As the field of community and public engagement (CPE) continues to grow, it's important that engagement activities are not just seen as valuable as stand-alone projects. Instead, they should be part of a wider strategic plan which ensures every activity is contributing to larger aims and goals. At the 2018 Wellcome International Engagement Workshop, how to develop a strategy and why it's important for CPE was one of the key themes presented on by keynote speakers.

Image: Workshop attendees discussing ideas | Minh Tan

In her talk on leadership in engagement, Lillian Mutengu from the African Academy of Sciences in Kenya highlighted key questions to ask when developing a strategy:

  • What is the purpose of the strategy and its activities?
  • What are the organisational vision and goals?
  • What is the organisational capacity?
  • What is the budget?
  • What stakeholder attitudes will be faced?
  • What previous efforts have taken place in this space?
  • What sensitivities do you need to be aware of, e.g. cultural, ethical?
  • What would success look like?

Lillian explained that it is vital to ensure the vision, overall goal and objectives all speak to each other – although it is not always as easy as it seems to make these align. She also stated the importance of setting yourself realistic expectations, but also challenging yourself to get 100% buy-in from all stakeholders. 

Click below to read and watch presentations on different aspects of strategy development for public engagement.

Embedding engagement in research: Imran Khan, Wellcome Trust Strategy for public engagement: Ian Thornton The development of MORU's community and stakeholder engagement strategy: Phaik Yeong Cheah


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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