Evaluation is vital to make sure that engagement is undertaken in an effective way, after all it’s the only way we can learn from both our successes and our mistakes. When we engaged with people around Wales to put the National Principles for Public Engagement in Wales together, you agreed with us, so it became principle 10 – “learn and share lessons to improve the process of engagement”.
We’ve implemented an evaluation framework so that we can better capture the results of the work that we’re doing. The people we work with are central to how we evaluate our success, which is why we ask for your comments after our training and networks – so that we can improve our services and ensure that they better meet your needs.
As part of our evaluation framework, we have decided to interview some of our Advisory Panel members about their work with Participation Cymru. They have a unique perspective as panel members, as they help to shape the direction of Participation Cymru but also work for organisations who access our services. First up is an interview with our Vice-chair Derek Walker, who is the Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre.
Derek was a great interviewee and believes wholeheartedly in the importance of participation. He said “Co-operative businesses seem to be doing pretty well at the moment compared to other parts of the economy, and partly that’s because they engage. They engage with their members – they speak to their members, whether they be workers, whether they be customers, whether they be stakeholders within their community, and as a result they can adjust their business. They can adjust their products in order to meet the needs of their customers, and as a result be better businesses – do better business”.
Back in 2010 we interviewed some of our other panel members about their roles, which you can also see here.
We have also interviewed Margaret Peters of the Countryside Council for Wales and Wayne Jepson of the National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare, which we’ll also share with you soon.