Indicators for creating collaborative and equitable decision making

ISO suggestions or resources to review as my team and I develop ways to report on “collaborative and equitable decision making.” Initial ideas include:

  • consistent attendance at meetings
  • consistent participation (definitely don’t have the interest nor means to establish specific % of talk, though it might be informally attended to)
  • a diversified agenda with opportunities for whole and small-group discussions
    Anyone have any thoughts?
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The examples you mention seem a bit more like indicators of healthy meetings? I think you’d also want to be careful to look at each of your indicators and ask what kinds of biases could be at play. E.g., if everyone is expected to talk equally, how does that accommodate people who like to listen more, who need time to process, who may have social anxiety, who prefer written, asynchronous decision-making, etc. In terms of actual suggestions, you might want to look at things outside of meetings, like transparency in decisions or diverse representation in the decision-making process (who gets to ideate in the first place? What are the power dynamics at play and are they being mitigated to allow equitable collaboration?). I think about the characteristics of “white supremacy culture” all the time. It seems important to think about how organizational culture issues affect decision-making.

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Thanks, Mike, for your reflections. You make a great point about biases that could inform these indicators. I agree, it is important to think about these issues. I’m thinking about how these biases may be different based on the relationships between the meeting participants. For those who’ve just met, these biases may be more pronounced but with building trust and reflection, these could be reduced to meet the needs of each participant. Hm. You’ve given me some food for thought, thanks!

Good luck! Would be interested to hear what yall come up with if you think to share back here.

I attended the National Academy of Medicine’s " Conversation on Assessing Meaningful Community Engagement" on March 30th. They presented 4 components for assessing engagement that might be helpful for you to consider:
Strengthened partnerships and alliances; Expanded knowledge; Improved health programs; and Thriving communities.
The one area that seems most relevant to your question is “Strengthened Partnerships”. Under that area, some key indicator categories 1) diversity and inclusivity; 2) Partnerships and opportunities; 3) Acknowledgement and recognition; 4) Sustained relationships; 5) Mutual value; 6) Trust; 7) Shared power; and 8) Structural supports for community engagement.

They are going to publish the actual indicators later this year. But, it might be a good place for you to start to begin to consider which of these might be appropriate for your work.

You may have already moved on (I just joined the community) but wanted to share another idea. You may want to collect qualitative data from teammates using a brief survey on a semi-regular basis to see if teammates feel the environment is collaborative and if there is equitable decision making.


Hello! I wanted to follow up on this and see if you know whether the indicators have been published?

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Great suggestion! Do you have any good examples of tools used for qualitative assessments like this?

@ahblackwell - I think a simple survey using google form could work! Or maybe check out TinyPulse

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Great conversation! One additional idea I would add is to make the project of defining your indicators of

is to develop them in collaboration with the people you are hoping to include in the decisions. We like to use a scaffolding called the Perspective Microscope tool to explore where you should look for data and what kind of indicators could be found there from a variety of perspectives. I always forget and am delighted to find just how narrow my own brainstorming of possible indicators is compared to the people actually inside the processes I’m involved in.