Community Engagement Guidebook

Community Engagement Guidebook

Child entering a raffleOverview: What is Community Engagement?
Resources & Tools
Groups & Events: Planning, Organizing, and Conducting
Multicultural Community Resources
Community Engagement Resources

Engaging community members in problem-solving solutions to issues that affect them is one of the fundamental principles of public health. The most effective way to achieve public health goals, especially the elimination of disparities in health status, is to actively engage those experiencing the problems in every aspect of addressing them. Community engagement means involving community members in all activities—from identifying the relevant issues and making decisions about how to address them, to evaluating and sharing the results with the community. The information found here provides background, tips and tools for effective community engagement.

I. Overview: What is Community Engagement?
These pages examine the principles and lessons behind community engagement.

  1. Benefits of Community Engagement
  2. Two-Way Communication
  3. Models of Community Engagement
  4. Principles of Community Engagement
  5. Assessing Your Organization's Readiness to Engage the Community
  6. Recommendations for Parent Participation
  7. What Is Public Participation?

II. Resources and Tools
These pages provide models, strategies and tools for community engagement.

  1. Things to Know when Choosing Tools
    1. Characteristics of needs assessment tools
    2. Choosing programs: Is this program right for us?
    3. Getting a Start on Citizen and Stakeholder Participation: An Overview for Agency Staff
  2. Strategies and Skills
    1. Community engagement strategies: opportunities to participate
    2. A brief overview of data collection methods
    3. When to use focus groups
  3. Tools
    1. Community Opinion Survey
    2. Sample survey of community activities
  4. Evaluating Your Success
    1. Is Your Coalition on the Road to Success?

III. Groups and Events: Planning, Organizing, and Conducting
Mobilizing key community people and organizations—and keeping them engaged—helps ensure a project's success. These tools focus on the process of forming and running groups and meetings.

  1. Charges, Missions, and Program Overviews
    1. Attributes of a Successful Group or Committee
    2. Community Advisory Council (Purpose, Roles and Responsibilities, Resource Members, Decision-making Process)
    3. Mission: How Clear Is Your Mission?
    4. Mission: Developing a Mission Statement
    5. Writing a Program Overview
  2. Meeting Protocol: Conducting and Facilitating Meetings
    1. Meeting Tips
    2. Parliamentary Procedure
      1. Suggested Order of Business
      2. Types of Motions
    3. The First Meeting
    4. Common Meeting Problems
  3. Facilitating and Encouraging Participation
    1. Is Your Coalition on the Road to Success?
    2. Community Opinion Survey
    3. A Tale of Two Open Houses: The Open House Technique
    4. The Basics of Creating a Participation Strategy
    5. The First Meeting
    6. Volunteers: Responsibilities and Rights
  4. Decision-Making Styles and Models
    1. Consensus Management
    2. Decision Making: We Need to Make a Decision!
    3. Levels of Consensus Tool

IV. Multicultural Community Resources
The process of community engagement often involves integrating practices of preventing discrimination, correcting imbalances, and managing relationships of difference. These tools can help to increase diversity, promote cultural competence, and enhance organizational credibility and effectiveness in your project or program.

  1. About Multicultural Communities
  2. Characteristics of Culturally Competent Organizations
  3. Ground Rules: Cross-Cultural Dialogue
  4. Moving Along the Cultural Competence Continuum: An Ongoing Journey

V. Community Engagement Resources
This page contains links to additional information on community engagement and related information.