In the planning stage, it is cogent to have a cordial and existing relationship with stakeholders at all levels. Thus, to ensure that they have a clear understanding about the research and for them to support, share values or acknowledge the overall goal of the engagement program.
We also have Focus Group Discussions (FGD) where community members and key opinion leaders are engaged more into the research process, in order to make sure that their inputs are incorporated into the decision making of the research processes. We keep them updated about any changes or developments throughout. Also, we allow the community leaders to act as a representative amongst the research team and stakeholders.
My team ensures community input and support for the overall goal by continually meeting with the community stakeholders, leaders, and key allies. During this meeting, the community gets an opportunity to share & voice-out their concerns, plight, and their suggestions. Invariably, my team will take a step farther to analyze and make sure that all inputs and suggestions are put into consideration for better planning and research.