There is one principle which is key to ensuring the legacy of a project: empowerment. Real empowerment starts with training and developing the competencies (knowledge, practical skills and attitudes) of the communities you are engaged with. Empowerment means that the people you are working with are not passive community members, but active participants. As such, they deserve encouragement to develop the necessary skills to understand the issue critically, and be able to tackle it from various angles, such as activism, science or education.

Format MethodTimeframe Several daysGroup Size AllFacilitation Level MediumRequired Materials Pen and paper, Post its


  • Define the objectives of your work with the community, and identify what competencies you wish to build. Consider things like data collection, campaigning, or even data analysis.
  • Organise an event where everyone can get to know each other and have access to training in various fields. Your training sessions could include: theoretical knowledge on the issue and its impacts and consequences; practical skills in how to engage with the media; skills for using various sensors to capture data on pollution; uploading data online and developing a scientific approach (i.e. what does the data say about the air quality?) and a critical skills (i.e. what actions do we need to undertake to fix the situation?).
  • Conclude the event with concrete follow-up actions where you identify the work to be undertaken over the next three months, and the responsible persons involved.
  • Completing the event does not mean that the community is ready to undertake the work: they need further mentorship and coaching. As such, it is crucial to create weekly or bi-weekly meetings (either face-to-face or virtual) to discuss the work and any potential challenges. It would also be helpful to establish more real-time communication channels, such as mailing lists or mobile chat groups: this will provide the community with access to real-time responses, as and when required.


Working with communities also means ensuring sustainability and legacy in the post-project period. As a result, this work will keep the legacy of the project alive, meaning it could potentially be scaled up in the future.


Keep in mind the guiding question while implementing this method: how do we build sustainable communities that ensure the legacy of the project?
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