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Public Engagement Lessons Learned


The Public Engagement Toolkit contains resources contributed by local health departments in six states during a project to measure the value of public engagement.  During this project, known as Public Engagement Lessons Learned (PELL), state and/or local health departments conducted public engagement activities surrounding a theoretical influenza pandemic.  This project pre-dated the 2009 H1N1 pandemic by less than a year.  They documented these activities and compiled the subsequent resources.  Projects were completed by LHDs in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, and Washington. This project held five purposes:

  1. To inform and assist state and local level decision-makers involved in values-oriented policy decisions, in this case related to pandemic influenza planning;
  2. To evaluate the effectiveness of engaging both citizens-at-large and other stakeholders in public health policy decisions;
  3. To increase state and local capacity to effectively engage the public on policy choices;
  4. To empower citizens to participate effectively in public decision-making work; and
  5. To achieve results that enhances public trust in public health decisions regarding policy choices.

These resources can be used as models for any project looking to engage the public in public health matters. We invite local health departments to consider sending us examples of practices and tools that you have found useful when trying to gauge the public’s attitudes and beliefs in issues of concern, and we particularly invite submissions through the annual Model Practices Program at

Click here for free Public Engagement resources