Effective Task Force Development: An Analysis of a Community Task Force on Homelessness National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference July 9,

Download Effective Task Force Development: An Analysis of a Community Task Force on Homelessness National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference July 9,

Post on 17-Jan-2016

212 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

<ul><li><p>Effective Task Force Development:</p><p>An Analysis of a Community Task Force on HomelessnessNational Alliance to End Homelessness Annual ConferenceJuly 9, 2007</p></li><li><p>10 Steps to Developing a Task Force Decide to create your Task Force Research past efforts Assemble the Task Force Ensure consumer involvement </p></li><li><p>10 Steps to Developing a Task Force (cont)4. Create the agenda5. Keep Task Force members engaged Keep your community involved Political Considerations </p></li><li><p>10 Steps to Developing a Task Force (cont) 9. Generate the Final Report 10. Create an Implementation Board </p></li><li><p>1. Why create a Task Force now? Appropriate political climate Strong community interest in topicExamples:1. Prior groundwork with Mayor2. Panhandler/homeless camps Lessons Learned: Attach Task Force to existing permanent entity </p></li><li><p>2. Has this been done before in your community? Applying research from the past Integrate what you learnExamples:1. All six past efforts had single focus2. None had implementation plansLessons Learned:Careful attention to the pressing issue of the day</p></li><li><p>3. Assembling the Task Force? Convener, Chair, staff How to select Task Force membersExamples:1. Mayor, Chair, Coordinating Group 2. Selection of members by community sectorLessons Learned: Introduce members by sector at each meeting </p></li><li><p>4. Consumer involvement in the Task Force Stigmas and myths of the topic Creating status equality Examples:1. The panhandling issue2. Consumer voice not valuedLessons Learned:Address the issue of status equality </p></li><li><p>5. Creating the agenda: Your compass for the process Year-long agenda</p><p>Examples: 1. Created focus and direction2. Set the momentumLessons Learned: Hire facilitator for contentious meetings</p></li><li><p>6. Keeping Task Force members Involved Value Task Force members Educate and informExample:1. Consistent Mayoral and media focus2. Readings between meetings, public inputLessons Learned: Assign relevant questions to each reading</p></li><li><p>7. Keeping your community involved Media campaign strategy Mechanisms for public inputExamples:1. Shape pubic perception, create excitement2. Website for input-plan for respondingLessons Learned: Coordinated plan prior to Task Force beginning</p></li><li><p>8. Political considerations: Coordinate, consult, or congratulate Research concurrent efforts Develop relationshipsExamples:1. Miscalculations made2. ImplicationsLessons Learned: Be conscious of emerging and on-going efforts</p></li><li><p>9. Generating the final report Bold and pragmatic Measurable outcomes-community inputExamples:1. Assigning action steps to agency/person2. Presentation to the communityLessons Learned: Keep equal focus on year one and year ten solutions</p></li><li><p>10. Implementation Implementing the plan Political-proof the implementation boardExamples:1. Oversight board2. Presentation to the communityLessons Learned: Keep equal focus on year one and year ten solutions</p></li><li><p>Conclusion Task Forces are mechanisms for change Foundation of democracy</p><p> Impossible becomes the attainable Greater good is served</p></li><li><p>Nuts and Bolts of Effective Task Force Development: An Analysis of a Community Task Force on HomelessnessAn instructional handbook on Task Force development September publication -- www.resourcefulresults.comBy Hilary A. Morgan</p></li><li><p>Hilary A. MorganResourceful Results, LLC1216 Duncan Place, NEWashington, DC 20002Ph. 907-580-5737 / email: hmorgan@resourcefulresults.com</p><p>Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan Each of the nine chapters is a stage in the process of Task Force development. Questions that should be answered prior to moving to the next stage are discussed. These questions are designed to incorporate any topic. Examples of how the Anchorage process dealt with those questions is based on homelessness. The last section about lessons learned gives additional observations not written in the chapters. Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan Each of the nine chapters is a stage in the process of Task Force development. Questions that should be answered prior to moving to the next stage are discussed. These questions are designed to incorporate any topic. Examples of how the Anchorage process dealt with those questions is based on homelessness. The last section about lessons learned gives additional observations not written in the chapters. Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan Each of the nine chapters is a stage in the process of Task Force development. Questions that should be answered prior to moving to the next stage are discussed. These questions are designed to incorporate any topic. Examples of how the Anchorage process dealt with those questions is based on homelessness. The last section about lessons learned gives additional observations not written in the chapters. Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan Question to ask, is the political climate right. The Mayors support was solicited for the creation of a Task Force on Homelessness prior to his election, so that once elected, he committed to the idea. The strong community interest in Anchorage was the issue of panhandling and homeless camps. This issue was a strong motivator in community involvement throughout the TF process. Lessons LearnedThe Task Force should be attached, through subcommittee, to an existing Municipal Commission or Assembly approved body. This allows for an elevated Task Force status as well as providing a mechanism for a speedier and more unfettered process for the Task Force to formulate and begin its work. Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan Researching past efforts was a radical departure from other Commissions and Boards I have participated in. Normally, TF members barely have time to attend meetings let alone research past efforts on the issue. As result of being in the MAP program while I was chairing the TF I researched previous efforts to address homelessness in Anchorage. What I found directly contributed to the present TFs direction and final product. I found that all 6 efforts focused only on one sub-population of the homeless; the chronic public inebriate and that none had any implementation plans. Hence our Task Force designed our focus to include all homeless populations and created a very detailed implementation plan. </p><p>Lessons LearnedIt is very common that the most current and pressing homeless issue of the day will supersede the initial intent of a broader homeless focus. Therefore, if the intent is to produce a document that addresses all homelessness, the Chair and convener must be mindful to ensure that the narrowing of focus does not occur. Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan Forethought in TF assembly saves time. For the Anchorage TF , the convener was the Mayor. This added clout, and community and media attention to the effort as well as substantial staff support. The Chair is a critical element to the successful completion of the TF. Many Chairs are picked because of either notoriety or knowledge of the topic. The ability for the Chair to do the mundane chair tasks such as agenda creation, meeting facilitation, TF member mediation and back door politiking is often overlooked with dismal consequences. I would put this ability before either notoriety or topic knowledge when selecting a chair. A Coordinating group drives the process. This group will be attentive to and take responsibility for a sound product and meaningful participation for TF members. In Anchorage this group was comprised of a representative from the Mayors office, Director of the Community Development Division myself as Chair. We met continually throughout the TF process.Selection of TF members can be very tricky. There are many people who feel that they should be invited, especially if the TF is convened by a person in the public eye, such as the Mayor. To mitigate this, we selected TF members by community sector, such as business, faith, education, non-profit, homeless, etc. This resulted in many unexpected benefits. Lessons Learned:At the start of each meeting, have members introduce themselves by sector. This continually solidifies their purpose for attending as being broader than their particular self-interest..</p><p>Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan The coordinating group needs to fully understand the stigmas and myths surrounding the issue in order to create meaningful dialogue amongst TF members. Perspective of your topic from those most affected by it can only be found by including consumers on your Task Force Consumers in this case are people who are homeless.Describe Kim Clarks experience. Only expert on panhandling, ignored by members. Once realized, too late to fix.</p><p>Lessons LearnedBecause we had overlooked the issue of status equality, by the time its importance was realized, it was too late to make any appreciable difference. If this issue is not addressed prior to your first meeting, it will be difficult to address it without awkwardness from both consumers and non-consumers. The timing of this cannot be stressed enough. Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan Lessons LearnedHiring a facilitator for potentially heated discussions helps the group maintain camaraderie, allowing any possible hostilities to be directed toward the outside facilitator instead of the Chair or staff. This was a very effective way of maintaining a groups cohesion and facilitators are accustomed to this component of their role. Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan In order to keep people engaged, they must feel valued. They also must feel that their time spent is meaningful. Media attention focused on the Task Force kept members engaged. Chair met monthly with Mayor to keep him updated and interested. Readings helped to equalize Task Force members knowledge. Heard month of public input prior to beginning discussion. Talk about the survey. Lessons LearnedAssign a relevant question to each of the readings for better focus. This may also add to the likelihood that members will complete the assigned readings. Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan Using the internet to impart and receive information from the public allows for a greater diversity of opinions to be heard. 2 months late website in media campaign. Lessons LearnedComplete your coordinated plan for community input and response to that input prior to the announcement of the Task Force. Public participation will be diminished if this is not done.</p><p>Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan This chapter has been added as a result of unintended events that occurred near the end of the Anchorage Task Force process. These events could easily have been avoided had the Coordinating Group paid more attention to similar efforts on their topic occurring during the time that the Mayors Task Force on homelessness was meeting. For this reason, this section focuses on the attention given, or not given, to managing your Task Forces relationship to other local, State, and national efforts being made on your topic before, during, and after your process. Lessons LearnedOur lack of attention to other efforts co-occurring with the Task Force put us at odds with those involved in the other efforts. I would recommend that prior to the start of convening a Task Force, the Coordinating Group research concurrent efforts and either include them, coordinate with them, or minimally congratulate them on their efforts.Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan The end product of the TF was a plan that provides a blueprint for addressing homelessness over the next ten years. It was bold and pragmatic with 112 action steps to be completed in 1, 3, 5, and 10 year increments. Each action step had outcome measurements to be used as verification of completion by an oversight board. Each action step was assigned a responsible party; organization with ED guarantee, person within an organization, department with head guarantee. The people responsible for ensuring that the step was completed were called and asked if they would accept the responsibility of their assignment. Very important point for the success of the implementation Board.Lessons LearnedEnsure that your plan is simultaneously specific enough to be measurable and vague enough to encompass changing events over a ten-year period, Keeping equal focus on year one and year ten was difficult. Many of the initial recommendations were focused on immediate issues and short-term solutions. It was a constant struggle to compel Task Force members to stay equally focused on the ten-year solution and potential ten-year problems.Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan Value of handbook is that when I was looking for other instructional handbooks for TF development, all the research led me to TF reports. It was clear that the focus and effort of all TFs is in their final report and that the success of a TF is usually judged by its final report. However, little follow up is done on whether or not a report has been implemented. And if is hasnt, I found no research on the reasons why. This was another impetus for me to write this. The creation of the oversight board, was a unique feature of this TF. The beauty of this oversight board is that it is attached to the HAND Commission by Municipal ordnance and can only be disassemble by the Assembly. This protects it from future political whim It also is directed to only focus on homelessness, with its prime directive being to oversee the implementation of the ten year plan. </p><p>Lessons LearnedThe choice of Implementation Board Chair is important. Explain why. </p><p>Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan Task Forces, Commissions, and Boards are all mechanisms for creating, affecting, and implementing policy. This is where meaningful change occurs. To create sustainable and brilliant policy careful attention must be paid to the method of creation. Convening a group with diverse opinions, expertise, perspectives, and experiences to study a common issue is a unique mechanism that, if done well, can provide extraordinary results. This mechanism can create community spirit or community discord. </p><p> The power of community input is the foundation of the democratic system. Creating the vehicle for this type of change can be a daunting responsibility. I believe, as stated in the introduction, that a democracy is only as strong as the involvement of its members. For a democracy to function, community members need to become, and remain, involved in issues affecting their communities. Without a level of commitment and participation, communities are left to a handful of people who many times become involved for personal gain instead of for the communitys greater good. I hope that this handbook will improve community efforts where the impossible becomes the attainable and the communitys greater good is served. Task Force Development-Hilary A. Morgan The information gleaned from coordinating and analyzing Anchorages TF process made me realize that an instructi...</p></li></ul>

Recommended

View more >