Issue Area Groups
Guidelines for IAGs
Key Benefits of Serving as a CAN IAG
- Increase the visibility and expand the capacity to address an issue area and the overall well-being of the community,
- Participate in a community improvement planning process supported by key organizations with significant resources and influence in Central Texas,
- Present information and recommendations to community leaders to create a focus for advocacy and opportunities to mobilize resources/support,
- Enhance community awareness about community conditions and initiatives through televised meetings/forums, CAN website, issue-specific websites supported by CAN, FAQs, press releases/conferences, and reports,
- Interact and building relationships with stakeholders within and across issue areas to share information, align efforts, and develop/share resources,
- Identify cross-cutting issues that can be addressed through a multi-disciplinary and integrated process (within and across IAGs) leading to increased buy-in and sustainability, and
- Access research and reports that can help inform planning, resource development, budgetary, and implementation efforts.
Qualities of IAGs
Organization – Determines its own leadership, membership, structure and by-laws or guidelines.
Inclusive Leadership – Diplomatic, fair, tolerant, approachable leadership that is able to listen to and engage diverse stakeholders with varying perspectives in constructive dialogue.
Diverse Membership – Broad and varied representation of stakeholders that can work together collaboratively to address an issue area.
Open Dialogue / Community Input – Fosters an atmosphere that promotes and creates opportunities for input from its membership and other stakeholders.
Serves as a Champion for the Issue Area - Provides leadership, advocacy and a strategic vision for addressing the issue and ultimately the overall health and well-being of each and all individuals in the community, including:
- A shared vision, mission and values that provide the impetus for change within the issue area continuum and across issue areas.
- Accurate, useful, accessible and balanced information about community conditions to raise community awareness about the issue and its impact on the overall well-being of the community.
- Community indicators that help portray the status of a particular issue and help gauge the community's progress in addressing the issue.
- Plans, goals and strategies that provide short-term and long-term views and a strategic direction toward accomplishment of the group's vision and mission of ultimately improving community conditions and desired outcomes. These should incorporate research into root causes, cost benefits and/or return on investment of implementing solutions, and best practices.
- Collaborative action based on strategies identified by the IAG.
Examples include information sharing; advocacy/public policy initiatives; community awareness campaigns; integrated services/programs; resource development/sharing; volunteer/staff recruitment and training; and/or identification/sharing of best practices and cost-effective strategies.
- Ongoing assessment of the strategic direction of the IAG including an evaluation of the outcomes and impacts of actions taken to address community conditions. This can also help gauge progress by providing a comparison of reality with the vision for the issue area and/or community.
Be Willing to Participate in a Community Improvement Planning Process Within and Across Issue Areas- Designates points of contacts, issue area experts and/or representatives to work in collaboration with leaders and/or representatives of other issue area groups to address cross-cutting issues.
On-going Communication with CAN - Keeps CAN staff and CAN bodies informed about IAG activities including meeting times, agendas, new initiatives, and membership. Provides issue area updates to CAN website and newsletter.
Click here to view or download the above Guidelines as a PDF document.