5 steps to stakeholder engagement and co-creation
Local government agencies such as water boards and municipalities sometimes find it difficult to connect with local residents. This is often due to a lack of trust and a specific knowledge gap as well as a difference of communication between the senders (government) and receivers (local people). In these situations it is useful for governments to not only use their own networks but also those of community intermediaries and partners. In Leiden good results have been obtained with neighbourhood ambassadors (https://www.gagoed.nl/wijkambassadeurs/). An ambassador is a well-respected local individual whose authority makes it possible to communicate with ‘hard to reach’ audiences. Ambassadors hold peer-to-peer conversations about a topic or issue with as many stakeholders as possible, and based on their findings they advise municipal civil servants.