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Empowerment (EVC)

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Four end-of-project reports were commissioned and published in 2010/11. 

Community Led Planning
A follow-up on the 2008/09 report outlining the outcomes of adopting a community led planning approach in rural areas.

Sustainable Neighbourhood Resources
A report presenting the outcomes of a research project, building on previous research into good practice in neighbourhood regeneration.

Warwickshire Community Anchors
A programme update on a countrywide Community Anchors project based in Warwickshire following a pilot project in Rugby in 2009/10.

Every Voice Counts (EVC) and the Targeted Support Fund (TSEPI) in the West Midlands
A final report to present the findings from the information gathered during the evaluation of the EVC and TSEPI programmes along with the evaluation team’s analysis and thoughts.



Eight activities were commissioned and the resulting reports; three of which were combined into one document around Empowerment Champions. As the emphasis on working with Local Authorities grew, these activities focused on stronger links with these NI4 leads across the region for gathering practice, understanding and learning from practice which enables and promotes community empowerment and engagement. The eighth activity was the development of the interactive EVCWM website

Developing and supporting empowerment champions [1.07mB, PDF]
A report on the development of Champions in these 3 important groups (BAME / Youth / Disability) around improving and embedding quality and impact of citizen empowerment activity, citizens’ engagement activity and community development activity.

Community based research project [657kB, PDF]
A comprehensive report detailing empowerment stories of community-based practitioners in 8 Local Authorities, exploring what works and why in empowering their communities and influencing service delivery.

Rurality and empowerment [1.61mB, PDF]
This report explores the ways that Community Led Planning/Parish Plans can feed into Local Authority Strategic Planning and Community Strategies in a meaningful way. It also sets out the benefits for both parties in a clear and concise way and provides a comprehensive online guide to the process.

Locality planning [695kB, PDF]
This report was commissioned to capture the good practice in neighbourhood regeneration developed by the six New Deal for Communities (NDC) pathfinders in the West Midlands) and includes the identification of a number of obstacles to effective neighbourhood working that are highly relevant to understanding the current context.

Border group voices
The advice in this guide can be applied to one off events, new opportunities, needs or problems and will help to enable a strong democratic community voice with which to influence.



Four reports were commissioned and published in 2008/09 which reflected the recommendations in the reports of the previous year. There was a focus on particular methodology which would enable empowerment of the citizen and increase the percentage of the population feeling able to participate and influence decisions.

A Speakers' Corner project [360kB, PDF]
A case study outlining a rural model of engagement and participation which could be replicated across the West Midlands.

Community led planning [442kB, PDF]
An opportunity to understand the ways that community led planning can be used to improve the percentage of people who feel able to influence decisions affecting their locality in rural areas.

The Structured Dialogue Method for learning from stories [910kB, PDF]
A pilot testing the SDM as a methodology for triangulating evidence from the stories people tell which enables a collaboratively formed and robust theory of change: what could be done to make things better; what needs to change and what not.

Communities in control? [542kB, PDF]
An examination of the extent to which community assets and asset transfers are being effectively utilised across the West Midlands.



Four reports were published by the EVC programme in 2007/08, highlighting recurring issues and concerns: sustainable funding, management capacity, no place at the table and unequal voice. Each commissioned report explores a particular workstream in depth and concludes with recommendations to take forward. The reports make useful reading for public sector policy and decision makers, as much as community empowerment and community development workers.

BME communities and the empowerment agenda [1.35mB, PDF]
The researchers report a strong sense of tokenism by public bodies when consulting the BME sector.

Community Empowerment: working together to achieve! [537kB, PDF]
This report looked at the development of the ‘Women Organising in Wolverhampton’ Network, its achievements, challenges, and lessons learnt.

Parish plans community empowerment and engagement [748kB, PDF]
Part 1 of a series of 3 reports providing an analysis of the way in which local communities contribute to planning public services in rural areas.

Community empowerment and the Local Area Agreement process [938kB, PDF]
Although 2010 heralds changes in policy the mapping contained in this report may still have relevance for planning and delivering public services.