Public involvement and community engagement

LiLaC’s research is underpinned by the principle that everyone has the right to have a voice in research affecting their lives. Our research creates opportunities for the public, including children, to work as partners with researchers and organisations to identify priorities, design and deliver research and co-produce evidence-based policies and other actions. We have a wealth of experience in delivering high quality involvement in research, establishing institutional governance structures to involve public/community partners, producing good practice guidance; and leading evaluations of public involvement and community engagement. Members of the public involved in LiLaC’s research represent a diverse community of different ages, faiths, backgrounds and languages who have an interest in health and well-being not only for present but also future generations.

  • Public Advisers are embedded through the structure of the Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast (ARC NWC), with public representatives on its steering board, management committee, sub-groups as well as all ARC funded research projects. Members of the public attend a regular forum which advises on ARC NWC work as well as providing strategic oversight for its public involvement and community engagement activities.
  • A resident network was set up to support public involvement in the Communities in Control study. Public members of the network are involved in shaping research priorities, have undertaken research as community researchers, contributed to the analysis of findings and co-produced a graphic narrative booklet (comics) about lived experiences of health inequalities and community action.
  • A co-produced research programme with residents and local organisations resulted in action on a range of issues affecting quality of life and health in ten disadvantaged neighbourhoods in North West England. As part of a Community Research and Engagement Network (CoReN), local residents worked with researchers to undertake participatory research enquiries and use the findings to influence policy actions in relation to issues such as debt advice and air quality.
  • LiLaC researchers working with other universities and the public developed the Public Involvement Impact Assessment Framework (PiiAF) to help researchers assess the impacts of involving members of the public in their research in diverse fields from health care to local history. It has been used by researchers in the UK and internationally.

For more information about public involvement in LiLaC research, contact Jennie Popay, Lancaster University