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Meetings are structured to emphasize active participation and sharing.

Meeting structure is appropriate to the goals of the meeting.

Meeting structure is clear to participants in advance of attending.

Participants are made aware of any actions needed before a meeting in order to meaningfully and accessibly participate in the meeting structure (ex. registration, downloading of a meeting software if virtual, preparation of public comment, etc)

Stakeholders can leave comments in written form

No ideas or statements are discounted in the discussion. Where statements, comments, or expressed concerns may fall outside of a meeting purpose/process context, information is provided to the commenter about how their concerns will be redirected or addressed.

Opportunities to express feedback or concerns exist within the meeting structure.

Meeting is not dominated by presentations and allows for ample time for discussion, comments, or feedback, if relevant to the meeting/process purpose.

The facilitator’s role and power within the process is clearly stated.

Facilitator does not have a conflict of interest (ex. the facilitator employed by a party proposing a plan of action or paid by that party).

Facilitator is held to ethical standards agreed upon by all stakeholders.

Facilitator upholds just power dynamics and creates equitable speaking time for participants.

Facilitator is experienced with culturally responsive methods of conducting feedback.

The facilitator understands or is made aware of community dynamics present/related to the decision context/process.

The meeting itself, advertising, meeting minutes, and relevant educational materials are translated into common languages used by stakeholders and broadly in the community (e.g. Spanish, ESL).

Translators are present and available for stakeholders.

The process for requesting translators at meetings or for documents is clear, accessible, and not burdensome.

Attention is given to who speaks first in the meeting/process and how that sets the tone (ex. is the first speaker the one with the most power in the decision context)

Facilitator ensures speaking time is representative, especially for groups or participants impacted by the decision.

Time is allocated to share and respond throughout the meeting/process in addition to open speaking times.

Speaking time is not exclusively reserved for people who signed up in advance.

Speaking time is not allocated only to “subject matter experts” or those with “technical expertise”.

A concrete method exists to evaluate and collect feedback about the process itself.

Participants know how and where to provide feedback about meetings/processes.

Evaluation findings, reasons for changes made to process, and how feedback is incorporated is transparently communicated back to communities/participants.

Meeting/process organizers clearly communicate the following:
Goals of the process.
Role of stakeholders.
What information will be kept private or made public?
Expectation/s for follow-up from organizers.

Who is/is not the decision maker in a meeting or process is made clear and is understood by all involved.

Processes for receiving, considering, and incorporating input and feedback from stakeholders/participants members are made clear.

Decision maker communicates or reports back how stakeholder/participant feedback was or was not incorporated.

Community leaders either co-leading planning or consulted in advance of the meeting to discuss planning details.

Community-specific meetings and participation processes fit within the timelines of the decision in order to have feedback from the community be meaningfully incorporated.

How community participation is received and incorporated is clearly defined.

If the community is not the ultimate decision maker, the promises to and roles of participants within a decision process are made clear.

Meetings occur at times that are accessible to interested community members (options outside work/school hours, not on holidays, etc.).

Meetings do not always occur at the same time in order to reach broader audiences/stakeholders unless mutually agreed otherwise.

If the meeting occurs in the evening, childcare is offered.

If the process is expected to be lengthy, food, lodgings, stipend, and/or other monetary allowances are provided for participants.

An anticipated schedule of meetings is communicated at the outset.

Multiple meetings are held, and unless targeted toward a different stakeholder group, each meeting builds upon outcomes and efforts from previous meetings.

Number of meetings ensures access for different communities/participants in connection with meeting location and timing.

Notification of the meeting/process happens well in advance (at least 7 business days before or what the group deems appropriate).

Details about the format, agenda, goals, and content to be discussed are all included in the notification.

Notification timeline allows communities/participants enough time to prepare for meaningful participation.

Participants have an opportunity to voice if there are major conflicts that prohibit or otherwise hinder participation within the timeline and are able to seek accommodations and alternative ways to participate.

Notification does not occur at times when people are less likely or able to see the information (at 5pm on a Friday, over holidays, etc)

Advertising for the meeting is appropriate and accessible for all stakeholders (language, access to the internet, readability of advertising, etc are considered).

Notification of the meeting is purposeful, effective, and prevalent.

Several different forms of outreach are involved in the advertising/notification channels (websites, social media, physical flyers, email lists, etc).

Relationships with local community organizations/individuals are developed to share information through word of mouth in addition to other channels.

For meetings/processes that directly impact a group/location, advertising is targeted to ensure that the population is reached.

Advertising/notification channels are being tracked for their effectiveness. Especially for reaching new people/groups, those most impacted by the decision, and/or those historically least involved in decision-making processes.

Notification channels are regularly evaluated and customized specific to the decision-making process (not using the same advertising for each different type of meeting and assuming that is sufficient).

Educational materials are made available well before the meeting itself.

Educational materials are digestible for the majority of stakeholders.

Entity sharing information makes a good faith effort to not overwhelm a reader with information while providing the important information (e.g. summaries, guide on how to navigate information).

Relevant key terms are defined and sufficient information is provided to participants in order to understand and meaningfully participate in the meeting/process.

It is clear to participants where to access educational materials and information on the subject of decision/process.

Educational materials are not provided only in English OR have a functional way of being translated into languages relevant for communities/participants.

Location of the meeting is close to the impacted communities.

Multiple locations are offered over the course of a stakeholder process (the expectation is not that all interested parties should have to travel long distances to be heard).

Location is clearly marked and easy to physically reach (e.g. has wheelchair access and transit access for all); if not, efforts are made to improve and provide safe and respectful access.

Location is thoughtfully selected with respect to the history of the space and cultural relevance (e.g. monuments, religious affiliations, sites of violence)

Location is not at the building or site of the decision maker with the most power.

Location of the meeting does not require payment to access OR parking vouchers are offered to meeting participants to limit the financial burden to access the meeting.

Location has adequate capacity to accommodate the number of people present or interested in attending the meeting.

Information provided on how to access virtual meetings is clear (software required, access through the internet or calling in).

Remote meeting tools ensure that all participants can still be seen, heard, and present, including those with only phone connections.

Remote meetings are not the only option.

There is an option to meaningfully participate remotely without the internet.

For meetings where people may be joining via phone, there is still a way to view the meeting materials (slideshows, images, etc that may be viewable to those participating remotely with the internet).

The room itself is accessible to all stakeholders, especially disabled community members (ex. distance of room from parking/street access, access to elevators/stairs, readability of any presentations/document /visual aids, access to bathrooms).

Attention is given to how the setup impacts power dynamics and is adjusted appropriately to the meeting/process (ex. podium with presenters vs chairs in a circle, virtual room set up where people can or cannot see other participants, etc).

Time is set aside in the first meeting for a grounding conversation about norms, values, and purpose for the process or meeting. This is done with the purpose of promoting inclusion and participation.

All participants agree to the ground rules.

Procedures exist and are acted on when or if ground rules are broken.

Ground rules can be revisited and adjusted as needed. The process for making or requesting adjustments is clear and transparent.

Co-creation of objectives or goals for the process occurs in the initial meeting.

If participants were not a part of the goal setting, they are transparently informed of where their participation is situated within the process and whether they are able to influence any goals or objectives.

There is a stated plan to check on and report on goals throughout the process.

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