PLANNING YOUR CO-DESIGN ACTIVITY

Including unique and diverse needs in the co-design process is an effective way to ensure our design adapts to a broader range of needs. However, involving citizens in a co-design process may seem expensive, time consuming, and overwhelming. This template provides a list of items to consider when planning, executing, facilitating, and reporting a co-design process based on your goals, context, and resources. It can be used in any format or order, and adapted for your own processes by adding, removing, and modifying its content. If you have any comments regarding this template or the following resources, please send us an email via cities@idrc.ocadu.ca.

A list of resources is provided to elaborate on each section of the template. These resources include best practices, reflections of our own co-design experiences, and practical tools to plan a co-design process. We encourage all those involved in co-design to share their perspectives, methods, challenges, and learnings by completing this form and contributing to this public resource.

RESOURCE TYPES

What topics to explore?

Identifying project scope in collaboration with the community helps to incorporate specific needs and contexts.
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Defining the purpose of exploring a topic facilitates the development of a co-design process.
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The clarity and openness of a topic can impact how participants discuss and develop ideas.
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Who is going to be there?

Actively integrating people at the margins helps to develop ideas that can benefit everyone.
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It is challenging to create an environment where participants with diverse needs can collaborate.
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Engaging marginalized groups in a co-design process is difficult due to past mistreatments.
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Understanding who is currently excluded from the process helps to develop new ways of engagement.
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How to build trust?

It takes humility, respect, and transparency to earn your collaborators and participants trust.
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To build trust, participants should be clearly informed of their rights and terms of participation.
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Building lasting relationships requires open mindedness, transparency, and clear negotiation of roles.
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Contributor license agreements clarify terms of participation and ownership of contributions.
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Getting participant insight about the process helps to build trust and refine future events.
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Group attribution forms offer an efficient way to attribute collective work.
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The Arnstein’s ladder of citizen participation helps to assess your community engagement efforts.
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What activities to plan?

To enable equal participation, activities should be accessible and understandable for all participants.
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Accessibility of an activity relies on its physical presentation, format, length and use of language.
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Facilitating a group with different perspectives and needs requires open mindedness and flexibility.
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This list highlights the items that should be considered when planning a collaborative event.
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This warm-up activity encourages individuals to engage in a playful and collaborative ideation process.
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Links to all the worksheets we used throughout our co-design process are provided here.
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An inclusive city imaginary is a collaborative tool to explore city designs from different perspectives.
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This tool enables different levels of participation from individual reflections to group discussion.
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Story puzzle encourages participants to collaborate to put different pieces of a story back together.
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This tool helps participants to reflect on their urban experiences and identify high/low risk areas.
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What to do with the output?

Identify the means that enable people to change and expand the end product to fit their needs.
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Co-design leads to unmeasurable experiences that can deeply impact the community.
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Open processes enable greater participation, however, they should protect their participants’ privacy.
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Inclusion of all ideas was difficult sometimes due to lack of context, limited or non-legible notes.
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It is essential to openly share the results of co-design events with the participants and the community.
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How to manage logistics?

People with diverse needs require different communication channels to be engaged.
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Accessibility of the venue has a direct impact on full participation of those attending.
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Organizing a co-design event includes factors that the team cannot control and should be ready to adapt to.
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Access guides help to reduce the anxiety of being in a new place and among a group of strangers.
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This list includes some of the main costs inherent in running of a co-design event.
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These strategies provide basic instructions for facilitating diverse co-design events.
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A respectful, clear, and well planned invitation is the first step to build trust and engage people.
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This to-do list helps co-design organizers to delegate tasks and track progress.
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