Community Education Project Example
Education is a common method being utilized by several communities, government organizations and industry to address environmental and social issues. However, community education is more than just producing brochures to educate people about the manner in which they think problems in the community can be resolved. Community education is important because several social and environmental problems arise due to actions of the people. It is the behavior of the people that is commonly responsible for the issues, and hence it is the people who need to find the solution for the problems (Brennan, 2016). Education is not the only method that influences the behavior of the people and therefore education project might not lead to an immediate change. And this is because the behavior of the people is also influenced or impacted by the social values passed on in schools, home, or through media and social groups. The selected case study for a community is reducing or decreasing the problem of the storm water pollution in the urban catchment. This project proposal is specifically from the opinion of developing education project that deal with the environmental issues. And it involves a management and participative planning strategies and justification for the community capacity development and sustainable practice.
Strategies and Justification for Community Engagement and Participative Planning
Community education project requires careful planning or preparation in their design, definition, development or advancement, implementation and evaluation. This part of the proposal offers a planning sheet and a step by step guide or direction to planning the community education project of the selected case study. It is good at this stage not to be rigid, however to apply the principle of reflecting, reviewing and revising throughout the project planning. The information collected at every stage is important since it will influence the decisions in the following steps (Dabovic etal., 2019). Working through the planning steps of the project will help in gaining clearer or deeper understanding of the community issue, objectives and approaches of achieving these objectives. At this stage of the project it is important to first analyze the community problem, identify the stakeholders who are involved in the project, know the target group and establish the objectives and outcomes. Secondly, it is important to design the methods to be used in the community project, consider the funding of the project and come up with the action plan and implement it. And lastly monitor as well as evaluate the success of the community project.
Analysis of the Community Issue or Problem
It is vital to find out what is causing the community issue and break the problem down into its parts or components and this can be done by gathering information from various sources and discussing or deliberating the problem with the others. A deeper understanding of the problem is important in designing a good community education project (Davies, Fraser & George, 2018). To define the problem or community issue, it is important to investigate, analyze, discuss and review with the input from the stakeholders. Looking for solutions before understanding the community issue, there could be trouble in clarifying what is to be achieved. It is important to find out what has been done by others about the problem and what worked as well as what did not work and why.
Identifying the Stakeholders
A successful community project acknowledges or recognizes and involves the individuals or groups who are stakeholders in the issue or the problem. Stakeholders refer to people who are concerned about, interested in, affected by the issue or problem. The stakeholders are important because they will have resources, knowledge, and networks which can add important value to the community project. The stakeholders may include business associations, community groups, local councils, schools, environmental groups, local residents, politicians, and tertiary education institutions (Gilvear et al., 2016). It is important to work out the main concerns of every stakeholder about the issue, recognize their differences and then concentrate or focus on identifying the benefits for each. Stakeholders can be involved through surveys, working groups, as members of the steering committee and through the personal meetings.
Knowing the Target Group
It is important to identify the target group and gain a deeper understanding of their present knowledge, practices, and attitudes about the issue. Understanding the characteristics of the target group is crucial since it will make it easier to choose the most suitable method for achieving the educational objectives (Gough, 2016). Spending time finding out or researching about the target group and finding out their stand with respect to the issue will help in defining the objectives of the project more accurately. Involving the target group as well as offering essential information regarding the project design will help in opening opportunities for approaching the target group when the community project is in the process. Doing preliminary research and recording the present knowledge, practices, and attitudes of the target group will help in evaluating the community project.
Objectives and Outcomes of the Project
It is important to determine the result that is required from the community education project and this is done by defining in terms of education objectives, goals and desired outcomes. The aim or goal of the project is a statement of what is to be achieved and it summarizes the collective impact or effect of the specific objectives (Grúňová et al., 2017). The educational objectives of the project should be defined in terms of skills, values, knowledge, practices and beliefs that target group should have to achieve the goal. In addition, the desired outcomes should be defined in terms of outputs and effects that are expected will result from the project.
Strategies and Justification for Community capacity Development and Sustainable Practice
The methods, tools and strategies that could be used in achieving the objectives, goals and outcomes should be investigated. The strengths, characteristics and weaknesses of every method or strategies to achieve the objectives of the project should be summarized. It is important to know the target group and know the most suitable and efficient strategy of achieving the project objectives with the target group (Jami & Walsh, 2017). For instance, if the educational objectives are about influencing the knowledge as well as understanding, then the informing techniques will be utilized in the project. And if the objectives are about improving the skills, the demonstration methods might be the most suitable. People learn differently, hence it is important to consider various methods or strategies to increase the effectiveness. It is important to note that community education projects or tasks that utilize only information giving techniques rarely have the long term effectiveness (Medlin, 2017). The budget of the project influences the decisions on the type of strategies or methods to use in achieving the project objectives. Setting up consultative steering committee consisting of representatives from the industries and businesses will be an important strategy of addressing the community issue. The other important strategy is conducting surveys and focus groups so as to monitor the progress of the community project.
Timelines, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting
The project plan as well as the budget to be approved on November –December, steering committee to be established on January, launching of the project to be done on February, survey to be conducted on February, visit to various premises to determine areas of concern to be done on February – April, to hold workshops or seminars for interested operators and owners on May. To interview the participants to get the feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the project on June, and to prepare project report summarizing the outcomes as well as possible future directions.
Monitoring and evaluation activities will include: conducting monthly monitoring through the steering committee, conducting pre-project telephone survey, evaluation of the practices through the environmental review process, conducting post-project interviews to establish perceived value of the project, monitoring the media coverage, and producing a report summarizing the weaknesses, strengths and the outcomes, with the recommendations for the future work.
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