Engaging Stakeholders One of the 10 essential principles of public health

Engaging Stakeholders

One of the 10 essential principles of public health services is the mobilization of community partnerships to identify and address health problems. One reason is that health problems are multifaceted, stemming from many sources, potentially affecting many populations on different levels. Another is that resources are often limited, especially in times of financial downturns, and partnerships can enable organizations offering health services to maximize funds spent (Week 5 will explore this further). Thus, ameliorating health problems requires the minds, skills, and expertise of many working in concert. The ability to engage stakeholders and build constituencies to solve community problems is a vital skill in a public administrator’s toolkit.

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Partnerships are beneficial to providing services, but engaging partners can be challenging. According to Varda, Shoup, and Miller (2012, p. 567) (see the Learning Resources), “People are used to working and managing within hierarchies rather than across them, leading to problems and challenges that limit the potential of networks. The rise of networks as a form of interorganizational collaboration to alleviate pressing public health problems requires professionals to rethink traditional methods of managing relationships.”

For this week’s Discussion, reflect on the requirements related to your Final Project. Consider the value of community and constituency involvement with initiatives to improve the health status of communities. View the media, Primary Care and Public Health: Exploring Integration to Improve Population Health, to see how public health organizations engaged and organized community partners to fight a chronic illness, asthma. Then, review the media, Engaging Communities and Building Constituencies, and reflect on how the Howard County Health Department engages community partners and builds constituencies.


Post a description of the most likely key stakeholders and constituencies related to your Final Project community health issue, and explain why you chose them. Then, propose at least two strategies for engaging and organizing community partners (stakeholders) and explain how you would apply these strategies. What would you anticipate as challenges? In other words, what would you foresee as barriers to opportunities in engaging and organizing communities? Explain why these challenges and barriers might exist. Be specific and provide examples.

Support your work with specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and additional scholarly sources as appropriate. Refer to the Essential Guide to APA Style for Students to ensure that your in-text citations and reference list are correct.



  • Shi, L., & Johnson, J. A. (2014).Novick and Morrow’s public health administration: Principles for population-based management  (3rd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. PDF ATTACHED
    • Chapter 5, “Organization of the Public Health System” (pp. 79–118)
    • Chapter 18, “Engaging Communities and Building Constituencies for Public Health” (pp. 391–412)
  • National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO). (n.d.-b). Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP). Retrieved October 6, 2014, from
  • Varda, D. M. (2014). PARTNER: Program to analyze, record, and track networks to enhance relationships [Analysis tool]. Retrieved from
  • Varda, D., Shoup, J. A., & Miller, S. (2012). A systematic review of collaboration and network research in the public affairs literature: Implications for public health practice and research.American Journal of Public Health, 102(3), 564–571. PDF ATTACHED


  • Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (Producer). (2014).Primary care and public health: Exploring integration to improve population health [Video file]. Retrieved from

    Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 13 minutes.

  • Laureate Education (Producer). (2014b).Engaging communities and building constituencies [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.    ******TRANSCRIPT ATTACHED

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