Community Engagement: Why it Matters

Collaboration for Impact is pleased to launch Engage for Impact, the first stream of our learning program for 2016; a series of blogs, resources, tools and events designed to promote your understanding of meaningful community engagement, to demonstrate good practice principles and to assist you to determine what successful engagement looks like and how this can be measured.

Meaningful engagement of the community you’re working in is fundamental to the work of collaboration in complexity. How policymakers and social change leaders pursue their work in complexity will determine whether those efforts succeed or don’t. Collaboration for Impact recognise that genuine grassroots engagement can be hard work and that it requires very particular skills. We have created a learning program that looks at how to engage citizens and those with lived experience in all levels of your collaboration.

In April 2016, Collaboration for Impact Associates Max Hardy and Danielle Annells ran a free webinar


The learning events in this stream are designed to evolve to ensure that each session is complementary and the learning cumulative.


Tom Wolff argues in his article that Collective Impact does not prioritise engagement of community, those most affected by the desired change. John Kania and Mark Kramer (authors of the seminal Collective Impact framework paper in 2011) responded to Tom’s challenges with a blog post sharing their own reflections on the evolution of Collective Impact theory and thinking specifically highlighting the importance of engaging community and those with lived experience in collective impact.

Differences in Community Outreach – a blog post by James Caparo that first appeared on Collective Impact Forum blog highlights very clearly the difference between what he calls “trust creation” and community outreach – the former being the engagement of community to approve proposed solutions, the latter, engagement of the community to devise the solutions.

Learn More

Community Engagement matters now more than ever– SSIR
What is Community Engagement – Bang the Table
Engage – Tamarack Institute, several readings
Communities in Control – Developing Assets, ABCD Institute
How to make certain that you will waste your time and money doing community engagement, Max Hardy


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