Community Engagement Guidebook
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.
These pages examine the principles and lessons behind community engagement.
- Benefits of Community Engagement
- Two-Way Communication
- Models of Community Engagement
- Principles of Community Engagement
- Assessing Your Organization's Readiness to Engage the Community
- Recommendations for Parent Participation
- What Is Public Participation?
These pages provide models, strategies and tools for community engagement.
Things to Know when Choosing Tools
- Characteristics of needs assessment tools
- Choosing programs: Is this program right for us?
- Getting a Start on Citizen and Stakeholder Participation (PDF)
Strategies and Skills
- Community engagement strategies: opportunities to participate
- A brief overview of data collection methods
- When to use focus groups
Evaluating Your Success
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.
Charges, Missions, and Program Overviews
- Attributes of a Successful Group or Committee
- Community Advisory Council (Purpose, Roles and Responsibilities, Resource Members, Decision-making Process)
- Mission: How Clear Is Your Mission?
- Mission: Developing a Mission Statement
- Writing: Writing an Overview of your Program, Group, or Task Force (Features to Include)
Meeting Protocol: Conducting and Facilitating Meetings
- Meeting Tips
- Parliamentary Procedure
- Types of Motions
- The First Meeting
- What to Do When You Have Problems in the Meeting
Facilitating and Encouraging Participation
- Coalitions: Is Your Coalition on the Road to Success?
- Community Opinion Survey
- A Tale of Two Open Houses: The Open House Technique
- The Basics of Creating a Participation Strategy
- The First Meeting
- Volunteers - Responsibilities and Rights
Decision-Making Styles and Models
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.
- About Multicultural Communities
- Characteristics of Culturally Competent Organizations
- Ground Rules: Cross-Cultural Dialogue
- Moving Along the Continuum
This page contains links to additional information on community engagement and related information.