The following table is a descriptive summary of community and public engagement activities from a selection of Wellcome Trust linked programmes and projects in low- and middle-income countries that came out of an email discussion in 2014.

The table includes the groups of stakeholders that different engagement activities work with, the types of change they are aiming for, and examples of this type of work among the programmes and projects.

The table is not systematic, complete, or definitive, and activities and understandings have moved on since 2014, but they illustrate the diversity and scope of engagement activities going on.

The table may be useful for situating discussions of community and public engagement, even though it is selective and incomplete, and others may make different distinctions among the type of changes being worked towards.

Download the table here (PDF 198KB)

Do you have comments for the creators of this table? What would you change or add? Let them know in the comments section below.

Engagement activities  Level/type of engagement (which groups of stakeholders?) Types of changed aimed for Examples
                                    COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 

Community advisory Groups (CAGs)  

Additional activities to engage particular communities 

(Community dialogue meetings, ‘Roadshows’)

Engagement with community affected by particular research or ongoing research activity

CAGs are an effective mechanism for two-way dialogue between community members and researchers about research processes and priorities

Community better understands research and research process.

Community is able to express an independent perspective on research

Community trusts that research institution will address any concerns raised

Communities feel respected by research institutionRespectful dialogue and relationships between communities and researchers sustained over time

CAG enables diverse participation across gender, cultural, language, political, religious…. differences

Researchers better understand role and importance of community engagement

Research practice and policy more responsive to community concerns and interests

KEMRI Community Representatives Network

TAK Province Border Ethics Advisory Board

Africa Centre Community Advisory Boards

Community radio programmes on health   Engagement with radio listeners in local community settings and ‘radio listening clubs’ Community radio is an effective medium for interactive dialogue on health research and health issues for the community and radio listening club  
Health Talk Radio Malawi
and as a more diffuse ‘public’ audience Community radio reaches a wide and diverse audience, involves a range of public contributions to its phone-in programmes and hosts dialogue on a range of relevant issues related to health and health research
Local radio slots for questions and answers on research projects Radio listening audience phone in

Unanswered questions on health issues like HIV answered

Increased levels of hope about being able to address health issue

Radio listeners able to understand types of research studies

Increased awareness of available services and referrals for some callers

Africa Centre, South Africa
Art co-creation projects - people from disadvantaged communities putting on art exhibitions Engagement with disadvantaged communities 

Disadvantaged communities have skills and confidence to use artistic processes to speak about their lives and experience relating to health

Disadvantaged communities able to highlight their priorities and needs around health

Community members get to know about the health issues that experts are researching and recommending

Dekha Undekha/Seen Unseen, Mumbai
Engagement with public ‘audience’ of art exhibition

A diverse audience is ready to attend the exhibition and listen/attend to the art and the issues it raises

The art produced is ‘quality art’
Public audience have changed perceptions of disadvantaged communities

Beyond the Hospital Using theatre, art and photography to stimulate dialogue between patients, carers, researchers and hospital staff Stimulate dialogue between patients, carers researcher and hospital staff on factors hindering rehabilitation after treatment of central nervous system infections.

Patients who have had CNS infection and their carers able to articulate barriers to rehabilition

Greater understanding in hospital staff and researchers of issues hindering rehabilitation

Greater awareness of rehabilitation resources available in patients, carers and hospital staff

Accessible materials for training staff on rehabilitationGreater understanding of value of research for hospital staff NGOs and disability organisations

 ‘Beyond the Hospital’, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit – OUCRU (Vietnam)
“Adherence Stories”Digital stories of personal experiences of adherence Engaging with people attending clinics viewing of storiesUse of stories in adherence education sessions

Changes in knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of ARV adherence in people attending primary care clinics

Adherence education sessions more effective due to use of digital stories

Changes in skills, confidence and advocacy in individuals producing their own stories

‘Adherence Stories’, Africa Centre for Population Health (South Africa)
Feedback from research participants and potential research participants Engagement with potential research participants about reasons to participate/not participate and about understandings of research

Potential research participants aware of their right to participate/not participate and the potential benefits of participating

Some misconceptions about research among potential participants are addressed by researchers

Researchers have greater understanding of participants’ reasons for participating or not participating in research

Africa Centre for Population Health (South Africa)
                                   SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES ENGAGEMENT
Schools engagement programme  Engagement with school students

Students show greater interest in health research and science educationStudents have higher educational aspirations

Households where students live show a greater awareness and understanding of scientific research

Schools engagement programme is responsive and able to adapt to changing context and circumstances

Schools engagement programme (Kenya)
Facilitating links between students and researchers Researchers show more positive attitudes to community and community engagement processes
Schools science road shows Vietnam Events at annual youth science festivals Vietnam

Students show greater interest in science and health research

Students understand scientific process better

Researchers and university student volunteers are given opportunity to interact and understand the community better 

OUCRU (Vietnam)
Science theatre for school children

Science and health messages delivered through entertaining theatre.School children, teachers and carers

Shows are filmed and shown on TV for a wider national audience

Young people hear health messages in a memorable and engaging manner

Young people are introduced to scientific concepts

Researchers can be involved by developing scripts and attending shows to meet young people

OUCRU (Vietnam)
University student engagement programme Students are involved in the schools programme and also are introduced to OUCRU

University students have opportunity to develop their science by teaching to school children

Students are introduced to OUCRU health research and gain a better understanding of scientific process

OUCRU (Vietnam)
Science cafes in universities and for young doctors Monthly science cafes are run in local science universities

Students are introduced to new scientific subjects in a fun manner to encourage an interest in science

Students are encouraged to debate and develop critical thinking

Researchers gain experience presenting their work in a concise and engaging manner

 OUCRU (Vietnam)
Science page in a weekly children’s magazine Weekly articles about science in a national magazine for young people (12-16yo)

Young people are exposed to science in engaging and fun articlesYoung people are encouraged to write to contributers with questions, thereby building links with scientists

Young people are encouraged to have scientific careers

Scientists are trained and gain experience of writing for a lay audience.

 OUCRU (Vietnam)
                                                                    ENGAGEMENT ‘INTERMEDIARIES’ 
Training media personnel to write about science Informs and trains science and health journalists to better representation of science to the public

Journalists are able to clearly present science in ways that are accessible and engagingJournalists are able to clearly present science in ways that are accurate

Journalists build links and trust with health workers

 OUCRU (Vietnam)
Researchers trained in communication skills Support researchers to better communicate research with public and media

Researchers are able to clearly present their work in ways that are accessible and engaging

Researchers have effective links with journalists and media

OUCRU Training for scientists to write for young people (Vietnam)
Training frontline health workers (HW) in communication and management of emotions Frontline health workers trained in communication skills and management of emotions (e.g. on the job participatory processbasedtraining, Kilifi)

Improving HW-patient communication and management of emotions to support service provision, facilitate uptake of services, improve job satisfaction for nurses, and strengthen professional relationships at work (between peers, supervisors and students, research HW and Ministry of Health HW).

Where research and health care are provided alongside each other, strengthen capacity of HW to explain the differences between these to patients and participants

OUCRU (Vietnam)KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (Kenya)

SNEHA (Society for
Nutrition, Education
and Health Action)

Interface staff training (Fieldworkers, drivers) Communication skills training for staff working in the community

Enhanced awareness of need for good relations between research institution and community

Staff able to confidently talk to community about research institution’s roles including specific studies

 KEMRI Community Engagement Programme (Kenya)

SNEHA (India)

Training of NGOs on research processes and on TB research Working with NGOs to improve their understanding and use of research  

NGOs are better able to use scientific research to inform their own work and to develop and assess community responses to TB

NGOs are able to draw on an established network of trained researchers in their work on TB and health

Tamil Nadu – building research skills (India)
Training Community Health Workers on research processes and on TB research Working with Community Health workers to improve their understanding of research Community Health Workers are more able to understand scientific research
                                    LOCAL AUTHORITY INTERMEDIARIES 
Engagement with local and district government forums – e.g., LAC and DAC forums in South Africa A variety of policy stakeholders and government departments get update on research findings

Local and district municipality aware of findings from completed and on-going studies

Improved collaboration between Community Engagement Unit and local governance bodies for improved HIV pandemic response

Africa Centre for Population Health, (South Africa)

SNEHA (India)

                                                            PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT 
Art & photography/video installation: Temporary public photo booth in Kilifi town to ‘pose as a scientist’ Engagement of local residents and scientists in Kilifi and wider public in Nairobi and London.

Researchers gain new insights into public perceptions of sciencede-mystifying science for the public

Enjoyment as facilitator of these processes

Promoting positive relationships between scientists and the public/community

KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme – Art in Global Health project (Kenya)
Art and Science event An evening of public lectures from scientists and artists

Exposure for scientists and artists to another form of examination and creativity

The public were invited into OUCRU; gain a better understanding of how the institute works

 OUCRU (Vietnam)
Science Cafes for the public Short fun events for the public

The public are introduced to new scientific subjects in a fun manner to encourage an interest in science

Members of the public are encouraged to debate scientific topics and develop critical thinking 

Wellcome TrustMahidol UniversityOxford Tropical Medicine Research Programme (Thailand)

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