participants can measure the effectiveness of the process.
A protocol for community engagement could take the following format:
We accept a shared responsibility to:
- Communicate in a clear and timely manner, accommodating comments on the scope, aims and expected outcomes for each stage of discussion.
- Offer comprehensive and timely information to stakeholders to encourage fair and informed discussion of issues, with attention to the inclusion of people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
- Provide key information in plain language for wider civil society consideration, especially when dealing with technical issues, and provide opportunities for communitycapacity building in chemical safety issues.
- Assist individuals and groups in practical ways to engage in the consultative process, paying particular attention to stakeholders with special needs and upholding equityand diversity principles.
- Establish clear and realistic timelines for input, which are sensitive to the resources available to the individuals and groups concerned.
- Give frequent and open feedback, including information relating to emerging issues, key outcomes from consultations, the nature of interested people’s contributions, and any recommendations arising from the process.