Feedback

What is this Tool?

  • A process for providing participants with information about the impact of their actions.
  • Individual feedback provides information on the impact of an individuals participation.
  • Community feedback provides the results of an entire group\''s efforts.
  • A key element of social learning theory (http://rex.nci.nih.gov/NCI_Pub_Interface/Theory_at_glance/HOME.html)

Why Would You Use It?

  • Because feedback helps individuals learn from their actions and make improvements.
  • Because it enables people to see how they are making a difference, and is therefore an important element of building motivation.
  • Because it helps develop community norms by showing that many others are participating.

When Would You Use It?

  • Individual feedback should be provided whenever a practical method is available for doing so.
  • Group feedback should always be provided. It is usually best to do so once the results being shared are sufficiently inspiring.

How Would You Use It?

 
1. Decide what you would like to provide feedback on..

Examples

JEEP provided feedback on progress toward its main goal - achieving a specific reduction in electricity usage.

Global Action Plan (GAP) participants were provided with information on both individual and group progress toward achieving the program's objectives. These objectives included diversion of waste from landfill, and reductions in the use of electricity, natural gas, water and transportation fuel. GAP also publicized the amount of money that participants saved through their actions, because cost savings was one factor that motivated people totake action.

Your Program

List your programs key measurable objectives (see "Planning Guide)".

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3. Login to Save Plans for Tools of Change

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Also list the key factors that motivate people to do the activity. Feedback on these factors may be particularly relevant and inspiring to participants and those interested in becoming involved.

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Check off those you can cost-effectively track on an individual basis and on a group basis.

 
2. Provide individual feedback if practical.

Examples

JEEP, BC21 PowerSmart and the Green Community programs (see ReCAP, Guelph 2000, The Environment Network and Peterborough GreenUp) provided the installation of energy and water conservation devices, to ensure that the devices would actually be installed, and installed properly.

Information on what each group member had done between meetings was sent by GAP's EcoTeams to a central and community database. There it was converted into resulting savings for each individual and fed back to the group at the end of the program.

Resource Alert for Canadians:
The EnerGuide for Houses Program provides a second home visit, including blower door test, that confirms the benefits of actions taken and ensures that they were completed correctly.

Sustainable Alberta provided feedback on its website, and through prizes awarded directly to participants. Some participating individuals also received prizes from their employers. A party at the close of the event also allowed individuals to celebrate their participation in the event.

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A JEEP home visit team examines utility bills to determine potential cost savings available to homeowners. Future bills will provide individual feedback.

Your Program

Which items (if any) that you identified in step 1 would be practical to report back to individuals?

How might you provide this feedback?

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3. Decide how to provide cost- effective community feedback.

Examples

Recognition for participants in The Clean Air Commute was provided through an awards ceremony for companies that earned the greatest number of points and through congratulatory newspaper ads which listed all participating companies.

Go Boulder arranged for an average of two stories each month in the local newspaper, featuring stories of individual success and community participation. Five video presentations were run repeatedly on the community television channel. Additional feedback was provided through promotional literature, special events, and presentations to community organizations.

JEEP used a large, compact-fluorescent light bulb sign placed in the centre of town to provide community feed back on kilowatts of power saved. Feedback was also provided through newspaper articles, advertisements and project reports.

Quinte Regional Recycling provided positive feedback to its citizens through radio spots, video presentations on local television stations, newspaper articles, and a yearly waste-reduction calendar. These featured stories about citizens and local businesses who participated effectively in the Blue Box 2000 program and made a difference in their community through their composting or recycling efforts.

Tip: In general, stick to a few items to give community feedback.

Tip: For tips on feedback that people will be more likely to notice, remember and act on, see the Tool Vivid, Personalized Communication.

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JEEPs community feedback sign.

Your Program

List the items for which you can provide community feedback:

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How could you provide it?
Login to Save Plans for Tools of Change signs tracking progress
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Login to Save Plans for Tools of Change literature/newsletters
Login to Save Plans for Tools of Change special events
Login to Save Plans for Tools of Change presentations