Effective Engagement and Involvement with Community Stakeholders in the Co-production of Global Health Research

Published on 16 February 2021

Involving a broad range of individual and collective perspectives in global health research outside of academic research is gaining increasing recognition as a mechanism for achieving a greater impact. This activity goes by many names (box 1). In the global north or a high income country, it is commonly called “patient and public involvement,” “engagement,” or “participation.”

In low and middle income countries or the global south, these participatory processes are termed “community engagement,” “participation,” and “community engagement and involvement.” Co-production, a core feature of community engagement and involvement, is common to health research in both the global north and south, with a range of potential benefits. It helps to ensure that health research contributes to building knowledge and generating innovations that benefit users of research.

For research that drives change and reduces the waste of resources, co-production should start from the earliest stages, when problems are identified and priorities defined. Such an approach supports research that is ethical, specific, and appropriate to the local community. Involvement of end users in the design of projects has also been shown to improve recruitment of participants and research methods, making implementation and the impact of the research results more likely.

Cite this publication

Tembo, D.; Hickey, G.; Montenegro, C. et al (2021) 'Effective Engagement and Involvement with Community Stakeholders in the Co-production of Global Health Research', BMJ 2021; 372 :n178 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.n178


Erica Nelson

Research Fellow

Doreen Tembo
Gary Hickey
Cristian Montenegro
David Chandler
Katie Porter
Lisa Dikomitis
Mary Chambers
Moses Chimbari
Noni Mumba
Peter Beresford
Peter O Ekiikina
Rosemary Musesengwa
Sophie Staniszewska
Tina Coldham
Una Rennard

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