Community engagement is a process of building relationships between the researchers and various stakeholders involved in medical research. Community engagement ensures that different stakeholders, particularly community stakeholders, know what BHP is about, which specific research projects are conducted by BHP and what the outcomes of research studies BHP has conducted are. In addition, it ensures that BHP has a deep appreciation of various community stakeholders’ perspectives, including what their health needs are and what their research priorities are.
Community engagement is recognized as a critical element of medical research, and can facilitate recruitment and retention in studies. Community engagement also endeavors to extend respect to individuals, communities and stakeholders which entails acknowledging, informing, explaining to, consulting, listening to and collaborating with those who have a stake in the research. Another goal of community engagement is to build trust and social relationships: it helps to address challenges faced by potential study participants to ensure that they trust the study team and the research institution as a whole.
Community engagement enhances understanding of the potential benefits and risks of research participation, and guides decisions related to participant reimbursement.