All of the rapid change in the health landscape allows for exciting opportunities to engage stakeholders, helping create solutions that are as equitable as they are innovative. But effectively engaging the stakeholder voice in health care transformation requires a commitment to the process – ensuring the voices at the table aren’t just token representation so their perspectives and lived experiences truly inform the process. This level of engagement can be challenging, to be sure, but the effort is well worth it in improved outcomes.
This month, we are highlighting some of the work we’re doing with two health-related projects that are actively involving the stakeholder voice: the Community Living Quality Improvement Committee (CLQIC) and working with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance to develop a plan for the integrated behavioral health and health care telehealth system. Both projects seek to improve health outcomes and are relying heavily on meaningfully engaging stakeholders in the process to inform the work, identify when shifts are needed, and ensure the work is driving toward high-impact outcomes that improve health and well-being.
We’re also highlighting our “Tools for Engaging Nontraditional Voices” toolkit, a blog that examines the stakeholder engagement process in the development of the Colorado Coordinated Chronic Disease State Framework, and some of the work our team members are doing outside the office to engage stakeholders to support equity.
Spark Policy Institute develops innovative, research-based approaches to help clients solve complex societal problems that defy easy solutions.
Tools for Social Innovators
Ensuring those who are most affected by an issue are at the table and able to meaningful participate is a key component in creating meaningful and sustainable change. The Engaging Nontraditional Voices Toolkit explores how and why boards and other governance structures can and should engage nontraditional voices in policymaking, providing practical tools, resources, and guidance for how best to engage these voices to support appropriate and meaningful policies. It addresses issues like identifying, recruiting, and onboarding new voices; providing compensation for participation; how to best structure meetings; and even how to engage youth voices.
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Often, the hard work in an inclusive process starts not with finding a common purpose, but with exposing the differences that lie beneath the surface. The vested interests of professionals often result in incremental changes, but if we keep doing what we’ve always been doing, we will get the same results! This is why involving those on the ground who are directly affected by decisions helps break out of that mode of thinking and achieve real, meaningful change.
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It’s one thing to talk about how to engage stakeholders in a process, it’s another to see it in action! This blog looks at the Colorado Coordinated Chronic Disease State Framework and unpacks the steps Spark took to engage stakeholders throughout the development of the framework. In the end, these steps helped create a less adversarial process that was better able to incorporate diverse points of view than traditional processes.
Making a Meaningful Difference
One of our values and priorities at Spark is working closely with our partners, learning every step of the way, and achieving outcomes that make a meaningful difference. We believe in going beyond project by project work and applying the lessons we’ve learned that can help the field and others learn and grow.
This month we volunteered our time to support the Daylight Partnership, an innovative initiative that has brought together mental health and substance abuse providers to voluntarily improve their services and supports to deaf and hard of hearing consumers. We helped the Daylight Partnership tell their story to a potential long-term funding partner including explaining and promoting the importance of change strategies that influence systems, not just programs.