As a growing number of discussions in healthcare center on the meaningful use of technology, experts are pointing to the concept of participatory engagement as a crucial characteristic of the development process.
We’re taking a closer look at this important topic, delving into key questions such as:
- What does “participatory engagement” mean?
- What does participatory engagement look like in practice?
- What benefits can participatory engagement offer in the development of healthcare applications?
What is participatory engagement in technology?
Participatory engagement in technology development is the practice of including end users of the app or product in the development process, ensuring that they are able to have a voice and meaningful impact on what is created.
There are multiple approaches to including key members in the development process, and using a no-code platform helps facilitate many of these approaches, as it brings down the barriers to development and shifts the locus of control towards non-technical individuals. It also facilitates rapid prototyping and iteration, so community members, patients, and participants can provide feedback that results in adjustments being made in real-time.
What are the core principles of participatory engagement?
Above all, the core principle of facilitating participatory engagement in projects involves the prioritization of listening over outcomes. This means leading with trust and empathy building, in order to achieve more relevant and engaging solutions.
In the project management process, it’s easy to quickly assign objectives and milestones, and then dole out tasks accordingly. However, when taking a participatory approach, it’s important to remember that the end users of the technology should be the ones guiding the process. With participatory approaches, instead of leading with outcomes and timelines, the primary goal is to build trust at the outset of any project.
To make a shift towards participatory engagement, consider the relationship between yourself (a technology partner) and the community member as a product or outcome. This perspective will help you avoid an outcome-centered perspective and instead hone in on a relationship-building one, in which stakeholders’ needs and goals can be better understood.
This lens also enables a more flexible process that can successfully adapt to stakeholder priorities and the issues that are impacting them in real time.
What are the benefits of using participatory engagement approaches?
- Priorities can truly be informed by the community, so that workgroups, meetings, and initiatives can be tailored to be more reflective of the style, tone, and topics that fit community members’ needs.
- Increased engagement from community members can lead to more relevant and engaging solutions.
- Stakeholders are empowered by a sense of responsibility and ownership over the entire project.
Begin implementing a participatory engagement approach to app development with Chorus
Leading with a listening over outcomes approach not only helps build trust, but also shifts the outcomes to become more relevant and engaging to the members involved.
Explore how Chorus can help facilitate participatory engagement for your app development projects: Contact us today.