Monitor external developments
What is it?
Monitoring the wider environment for changes that might have a bearing on the intervention.
Why do this?
Observing the wider environment for any changes (positive or negative) that might have a bearing on the intervention allows you to keep the intervention up to date and consistent with trends and developments in your area. It helps keep your intervention fresh and responsive.
How might you do this?
- Monitor changes in the local community and wider areas, media coverage, policy changes, changes in treatment guidelines, progress with similar initiatives that might shape attitudes of policy makers towards your issue, what has happened with similar initiatives in other areas (both successes and failures), and shifts in political priorities and policy intentions. Keeping a diary of events can be useful
- Build in a periodic check on these kinds of issues into the agenda of your core team meetings, possibly on a monthly or quarterly basis
- When you spot changes that might have implications for your intervention, make sure you set aside enough time to consider them fully and, if appropriate, plan your response
- Try and avoid looking only at the detail of your own intervention and getting too bogged down in the demands flowing from it
- Keep an eye on the wider picture and remember that there will be many others in different parts of the country facing similar challenges
- Stay ‘tuned-in’ to new priorities emerging that might affect your project
- Stay engaged with the wider social marketing community and the growing stock of good practice available
- Information that keeps you informed of the wider environment in which you are working
- Leadership that is responsive and keeps the intervention on course