Implementation Task Force

The Implementation Task Force advocates for implementation of the recommendations of the Study Committee. After the Community Council Board of Directors has approved a Study report, the President of the Board selects a Chairman for an Implementation Task Force.

All Study Committee members are invited to serve on the Implementation Task Force, and other interested citizens may join as well. Because of the potential for a conflict of interest, people employed at management levels of organizations toward which recommendations are directed are asked not to serve on the Implementation Task Force.

Implementation Strategy

The first step for the Task Force is to develop a strategy, including a general timetable and priorities among the recommendations. To be considered when developing a strategy is whether the strategy is sustainable and contributes to a sustainable community.

Usually, implementation efforts go on for about two years. During the early months of the implementation process, the Task Force's strategy is presented in written form to the Community Council Board of Directors for concurrence.

Once the strategy is set, contacts are made with the decision-makers and institutions toward whom recommendations are to be directed. Initially, the goal is to draw attention to the recommendations and to seek clarity in their intent. Contacts quickly move from sharing information to advocating for implementation.

The Implementation process differs from the Study process. There are no weekly meetings. Contacts are made and meetings are held only as needed. Contacts may be made by individuals or small groups of Task Force members. Activity may come in spurts, as decisions by public officials are anticipated or as discussion of issues becomes intense. At other times, action may be limited to fairly passive monitoring of progress.

Sometimes circumstances change in relation to recommendations. The Task Force and its Chair have authority from the Board of Directors to advocate on the Community Council’s behalf consistent with the recommendations. If the Task Force becomes convinced that an alternative or an additional recommendation is desirable or if the Task Force wants to substantially alter its strategy, it is obligated to return to the Board of Directors for guidance.

The Role of Staff

Staff assistance for the Implementation process is limited to logistical and informational tasks. Normally, the staff person does not actively participate in advocacy and lobbying, but accompanies volunteers to all meetings with decision makers.

The Results

After sufficient time and effort have been expended and substantial progress toward implementation should have been made, the Task Force reviews the project status. Often, a recommendation may not be fully implemented but seems to have been accepted by the appropriate decision-maker or institution and seems to be on track toward implementation. At this point, the Task Force may agree that it has achieved success because the community has embraced the recommendation.

When members of the Task Force determine that sufficient influence has been exerted, usually after about two years of effort, they draw up a final report, reviewing the process followed and the results for each recommendation. The Chair presents this report to the Community Council Board of Directors. The Board may accept the report and officially close the Community Council’s implementation effort or it may suggest additional action.

Usually, implementation continues informally because the volunteers who have invested so much effort in a community issue don't want to end their involvement. Years later, they may still be involved in the same issues.

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