Initiating & Scoping

Concept: Preliminary planning before you even know if you will be working with the group.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Does this fit into one of the program priorities in our Extension system [state]? Do I need to talk to my program leader/supervisor to better understand our program priorities?
  • Do I have the time and expertise needed?
  • Does the community have the commitment (time, administrative capacity, etc.) to work in partnership with us?
  • Does the community have the financial resources to engage Extension? If not, can they acquire the resources elsewhere (with or without our help)?
  • What is my role? What is the community’s role?
  • Is the community willing to adhere to our principles of practice, including an inclusive, open process that is sensitive to issues of race, LGBTQ inclusion, etc.?
  • Do you feel well connected with the organizational structures, individuals important to this process?
  • Has a needs assessment been conducted in this community that will inform the process?
  • Is there trust between Extension and the community?
  • Are we aware of all the agendas [power dynamics] present in the community?
  • Are there partners that the community is not aware of that we could bring to the process?
  • What will it take to move the community to the next phase?

Questions to ask the community:

  • Who is involved?
  • What do you see as the issue?
  • Who do you see as key stakeholders?
  • What are you hoping to accomplish?
  • What is your timeline?
  • What has been done in the past?
  • Are there plans or other documents, organizational structures, individuals in place that must be brought in that aren’t here now?
  • What do you see Extension’s role to be?

Check-out questions to make sure you are in sync with community expectations:

  • Shared expectations?
  • New stakeholders?
  • New assets external/internal?