Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI)
Why have Community Engagement?
Community engagement and involvement in health research ensures that research is undertaken in collaboration with the communities who are likely to be affected by the research outcomes. This goes beyond engaging marginalized groups as beneficiaries of the research but letting them have meaningful voices in the research process – research design, decision making, planning, delivery, implementation, dissemination, and evaluation. Thus, CEI involves a variety of mechanisms including:
- Providing consultation, either on an ongoing basis or at specific time points
- Serving on an Advisory Committee that meets at specified periods
- Acting as peer researchers; that is, community members who are hired as research staff
- Acting as collaborators at key stages of the project such as data analysis, interpretation, and/or dissemination.
Recent emphasis on CEI in health research recognises that approaches which empower community members to participate in research are likely to: improve the relevance, quality, and impact of the research; lead uptake of research findings in policy and practice and improve the health and wellbeing of communities. CEI is thus a core component of the research strategy, planning, implementation, and evaluation process
Global NCD Alliance
(Malawi NCDA and Tanzania NCDA)
Health Economics Policy Unit
(HEPU) – Malawi
Ministry of Health and Population Services
Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children
Community Engagement and Involvement in the Multilink Study
Aim: An acceptable, patient-centered intervention that is feasible in the local setting
While we engaged and involved patients with multimorbidity, their caregivers, leaders of peer support groups and community research advisory boards in the development of the study, the Multilink is poised to engage and include communities throughout the research implementation process. Our leadership team includes community group leaders to ensure patient’s voices drive our research agenda. Throughout, we will liaise with patient and community groups to co-create educational materials and participate in programme management meetings. Our community groups partners will provide peer-support and encourage healthy lifestyles in the longer term.
For the Multilink study, community members will include people with common interest, concerns, and identities (patients and caregivers). They will also include other stakeholders working with communities (community leaders, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), health workers, faith groups, service providers and policy makers).
Mrs Charity Salima (Malawi) is the community representatives on the study in Malawi and will ensure that needs of patients and communities are represented through engaging patients and community groups, supporting co-creation of educational materials, participation in study management group meetings and mentoring community partners.
Community consultations with community members (patients with Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), their caregivers)