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It’s important to think carefully about how you want people to influence and participate in your organisation’s work. Planning for the year ahead is an essential aspect of this; this annual plan then needs breaking down into activities so each can be thought about and planned in depth. For people with lived experience, good planning leads to more meaningful and influential involvement. Putting in this groundwork can mean the difference between participants taking part in a single activity and then feeling motivated to participate in and influence more projects and pieces of work or not taking part again.

Effective planning leads to more confident staff and quality opportunities which, in turn, builds and nurtures relationships that positively shape people's perceptions of your organisation.
It would be best to give full consideration to the work you'd like people to get involved with and provide enough time to plan how you will make this a reality.


Managing Expectations


Developing your opportunity

Recruitment and selection


Valuing people

Diversity and difference

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Tools in this section

Annual influence and participation planning

This tool can help you identify how people will participate in each stage of your work and ensure people can meaningfully influence your work at the earliest opportunity and beyond.

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Application form

This tool helps those interested to tell you about themselves. It will help you make informed decisions about who should take part.

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Creating a group agreement

If you're asking people to join a one-off focus group or discussion event, a group agreement lets everyone know where they stand and helps to create a safe space for openness and honesty. If you're setting up a regular forum, make sure you have some terms of reference in place to clear expectations.

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Defining and refining

You can use this tool to quickly and robustly focus your team around the priority questions and methods that you will take into your influencing activity.

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Developing your opportunity

To make sure you're taking everything into account when planning your activity, you might find this 'Developing your opportunity' template useful. It takes you through all the things you need to consider to promote your opportunity and attract the people you want to reach.

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Identifying participants

You can use this tool to help you think about which audiences and specific groups you would like to take part in your work, the methods you need to use and who can help you do this.

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Invoice for involvement

You could use this invoice template as a guide when paying people to be part of your participation activity or develop your own.

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Managing risks

Use this tool to get five steps ahead of yourself and plan any risks that might present themselves.

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Setting a good agenda

This tool can help you structure your agenda so that all participants are clear on the topics up for discussion and know what you expect of them.

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Thinking about your timeline

Use this tool to situate your influence and participation activities into the bigger picture of your work. This will help you run meaningful initiatives that have the maximum level of impact.

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Other ways to get involved

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