Level 2 Consultations
The main aim of Information Gathering is to listen to and learn from the public. This includes market research, traditional consultation and data gathering from other sources such as looking at census data, government reports and data from previous projects undertaken b the Council.
In the past, information may have been only gathered from those that have approached the Council to submit a view. However, increasingly this is considered lacking the level of validity to properly inform decisions because not all sections of the community may come forward.
In order to overcome this the Council aims to involve the community in a variety of different ways, for example through making information available in different formats and encouraging electronic responses and on occasion setting up telephone hotlines. Sometimes the Council may also invest in undertaking more systematic and robust research through the use of surveys and focus groups with representative samples of the population.
This level of consultation is appropriate when the aim of a given project is to improve a service or as part of a monitoring process. Other occasions when information gathering is appropriate include:
- Identifying problems, needs, issues and concerns of stakeholders
- Where there are a limited range of options and information is needed to weigh these options up
- Consultative meetings with stakeholders
- Written submissions
- Citizens juries
- Public meetings
- Consultation with representative groups
- User panels
- Open days and exhibitions
- Focus groups
- Depth interviews
- Citizens panel
- Mystery shopping
- Piloting service changes
- Referendums and citizens ballots
- Comments and suggestions schemes