The most important lesson that surfaced from the LACCDR process is that you cannot come in with an agenda to the community. You have to listen to the community and, if you listen, people will participate. “You can always tie in emergency preparedness later on if that’s your goal but you have to listen to people first,” offered our focus group.
The coalition facilitators were trained in facilitation and had LAC DPH resources to provide support to coalition activities. However, finding ways to implement the ideas of the community was sometimes tough.
To overcome this challenge, the facilitators met regularly with project leadership to debrief about their activities.
These debrief meetings provided a venue for the facilitators to support one another, collaboratively develop ideas, and receive technical assistance from other project partners.