Key Informant Interviews: a critical component of an agency’s comprehensive strategic planning process. A recent story from the United Neighbors of Fitchburg (UNF).

Who should they talk to? The most powerful- funders, elected officials , business leaders, head of agencies (both cooperating and competing agencies) and the most disenfranchised powerful – residents, clients, activists, etc.  In other words, the full spectrum. It is a unique chance to have an excuse to go ask the whole community  - what do you think about how we are doing?

Sample: Key Informant Questions for Board Interviews

  1. What are the strengths of Fitchburg for people of color and whites?
  2. What are the challenges for people of color and white in Fitchburg?
  3. hy do you think these challenges exist?  What do you think are the root causes?
  4. What can the UNF do to address those challenges?
  5. Would you be willing to partner with us  to be part of the solution? If so how?(please be specific)
  6. Who else could we be partnering with?
  7. How well do you know what the CNC /UNF does?
  8. As you see it what does UNF/CNC do well? What are its  strengths?
  9. Are you aware of any issues with UNF/CNC? Areas where we can improve?
  10. What else could the UNF/CNC be doing?
  11. Where might we seek financial or other support.How might the work of your organization integrate with the work that the UNF is doing?  How can we work together?
  12.  What is your organization’s work with the Latino community?
  13. What should Fitchburg be doing to promote the discussion of race and immigration and what is the UNF’s role?

Who does the interviews? Not a consultant – but the director, the staff, and all the board members.

What did we learn? The agency is very well thought of by the many in the community. There were areas where they could improve ie. some programs were seen as not especially well run- when those kinds of multiple nominations come in from outside the agency – it was time to get a close look at your programs.

Many saw wonderful opportunities for UNF. They also saw wonderful opportunities for the growth of the role of the Latino immigrant community in the future of the city.

The information received was incredibly useful – it was the starting point of the day long Board planning retreat. And it increased buy-in from the board – they went out into the community as Ambassadors of UNF and felt some pride in that role.

It also increased buy in from the staff – who were involved in mainly doing focus groups with community residents and groups of program participants (youth, etc.).

The UNF’s new vision is to enhance the future of Fitchburg by promoting, and developing the Latino and immigrant populations as cultural, and economic strengths, and future leaders of Fitchburg.

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spring 2016 Issue

  • My recent editorial in the Global Journal of Community Psychology

  • Sustainability Revisited with Avenir D’Enfants in Quebec

  • New Opportunities for Collaborative Solutions with Hospitals and Health Care Systems Emerging from Obama’s Affordable Care Act

  • Key Informant Interviews

  • Connect to Protect

  • New Resources

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