Skip to content
This website uses cookies to help us understand the way visitors use our website. We can't identify you with them and we don't share the data with anyone else. If you click Reject we will set a single cookie to remember your preference. Find out more in our privacy policy.

Setting aims

Set aims, expectations and approaches for successful community engagement.

Determining the approach 

This method has been developed drawing on current best practice community engagement practices. Collaborative research guidelines, including data protection protocols, inform a collaboration framework which should receive an ethical review when applied to a new context. 

Identifying community stakeholders 

Working with local representatives and gatekeepers to identify appropriate community and neighbourhood groups to invite to participate, with an understanding of barriers to participation such as competing works and priorities in the community, access needs, levels of engagement and representation of the community.

Defining aims 

A co-design process will use aims to create a shared understanding of the expected level of change, nature of the outcome(s), level of community engagement, timeframes, values and evaluation activities that review process and outcomes.

The aims will be defined at the beginning of the co-design process and create a framework to measure success. They are context specific and should be developed and captured in collaboration with community partners. Once recorded, they should be available for continuous assessment against progress.

Setting expectations  

  • All partners and participants should have a clear understanding of the project aims, processes and range of outcomes
  • Consulting with stakeholders to agree a programme of activities and a timeframe within a context of inclusion
  • Expectations and expected outcomes can evolve through the project and these changes can be captured at each stage
  • Developing a co-design framework to set out planned activities and communication methods between stakeholders and the wider community.


There may be different levels of influence community stakeholders can have on a project. In cases where the process is less open or part of the outcome has already been established, this needs to be communicated appropriately.

The person leading the engagement process should be responsible for checking the appropriate ethics guides, engagement best practices and data protection protocols for their organisation, sector and location.