National Collaborating Centre Community Engagement  
NCCCE, Institute for Health Research, Bowland Tower East Wing, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YG
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This website is no longer maintained, but remains online as a record of development between 2004-5


About the centre

Community engagement is now central to government policy and this is no less the case in the field of public health. As the recent White Paper emphasised policy and practice aiming to reduce health inequalities must be underpinned by a commitment to genuine engagement with relevant communities. In October 2004 the Health Development Agency established a National Collaborating Centre to work with it to support the development of more effective ways of engaging with communities to reduce health inequalities in England. The centre, which is directed by Professor Jennie Popay, is based at Lancaster University and our academic partners are the Universities of Central Lancashire, Liverpool and Salford. Over time we aim to extend our partnerships to include a network of stakeholders drawn from the national organisations, the regional public health systems and community and voluntary organisations.

About our work

The centre’s core activity will be focused on supporting capacity building programmes for individual practitioners, organisations and local health economies to build capacity for community engagement. We will be submitting a detailed plan for our work programme to the HDA at the end of March 2005. In broad outline we anticipate that the centre will:

  • Develop a knowledge management system incorporating information on training resources, development opportunities, evidence of effective practice in community engagement;
  • Build a database of community engagement stakeholders and develop active partnerships with relevant stakeholders in the delivery of the centre’s programme;
  • Support the dissemination and utilisation of existing training and development resources relevant to community engagement produced by the HDA and others where such support is lacking.
  • Produce and disseminate new training and development resources where clear gaps have been identified;
  • Evaluate the impact of different approaches to promoting change for more effective practice in community engagement;
  • Operate a monitoring system to identify new training and development needs in relation to community engagement as these arise and respond to these if appropriate.

We are currently inviting comment and suggestions about our future work programme and would welcome your contribution. Please follow the link to the “Your Views” page.

Our relationship with the Health Development Agency (HDA)

The HDA has commissioned and resourced the development of the Centre and has an existing network of practice development officers based in each of its 9 regions to help support our work. The Centre reports to an HDA Management Group, chaired by Professor Mike Kelly, which has the following terms of reference:

  • Ensure the success of the NCCCE
  • Provide a link to the HDA/NIHCE management structure, acts as the key conduit into the HDA/NIHCE ensuring that the centre is kept informed about developments/issues facing the HDA/NIHCE
  • Determine the overall priorities for work
  • Approve all plans
  • Authorise any major deviations from plans
  • Identify and approve contract variations
  • Sign off completion of stages or projects
  • Receive and approve all output
  • Ensure the required resources are made available and committed appropriately
  • Monitor performance of the NCCCE
  • Monitor progress against plans
  • Monitor financial arrangements and expenditures
  • Ensure centre stays on course and delivers contractual requirements
  • Champion the development of the centre within and outside the HDA

Further information about the HDA and their other collaborating centres is available via the link provided above.

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Site last updated: 17 June, 2015