Community Engagement

a string of cut out shapes of people

Community engagement is an instrumental element throughout the phases of HIA. Effective community engagement is key to ensuring all voices are heard during the decision-making process, especially in communities and populations who are more likely to be adversely impacted by the changes being proposed. By engaging the community, an open dialogue is developed to gain a comprehensive perspective of health issues and their root causes. Community involvement builds consensus and provides a platform for the community to engage in the decision-making processes that affect their health and overall well-being.

Engagement methods can be drawn from a number of disciplines. Below are a number of helpful resources to determine a successful community engagement approach for an HIA.

Community Engagement Resources
The Guidance and Best Practices for Stakeholder Participation in Health Impact Assessments outlines techniques, case studies, and guiding principles for stakeholder engagement from a number of disciplines which can improve stakeholder participation in the HIA process.

Human Impact Partners
Human Impact Partners (HIP) provides a number of resources, including webinars, on Equity and Stakeholder Engagement

The Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment (SOPHIA) outlines a number of stakeholder engagement tools and materials which include community engagement resources equity metrics, and even a planning and budget tool.

Hosting a Community Design Workshop
These workshops bring community stakeholders together to discuss challenges and potential solutions specific to the neighborhood. 
See a local guide, developed by Asakura Robinson in partnership with the City of Houston, which walks you through the process of hosting your own community design workshop.  

Harris County Public Health PhotoVoice Guide
As part of the East Aldine District HIA, HCPH lead a PhotoVoice project with youth at MacArthur high school, in collaboration with Neighborhood Centers, Inc. The HCPH team developed a guide for utilizing PhotoVoice within the framework of an HIA from lessons learned locally and best practices from across the U.S. PhotoVoice is a great tool to use for engaging youth. Access the full guide here.