Field trips are organised trips where participants visit physical sites. They are very useful for letting people to ‘see for themselves’ the place where a development is proposed to be placed or through which an issue can be further explained and better understood both by or for participants.
"Field Trips are a venue for providing information and at times, opportunities for participant input. Public input is possible when other participative activities are combined with the field trip. A popular technique for environmental, planning and design-related participation processes, field trips are especially useful as a complement to conference presentations, or when written work such as reports are inappropriate.
Advice for CHOOSING this option (tips and traps)
This option is appropriate for..
- Use when the issue being considered has a geographic focus.
- Use when a large number of stakeholders are involved in the process.
- Use where participants require information or education and these are best provided or explained on-site.
- Use when a demonstration will be more effective than presentations.
- Adding transparency and education to the process of participation.
- Providing opportunity for rapport with key stakeholders.
- Creating greater public knowledge of issues and processes.
Advice for USING this option (tips and traps)
Keep in mind that...
- Can be costly if a large number of experts are engaged to present on site.
- Larger numbers of participants require large number of staff/facilitators.
- The number of participants is limited by logistics.
- Can be potentially attractive to protesters.
This advice comes from Department of Sustainability and Environment (2005), Book 3: The Engagement Toolkit.Effective Engagement: building relationships with community and other stakeholders, The Community Engagement Network Resource and Regional Services Division Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment.
- The Engagement Toolkit: Page 37 of this resource provides a detailed description and advice for using this option, its estimated costs, skills level and resources required.
- Participant Produced Video: Giving participants camcorders as a social research options
- Using Direct Observation Techniques:This document from USAID provides a range of detailed tips for undertaking direct observation in the field.
- How to Use Observation in Evaluation: how to use observation effectively in evaluation and includes a list of suggestions for quality observation.
Department of Sustainability and Environment (2005), Book 3: The Engagement Toolkit.Effective Engagement: building relationships with community and other stakeholders, The Community Engagement Network, Resource and Regional Services Division Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment. Retrieved from http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/105825/Book_3_-_The_Engagement_Toolkit.pdf