Public and Stakeholder Engagement

Qualitas Research

Public, Stakeholder, Employee and Student Engagement

In this article we will consider:

  • What public/stakeholder engagement is
  • How we do public engagement
  • Why public (and stakeholder) engagement is important
  • How we, as researchers, support public engagement

What is public engagement?

Public engagement is a way of bringing people, organizations, and government together to solve complex problems. In engagement activities, the people engaged may be the general public (public engagement), employees of an organization (employee engagement), students at college or university (student engagement), or other stakeholders.

How do we do public and stakeholder engagement?

We can engage the public in a myriad of ways. Common methods include Information/Outreach, Consultation and Participation.


This refers to one-way communication by an organization or the government to the public or stakeholders, to share information about a policy or issue. Examples are a city council sending out information about planned changes to local recycling schemes, or a business informing employees of a new procedure to claim expenses.


Public consultation is when an organization or the government asks for the public’s views about proposed actions or plans. Public or stakeholder opinions might be gathered through surveys or polls, events and public meetings.


Public participation take place when members of the public, or representatives of an organization, get involved in a group process of information sharing, feedback and discussion, to jointly make decisions and make recommendations. An example is a representative group of local residents coming together to consider community feedback and agree an action plan for use of an area of wasteland in their community.

sampling techniques

Why is engagement important?

Public engagement helps ensure public input into the decision- making process, to ensure decisions reflect the various interests and points of view of the people affected by issues.

Employee engagement helps create a better work culture, increase productivity, increase employee satisfaction, reduce staff turnover, which can ultimately improve customer relationships.

Student engagement in the learning process can increases student attention and increase motivation to engage in critical thinking.

Customer engagement provides useful customer feedback, and can increase customer loyalty and trust, which can increase profits.

How do we support public and stakeholder engagement?

Our expertise is research. We help organizations with public, stakeholder, employee and student consultation. We help with survey design, sampling, data collection, and analyzing and visualizing quantitative data. We also analyze qualitative data collected by organizations such as meeting minutes, and notes of group discussions.

Something clients often ask for help with is managing all the data they have collected from open-ended questions in surveys, which can be challenging and time consuming to analyze. Having us efficiently analyze the free-text responses frees up days of our client’s time.


In this article we covered:

  • What public engagement is
  • How we do public engagement
  • Why public (and stakeholder) engagement is important
  • How we, as researchers, support public engagement

Want to talk to us about public or stakeholder consultation?