Community engagement in public health policy

Camden public health team

Summer 2013

The project

Camden’s public health team needed to establish a dialogue with the public to inform their policy approach to healthy weights within the borough. There were broad policy ideas in development, but they wanted to get the public involved at inception to help identify workable and practicable solutions to implement within their community.

Our approach

We engagement focused on at risk groups in key areas of the borough. Our idea was to create a community dialogue through a series of conversations that built momentum. We captured conversation through audio with 250 separate interviews from across the community including schools, parents, fast food outlets, corner shops, employers and other community based groups.

Following analysis, over 100 members of the community and 50 policy makers heard the communities view and ideas played back at a deliberative event.

The outcome

The work that we undertook brought the key actors in Camden together and established a common agenda to address the issues. Through the conversations that have taken place fast food outlets are now engaged in health eating initiatives, local schools are working with the council and local shops on healthy eating in and around schools, and parents and children are working with stakeholders on healthy eating in the home.