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?