26 June, 2014
Today, the Participation Agency (a collaboration between Amazon and partners) launches a report that shows how important it is for voluntary and public sector organisations to engage meaningfully with service users and communities.
The report, based on 70 responses to a quantitative survey and a series of qualitative interviews, suggests that engagement (done well) can have a transformative impact, and many organisations are using it to improve relationships, develop services and inform strategies.
To achieve meaningful engagement, people run events, meetings, surveys and interviews (with formats ranging from the traditional, to the more creative and innovative), and use tools such as media relations and social media.
What’s important, though, is the way people approach engagement and whether or not they recognise how valuable other people’s expertise and experience is. Engagement is about people being truly involved and a part of what you do, having an influence and a voice.
Most people who took part in the research believe that engagement will become more important and will be taken more seriously in the future, though its effectiveness needs to be better demonstrated. There is a need to develop a more compelling narrative.