Stakeholder Engagement, Naturally!

The Northern & Yorke Natural Resource Management Board faced a dilemma  common in regional peak body organisations: How do we do engage with new stakeholders with fewer resources?

If we focus on a new market, how do we ensure we don’t lose the gains made with volunteers and other highly engaged stakeholders?

We’ve just wrapt up a Regional Stakeholder Engagement Strategy with Natural Resources Northern and Yorke. The aim was to identify which stakeholders to communicate with when, and for what purpose. One of the overarching aims for the  Board was to achieve landscape-scale natural resource management (NRM)  projects in the Northern and Yorke region of SA.

The process involved the first broad community e-survey of attitudes towards NRM  ever undertaken,  a facilitated workshop with the NRNY management team in Claire, phone consultation with industry decision-makers and involvement from Board members.

Such a diverse region  – in agriculture, marine, tourism and resources –  called for a range of approaches and very diverse feedback on priorities. Recommendations outline specific actions for a more focused use of resources to engage better with new segments in the community where there’s a fit with the Board’s Business Plan. The Strategy was specifically developed to be a practical tool to be implemented by the management team with staff. It sits underneath the Board’s Business Plan to guide Communications and staff training needs in the next 2-3 years.

NRM is delivered by a range of partner and competitor organisations so we worked with the Board and management to better understand their point of difference and develop business-to-business  (B2B for the jargon lovers!) relationships with non-traditional segments, over time.  We found plenty of great ideas from stakeholders on new ways of working with the NRM Board in mining, local government and primary production.

 

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