Community Engagement Toolkit image

Community Engagement Toolkit

The Southern Nevada Strong Regional Plan charts our community’s vision for a better future. It was developed through a robust planning process that emphasized community engagement to ensure broad, representative participation informed the plan’s goals and strategies. Because of these efforts, the plan was awarded the 2016 National Planning Excellence Award for Public Outreach from the American Planning Association, setting a new standard for what inclusive community engagement can accomplish in our region.

During the engagement process, Southern Nevadans described a future with opportunities to continue public participation in decision-making processes throughout the region. In response, the Southern Nevada Strong (SNS) team, with input from community partners, developed a community engagement toolkit. The toolkit is a resource for advancing public participation throughout Southern Nevada. It will guide residents, businesses, civic groups, and public agencies toward more effective engagement, and provides a framework for more informed and inclusive decision-making processes.

What is Community Engagement?

Community Engagement is the process of working collaboratively with individuals or groups affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest or similar situations to address issues and achieve goals specific to the benefits of those people.

SNS Community Engagement Toolkit

SNS Community Engagement Spectrum 
The SNS Community Engagement Spectrum is designed to help clarify and determine the level of community participation in a public process or decision. It can be used in conjunction with the community engagement worksheet and will assist you with determining the goals, stakeholder and audience roles, and engagement tools and tactics for your community engagement process. The SNS Community Engagement Spectrum will help to clarify and determine the level of community participation in a public process or decision.

SNS Community Engagement Worksheet
This step-by-step worksheet will assist you with developing and executing a public engagement plan. Use the worksheet to help identify the purpose, target audience, and strategies for effective communication and engagement with your intended audience.

SNS Community Data Map
This interactive digital map is a useful resource for understanding your target area and defining your target audience. The map displays key socioeconomic and demographic data (such as rates of educational attainment, language proficiency, and home ownership) within Clark County by block group and census tract. The data map will help you to complete the community engagement worksheet. Please see the video below for detailed instructions for using the Community Data Map.

SNS Community Engagement Contact Request Form
The contact request form is designed to help agencies and community groups identify stakeholders and partners for community engagement throughout the region. Complete and submit the form and a member of the SNS team will follow up with a starter list of contacts related to your community engagement project.

SNS Community Engagement Evaluation Guide
The evaluation guide is a framework for evaluating your community engagement process. It will assist with conducting intermittent progress checks and performing a final assessment for your engagement project. Be sure to share your experience, successes, and lessons learned with the SNS team so we can track our region’s progress towards increasing public participation opportunities throughout the region.

Additional Resources

The following are additional resources for understanding and planning for community engagement:

Arnstein’s “Ladder of Citizen Participation” revisited
A blog post about the evolution of citizen participation in the planning profession

IAP2 resources for public engagement
Resources for improving the quality of public participation

APA’s Planning for Equity Policy Guide
A guide for promoting equity and justice in planning

MRSC’s communication and citizen participation techniques
Approaches for inclusive public participation

Involve’s methods for community engagement
Various methods for community engagement including definitions and examples

Nexus Community Partners resources
Resources for community engagement including assessment and evaluation tools

ATSDR evaluating the community engagement process
Sample questions for evaluating the community engagement process

The following are additional resources for community data and metrics in Southern Nevada:

United Way of Southern Nevada – Community Data Portals
Inventory of all data portals throughout the state and county

Southern Nevada Health District – Healthy Southern Nevada
Health and wellness rankings and metrics

Nevada Department of Education – Nevada Report Card – Clark County
Clark County School District data and analysis of achievement including student demographic and test score information

Three Square research
Food and nutrition data from Southern Nevada’s largest food bank

LVGEA Data Portal
Economic metrics and business trends in Southern Nevada

County Health Rankings
Inter-disciplinary, independent analysis of social determinants of health at the county level

Southern Nevada Health District – Get Healthy Clark County
Resources from preventative health programs

United Way of Southern Nevada – Community Connect
Education, economic and health data by Clark County zip code