This toolkit contains technical materials for training community-based volunteers plus summaries of key guidelines for behavior change communication. While developed as part of a malaria prevention effort, this training guide also covers child health and hygiene, in addition to malaria.
Community engagement is a proven social and behavior change (SBC) strategy that has helped people around the world identify and address pressing health issues. According to UNICEF, community engagement focuses on collective or group participation. It empowers communities and their social networks to reflect on and address a range of behaviors, issues and decisions that affect their lives and to become proactively involved in their community's development. Community engagement is a strategy that raises awareness and strengthens the community's capacity to effect change.
Community engagement helps people improve their own health and living conditions while strengthening and enhancing the community's ability to work together for any goal that is important to its members. The end result of a successful community engagement effort is not simply a “problem solved” but rather the increased capacity of a community to successfully address other needs and desires.
A community engagement approach allows the community to:
- Develop an ongoing dialogue with health programs
- Empower themselves to address their own health needs
- Recognize diversity and equity
- Work in partnership with program to create locally appropriate responses
- Be linked to external resources
Like any development approach, community engagement is not a panacea; it is not the answer to every development issue or the right approach for every community. Even within the same community, it may be the right approach for certain health issues but not for others. Under the right circumstances, however, community engagement has been proven to be a powerful tool for unleashing the potential of individuals and communities around the world.
In this Trending Topic we provide tools and program examples for community engagement, as well as some for community mobilization. We invite you to add your own project materials or favorite tools by visiting the upload page. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Compass team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carter, Marian, et al. 2015. Community Engagement in Family Planning in the US: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 49:2. Retrieved from: https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/34594
Cicatelli Associates, New York State Center of Excellence for Family Planning and Reproductive Services. Community Engagement as a Strategy for Reaching Priority Populations. Retrieved from https://caiglobal.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=879&Itemid=1551
Sharman, Anjana, et al. 2018. Community Education and Engagement in Family Planning: Updated Systematic Review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 55:5. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749379718320919
Banner photo: A sex worker speaks at the All India Conference of Entertainment Workers in Kolkata, India. © 2007 Gopal Bhattacharjee, Courtesy of Photoshare
This handbook is a guide to assessing community capacity for transformative work that leads to health.
This downloadable tool provides public health professionals, health care providers, researchers, and community-based leaders and organizations with both a science base and practical guidance for engaging partners in projects that may affect them.
The REPLACE project in the EU recognizes that FGM is a social norm and that each community has different belief systems and enforcement mechanisms supporting its continuation.
In sub-Saharan Africa, a 2006 survey found that people trust faith-based organizations more than they trust their own national governments (Tortora, 2007).
This brief describes the evidence on and experience with community group engagement (CGE) interventions that aim to foster healthy sexual and reproductive health (SRH) behaviors.
On May 2, 2018, the Woodrow Wilson Center's Maternal Health Initiative hosted a two-panel event in collaboration with World Vision U.S., focusing on the role of faith-based organizations in controlling the HIV epidemic through re
This resource provides a rationale for why men and boys should be engaged in FP efforts in cooperative ways that improve FP/RH outcomes and facilitate women and girls’ agency.
- Help clients choose and use the method of family planning that suits them best
This is a presentation of the evaluation of the Post Abortion Care project in Kenya, 2010-2012. The evaluation was carried out in 2012.
It includes main findings, photographs from the project, and quotations from those involved.
This strategic framework and implementation plan was created to guide malaria partners in the implementation of advocacy, communication (BCC) and social mobilisation (ACSM) interventions designed to support Nigeria's national malaria control efforts.
Materials in this toolkit include a facilitator’s guide, community mobilizer’s cards, roleplay cards, storytelling finger puppets, promotional proverbs and best kept secrets throw boxes, promotional playing cards, and dialogue buttons.
In 2004, the ACQUIRE Project, with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and in partnership with the Guinea Ministry of Health (MOH), implemented a program to increase access to and awareness of long acting and permanent contraceptive methods (LAPMs), focusing on the IUD.
This is a series of demand generation 60-second radio spots for modern FP methods adapted to state-specific contexts and community structures/events. The radio spots are part of a FP campaign in Nigeria.
A guide to aid Community Mobilizers (CMs) in facilitating discussions around FP and Childbirth Spacing (CBS) for the adoption of a modern contraceptive method. There is a specific flip chart for Community Dialogue and Compound meeting
The Tékponon Jikuagou consortium prepared this guide to encourage others to adopt the package through social networks as a stand-alone initiative or as a supplement to their ongoing health and development programs in West Africa.
The first part of the document provides an overview of the reproductive health situation in Nigeria, drawing from national statistics, followed by a brief look at the National Reproductive Health Policy and the Strategic Framework.
The Gender Roles, Equality and Transformations (GREAT) Project Community Action Cycle (CAC) Implementation Guide was developed to engage community leaders and mobilizers by facilitating a process that focuses on the relationship between gender inequality, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive health outcomes.
Pragati is a package of nine interactive games developed and refined through robust proof of concept and pilot testing in Nepal. Through game-play and critical reflection questions, they sparked challenging conversations in communities around fertility and social norms that drive birth timing and family size.
This job aid was developed in Nigeria to provide information on how men can participate in their family’s health and support their wives/partners during various phases of pregnancy, labor, and infancy/childhood.
Expanding access to family planning (FP) at the community level has been a priority strategy for accelerating progress toward achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and more specifically, emphasis on community access to FP has emerged as a major goal in sub-Saharan Africa.