Build Relationships Before Starting Work

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Consent and consultation are based on open communication and ongoing relationships. One of the most common mistakes in cross-cultural engagement is the failure to allocate enough time for the process.

‘Getting consent’ cannot be a tickbox exercise; it must include a process for negotiating changes.

Remember, too, that consent is meaningless unless there is scope to say no.

How do I do it?

  • Involve communities represented or affected by your project before the work starts and before the idea is formalised and funded.
  • Relationship-building should be considered a long-term project, founded in mutual benefit.
  • Don’t involve communities at the last minute, as urgency creates the conditions for passivity rather than assessment; it assumes an output from the community but not their input.


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