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Step 2: Identify and Engage Stakeholders

Purpose

Establishing robust, trusting relationships with community stakeholders fosters a welcoming and inclusive environment, creating a stronger sense of joint ownership of the community health assessment (CHA) process. While this is a discrete step, stakeholders should be engaged throughout the CHA process. Refer to the Community Engagement section for more information.

Key Components

Develop an engagement approach
Engaging stakeholders should be a deliberate process. CHA developers and community stakeholders may have different ideas for what involvement looks like. Community stakeholders and hospital-based CHA developers should work together to define their roles and responsibilities and agree upon expectations for involvement. Ensuring shared understanding of CHA goals and expectations will facilitate collaboration.

Map assets that support community health improvement
The process of mapping community assets emphasizes individuals and resources in the community that can act as change agents to affect hospitals’ decisions about services. This process can illuminate unexpected stakeholders or partners to engage in the CHA process.1

Types of assets identified include:

The goal is to start with the community’s strengths, and then build toward consensus. Community assets may include:

Try going through an asset map of your community using this template as a guide.

Identify stakeholders to participate in the CHA
Stakeholders can come in many forms; they can be individuals or organizations, from the hospital or from the community – all of those voices are valuable. See the Community Engagement section for ideas of stakeholders from a variety of sectors. Stakeholders should be representative of the community to ensure that all voices are heard. It is particularly important to engage populations most at risk for having health disparities; having those individuals be part of the process will help you identify the root causes of the disparities and develop culturally appropriate approaches to address them.

Form an external assessment committee
Assemble an external assessment committee that includes community members to provide guidance throughout the CHA. Consider which organizations and individuals from the community should be on the committee. The committee can be most effective if it consists of a range of community stakeholders who:

Define elements that promote team functioning, including:

1. ABCD Toolkit. (2015). H. Daniels Consulting. Asset-Based Community Development Institute. http://www.abcdinstitute.org/