Public Agenda and Altarum will provide technical assistance and resources to help CVH grantees:
- Understand and use high quality engagement approaches to build on and expand existing local engagement efforts;
- Engage significant numbers of marginalized and underserved populations in meaningful ways;
- Conduct community-engaged research to inform engagement and policy;
- Craft linkages between identified community priorities and evidence-based policy solutions; and
- Create sustainable communication channels between state or local decision-makers and residents.
The following sections describe the major components of the project and provide links to technical assistance resources pertaining to each area. Additionally, a menu of technical assistance offerings can be found here.
Engagement encompasses all the activities by which people’s concerns, needs, interests, and values are incorporated into decisions and actions on public matters and issues. This can include policy decisions and government initiatives, but it also means volunteer actions and situations where citizens and institutions collaborate to solve problems.
Community-engaged research (CER) is a collaborative process between researchers and community members that creates and disseminates knowledge and creative expression, with the goal of strengthening community well-being. This type of research can support community members in identifying pressing health-related goals and needs and advancing strategies to address them.
Technical assistance products to support grantees’ CER efforts include information on best practices, case studies, and a summary of learnings from interviews with community-engaged researchers, advocates, and others.
Communicating with Policymakers
Advocacy organizations have made great strides in assembling residents to address health policy issues with state and local decisionmakers, but resource and other constraints often require them to focus on the issue or crisis of the moment. Community Voices for Health aims to create sustainable, two-way channels of communication between policymakers and community residents to ensure that health policy decisions are driven by communities’ goals and needs. After community priorities are surfaced through community engagement and community-engaged research efforts, technical assistance can help grantees understand how to effectively communicate with state and local officials (among other key decisionmakers) and identify evidence-based solutions.
Examples of products to facilitate this work include state-specific policy scans, custom policy explainers, and glossaries of important terms.