Data-driven strategies and community engagement strategies are not mutually exclusive. In order to achieve better results, many leaders in the public, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors are employing data-driven strategies, including evidence- based programs and collective impact. Often such efforts are seen as in conflict with community engagement. In fact, community engagement, when done well, should support and enhance the ability to achieve data-driven results.
Community engagement is about ensuring that those most impacted by social challenges have a say in designing and implementing solutions. The participation of intended beneficiaries and their families, neighbors, and trusted leaders can be an integral part of data-driven processes to achieve better results. And a shift in power where community members own and help produce the result will lead to greater impact. The following toolkit developed by FSG and the Collective Impact Forum is meant to guide leaders and groups through a step by step process of building community engagement strategies that will achieve better results for children, families, and communities.