Image: Attendees at the 2018 Wellcome International Engagement Workshop | Minh Tan

One of the key themes to come out of the 2018 Wellcome International Engagement Workshop was building capacity; that of engagement practitioners so that they can achieve as much as possible, and how engagement can be used to build the capacity of audiences and communities. A number of presentations on this topic were made at the workshop; find articles and slides on those further down this page.

As a group, workshop attendees were asked to work together on a visual illustration of important aspects of capacity for effective public and community engagement.

These sessions are designed to stimulate open dialogue; uncover differences and commonalities in understanding; and work towards shared ideas of the theme, in this case “capacity”.

The idea of the exercise was not to reach consensus or make decisions, but some common areas did emerge across the six groups. These included:

-        Whose capacity are we aiming to build? Capacity resides in multiple places and people in engagement including researchers, public engagement professionals, and the communities we are working with.

-        How can we make projects and networks sustainable by building the capacity of different groups?

-        How can we build evidence of the effectiveness of PE to get senior buy-in, to then grow our capacity?

-        How can we ensure we’re always being reflective and evaluative, to ensure we’re using our capacity in the best way possible?

Below are examples of the final illustrations and videos of participants explaining their pictures.

Video: Participants explaining their illustrations | Mesh

Click the pictures below to read summaries of each presentation from the workshop. Abraham Mamela, a Wellcome engagement fellow, focused on how to develop the field of public engagement so that practitioners have greater capacity to develop projects. The presentations on MESH and the Global Health Network highlight the value these online communities of practice can bring to help practitioners expand their capacity. The final link summarises a group session focused on career paths for engagement practitioners, and what is needed for this to be improved.

Building ecosystems for sustainable engagement projects: Abraham Mamela

Building communities of practice: MESH and The Global Health Network

 Career paths in engagement


The content on this page forms part of the online report for the 2018 International Engagement Workshop “Taking it to the Next Level: How can we generate leadership and develop practice in engagement?". To learn more about the workshop, access the rest of the report and browse the video presentations, discussion summaries, and tools, visit the workshop page 

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