Engaged Diverse Partners

Diverse sectors and stakeholders hold unique perspectives on the community system, its problems, and possible solutions. Effective change efforts continually engage diverse sectors and stakeholders -including targeted youth and adult residents- in understanding local system issues, defining, and implementing solutions, and learning for continuous improvement (Grosin et al, 2003; Foster-Fishman & Watson, 2010; Wilson et al, 2007). Effective systems also engage stakeholders in multiple ways, not only by gathering their input and engaging them in decision-making, but also supporting them in becoming empowered change agents within their own sphere of influence (Foster-Fishman & Watson, 2010; Foster-Fishman, Watson, & Wattenberg, 2017).

Engaged diverse partners involves putting the following elements in place over time (Foster-Fishman et al., 2018):

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Why is this important? Complex community health problems are driven by multiple, interacting system issues. These issues are often context specific and ever evolving, making it impossible for any one sector or stakeholder group to fully understand and address them. The success of a system is absolutely dependent on the extent to which it can effectively and continuously engage relevant stakeholders and sectors in its change efforts. (Foster-Fishman & Watson, 2010 & 2012, Meadow, 2008).

A picture of a group of volunteers looking happy after cleaning up a park.