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Environment Agency: Flood community engagement plan: Initiation workshop

Lead Organisation

Sustainability West Midlands
Project Manager: Alan Carr (Sustainability Adviser)


The Environment Agency (EA) commissioned SWM to convene a workshop that took place on 30 March 2017, bringing together staff from across the West Midlands area to begin the development of a Strategic Community Engagement Plan that aims to help the organisation effectively target communities at risk of flooding.

The aims of the workshop were as follows:

  • Develop a better understanding of how the EA currently engages with communities and why.
  • How does the EA currently prioritise engagement work in the West Midlands?
  • What datasets and tools does the EA currently use to inform engagement plans and what format is the data stored in? Or what datasets should or could they use?

Results and achievements

  • Process to kick start the six-year Strategic Community Engagement Plan
  • Identification of 30 different methods that the EA uses to engage with communities
  • 41 partners were identified as to key to engaging with when developing the Plan
  • A strong understanding of how to prioritise which communities to intervene in first
  • 55 datasets were identified that are used to help this prioritisation
  • A series of recommendations provided by SWM were developed outlining how the EA should take forward their community engagement work consequent of these findings.

“We recognised the value of SWM in terms of their ability to convene high quality workshops and their knowledge and experience of climate resilience. They were able to help us take forward our work on developing a Strategic Community Engagement Plan by bringing together a number of EA staff from across our area which will give us the remit to produce a plan that is fully integrated. The success of the event was also due to SWM’s refreshing and engaging approach to facilitation and their subsequent recommendations were clear, honest and realistic.”

– Sarah Kirkman, Flood Resilience Team Leader, Environment Agency

Download the full case study

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