Why Use VOiCE?
Users of VOiCE have identified a wide range of applications and benefits from adopting the tool. VOiCE has been found to be easy and efficient to use. Whilst providing a very thorough approach to engagement of communities it has also been found to provide a common language for describing community engagement and to offer a straightforward way of understanding the requirements of best practice. In turn these characteristics have enabled better co-ordination and consistency.
It was designed, and is primarily used, to analyse, plan, conduct and evaluate engagement. Users report positively on each of these aspects of the tool and on the logical process involved in working through each stage. VOiCE has also been applied retrospectively to review work that is already completed. In the light of experience it has been possible to highlight strengths and weaknesses of practice and learn lessons for future activity.
VOiCE has been found to be a robust tool for the practice of engagement not only by individuals but also for teams, intra and inter-agency partnerships. It has allowed those conducting the engagement to produce clear and accurate records in a focused and efficient manner and in turn enabled efficient and informed production of clear evidence based evaluative reports.
VOiCE places emphasis on clarity of purpose through the setting of clear and measurable outcomes. It has therefore enabled an approach to engagement that can be integrated into wider outcome based vision and planning statements such as the Single Outcome Agreements between Councils and their community planning partners.
Overall users feel that VOiCE has enabled them to work more effectively towards the achievement of the National Standards for Community Engagement and reported that the software has supported their teams to more effectively manage and coordinate engagements.