Some questions to ask
- Are we clear about who needs to be engaged, and why?
- Have those who are directly experiencing the problem been participating?
- Have people who have responsibility or influence to change conditions been participating?
- Is it rewarding to participate (e.g., roles, rewards, respect)?
- Is it relatively easy to participate (e.g., time, effort, location)?
- Are people able to participate effectively?
- Have we created an environment that encourages full and continued participation?
Some recommended actions for promoting engagement
- __ Determine why you need or want other people to get involved.
- __ Identify those who need to be involved, including those most affected and those who can address the group’s goals.
- __ Reach out to those you most want to involve through trusted people, organizations, and networks.
- __ Communicate the need and benefits of taking action together.
- __ Make participation more rewarding and attractive.
- __ Make participation easier and of lower cost (i.e., time, effort, money).
- __ Improve peoples’ abilities to be involved (e.g., provide information, skill training, technical support).
- __ Create an environment that fosters full and continued participation.
- __ Plan for involving new generations of people and organizations.
Examples of engagement
- Engaging local residents in addressing health equity and food access in Lawrence-Douglas County
- Engaging schools in planning for a system of trauma-informed care in Wilson County
Resources to help you engage
Tools from the Community Tool Box
Toolkit: Increasing Participation and Membership
Encouraging Involvement in Community Work
Participatory Approaches to Planning Community Interventions
Maximizing Community Stakeholders’ Engagement
Developing a Plan for Increasing Participation in Community Action
Involving People Most Affected by the Problem
Involving Key Influentials in the Initiative
Identifying Targets and Agents of Change: Who Can Benefit and Who Can Help
Using Community Sectors to Reach Targets and Agents of Changes
Methods of Contacting Potential Participants
Promoting Participation Among Diverse Groups
Providing Support for Staff and Volunteers
Building and Sustaining Relationships
Tools from KDHE and Other Sources
Creating Health Equity Through Community Engagement
Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity