Search for courses or information

Community engagement to reduce inequalities in health


Community engagement to reduce inequalities in health (CERI): a systematic review, meta-analysis and economic analysis

Start Date:  April 2011   End Date:  March 2012   Status: Completed


Previous work has shown that if communities are 'signed up' to an intervention or programme that they are receiving, people are more likely to participate and that better outcomes can result. However, it is not known: 1) which approaches to engaging communities are able to reduce inequalities in health; 2) which types of intervention work best when communities are engaged; and 3) what the implications are in terms of the resources required. A synthesis of existing evidence on these issues will allow us to explore multiple approaches to community engagement in different topic areas with different populations in a timely and cost-efficient way.


Our overarching review question is: Can specific approaches to community engagement help to reduce inequalities in health; for whom, under what circumstances, and with what resources?


The project proposed is a synthesis of existing research. Specifically, the research entails:
  • Searching systematically for, and then describing, studies of community engagement in promoting public health and reducing health inequalities.
  • Coding the key features of relevant studies; Conducting a synthesis of the findings of this research; and
  • Developing recommendations for research, policy and practice in public health and other areas of social policy. This will include considering the resource requirements of community engagement initiatives and their potential cost implications for different stakeholders.

The review will benefit by drawing on wider perspectives. Young people, practitioners, and local authority representatives will be involved in consultations about interim findings to improve the review's validity.

Main Findings:

Back to top

Project lead by Institute of Education, University of London

IHHD Project Lead:

Professor Angela Harden

Project Team: Alison O’Mara-Eves (IOE), Ginny Brunton (IOE), David McDaid (LSE), Sandy Oliver (IOE), Josephine Kavanagh (IOE), Farah Jamal (UEL), Tihana Matosevic (LSE), Angela Harden (UEL), James Thomas (IOE)

Funder: National Institute for Health Research (Public Health Research Programme)

Project Partners: Institute of Education, University of London; IHHD, UEL; London School of Economics

Report: View report

For more information, contact: Professor Angela Harden,