Consumer and Community Engagement
Our Community Engagement work at Health Translation SA (HTSA) focuses on enabling and promoting the input of community members into the planning, delivery and translation of research. HTSA believes in engaging community members in research to ensure research priorities and projects reflect the current and future health care needs of South Australians.
Our aim is to ensure our partner organisations are supported in their community engagement initiatives and that community members are genuinely involved in research, whether it be at an organisational level, project governance level, or project implementation level. We work to build the capacity of our partner organisations to better engage with community members to ensure research recognises the lived experiences of people affected by it, and it responds to community needs.
HTSA supports researchers and community by :
- Providing training to researchers and community members on how to most effectively partner to create research that is translational and relevant.
- Developing resources that inform researchers and consumers on different aspects of community engagement
- Bringing together research teams with community members that have the relevant experience to their projects
- Advising on the best ways to develop a Community Engagement strategy within their organisation
- Supporting research teams with integrating Community Engagement within grant applications
- Providing ongoing support during the engagement
Our work in Community Engagement
Examples of Community Engagement in HTSA activities include community members playing active roles within our Stakeholder Forum, grant planning and review processes, state and national research projects and other strategic planning activities.
CCE Action Group
Through our Consumer and Community Engagement Action Group, we bring together South Australian stakeholders (Flinders University, University of South Australia, University of Adelaide, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Flinders Health and medical research institute, health service providers and non-government organisations) to promote Community Engagement in research and to support our partners in practicing meaningful Community Engagement.
Community Engagement in Research: National level collaborations
Nationally HTSA works collaboratively with Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA) to progress five agreed national priority areas, one of which is Consumer and Community Involvement (CCI) in health and medical research. HTSA and SAHMRI recently completed a narrative review on the value of CCI in research. You can read it below. A position statement on behalf of AHRA on CCI in Health and Medical Research will be published soon.
Community Engagement Framework
In collaboration with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia, Health Translation SA is currently working towards implementing aspects of the SAHMRI Community Engagement Framework to help community members have a greater voice in research projects, activities, and develop strong and productive relationships with researchers within, and across, our partner organisations.
5 Top Tips for Engaging Consumers in Research
- Engage early – bring consumers on board in the planning/preparation phase of the project
- Clarify expectations – clearly articulate the consumer’s role and how their input will be used to inform the project
- Build meaningful relationships – consumer engagement is strongest when genuine, two-way relationships exist between researchers and consumers
- Be willing to change – consider how the project can be adjusted or re-directed when new ideas are shared
- Keep in regular contact – keep consumers updated on the progress of the project so they are more prepared for the next stage of engagement
We would like to acknowledge our partnership with South Australia’s lead consumer advocacy agency Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia (HCASA) and the contributions they have brought to all our Community Engagement work. HCASA ceased operations on 30 September 2020.
Current Community Engagement Opportunities
Community Interest Register
The Community Interest Register is a joint SAHMRI and Health Translation SA initiative. Any person living in South Australia, with a lived experience in the healthcare system, who has cared for a loved one, or who might be interested in engaging in research is invited to register via our Community Interest Register.
Through this channel, we share Community Engagement Opportunities with registered community members and offer induction sessions twice a year to ensure our community is informed on the principles of community engagement in research. Through this Registry, we bring together people with lived experience and connect them with health and medical researchers.
To register your interest, or for more information about the Register, please visit the register below.
Otherwise, if you are a researcher, please contact Dr Agustina Gancia to express your interest in recruiting community members for your projects.
To learn more about our Community Engagement activities please download a copy of our Community Engagement Report 2019-20 below.
Community Engagement Toolkit
Health Translation SA, in collaboration with SAHMRI, have developed a toolkit of resources for both researchers and consumers to support community engagement activities within health and medical research across South Australia.
Our toolkit can be accessed via the button below
For further information or to request support with your Community Engagement in Research initiatives, please contact: