Facilitating a Consultation for Partick Housing Association

Facilitating a Consultation for Partick Housing Association

Partick Housing Association (PHA) invited Kinharvie Institute to facilitate a participative consultation process with a focus group of residents and owners to review five specific areas of the service the Association provides and to make recommendations about how to improve the service in the future. 

The Challenge

This consultation process presented multiple challenges for the Association to overcome:

  • designing and facilitating a participative process to draw out the participants' knowledge and experience in a relatively short space of time

  • keeping participants focused on the five areas of the Association's service under review when there were so many other areas that the participants may have wanted to talk about

  • making quite complex housing systems and legislation understandable to participants 

  • drawing out recommendations from the participants that were realistic and specific enough to be acted upon


The Intervention


Martin worked closely with Association staff to develop clarity about the outcomes they were looking to achieve. The facilitator then designed and facilitated a participative half-day event which supported participants to identify and prioritise the issues (within the five areas under review) that they would most like the Association to improve. The facilitator then designed and facilitated a second half-day session to support participants to understand the limitations within which the Association works and to identify realistic recommendations that the PHA could act upon to further improve the service they provide. Martin designed an interactive flowchart which facilitated the participants' understanding of the points system which the Association used. By the end of the two sessions the participants had developed a set of recommendations that could be taken forward by the Association. 


The Benefits

The experience was really beneficial as Martin managed to help us cut through some complex issues and get to the heart of what matters to our customers.  Using a facilitator helped us to understand how important it is to simplify our message and to use different ways of communicating to allow our customers to really get involved in our work and identify what improvements they would like to see. The group met up again a few weeks after the initial meetings, members expressed their thanks to the Association and to the facilitator.  They felt the facilitator added a great deal of value to the process.  He was able to stimulate interesting debate while remaining ‘neutral’ and they felt the Association had listened to them and they are now in a position to influence what we do. 

- Lynne Donnelly, Strategic Housing Services Manager, Partick Housing Association