The Department of Health Services is committed to improving our ability to engage with, meet the needs of, and learn from our residents. As part of this commitment, we are proactively learning how to more effectively engage three communities that are growing rapidly in Sonoma County: seniors, Latinos, and residents with low income.
This website represents the results of our first step in this learning process: understanding what works best. Here, we present the findings of the Blue Sky Consulting Group and Common Knowledge analysis of the "best practices" for community engagement.
Sonoma County has experienced some dramatic demographic shifts over the past ten years, with Latinos, seniors and residents with low income representing a larger portion of the county's population. As part of its efforts to enhance individual and community health for all county residents, the Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS) has committed to improving the County's ability to engage with these growing populations. Based on interviews with county governments across California as well as in-depth interviews with Sonoma County government staff and other local leaders, the Community Engagement report highlights that the real key to effective community engagement is having the institutional capacity and commitment to learn from and engage with the community. Understanding, respecting and working with the communities of interest will make far more difference in whether engagement is successful than choosing a particular engagement activity. As such, the report presents a portfolio of strategies and best practices for laying the foundations for and promoting the implementation of effective community engagement.
Read full report (pdf)
A comprehensive survey compares the perspectives of local government officials and community leaders on public participation in California.
Infographic: highlights the research findings and recommendations
Source: Institute for Local Government.