Published on July 18, 2011

Making the case for public engagement

Past projects

By Edward Andersson

Edward Andersson is European Associate for Involve and an established expert on methods of participatory decision making. He set up Participationcompass.org – one of Europe’s leading public engagement sites, and has advised a number of organisations on public engagement strategies, including the Home Office, the European Commission, the OECD, WHO Europe, UNDP Turkey and numerous Local Authorities and Health Trusts.


Front page of Making the CaseThis Involve and Consumer Focus Toolkit demonstrates how to make the case for engagement using monetary terms.

There is a substantial amount of anecdotal evidence in support of public engagement and some case study evidence showing that the value of engagement, if done well, is more than the upfront costs. But there is little hard data to effectively express the benefits of engagement in cash terms.

It has never been more important to be able to make this business case. The UK has recently experienced the most severe recession since the 1930s and public spending will continue to be cut heavily in the years to come, and engagement professionals will need to articulate the value of their work in economic terms.

This practical Toolkit will help users understand and make the business case for engagement and present it to internal and external audiences. It can be used for all kinds of engagement from small scale ‘one off’ projects to major exercises across an entire town or wider local authority area.

It is aimed at those who manage, design, deliver, plan or commission public engagement projects. It does not require the reader to have detailed knowledge of economics.

Download the toolkit:

Making the Case for Public Engagement

The Toolkit also links to two spreadsheets:

Calculating costs and benefits with comparator

Calculating costs and benefits without comparator

To feedback your comments, results and experiences, or for more information, contact Edward@involve.org.uk

7 Responses to “Making the case for public engagement”