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Sustainability of community engagement – in the hands of stakeholders?

Anubama Ramachandra (Department of Human Resource Development, University of Technology, Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Malaysia)
Nur Naha Abu Mansor (Corporate Planning and Community Engagement Unit, University of Technology, Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Malaysia)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 2 September 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The current gap in the field of community engagement is evaluation and measurement of the impacts on the stakeholders, mainly the community being engaged with. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper discusses the need to consider the stakeholder's perspective and their involvement in a community engagement initiative, or in any social program. The authors begin by debating the most common evaluation techniques used, followed by re-introducing stakeholder evaluation to the field of community engagement.

Findings

The evaluation using the stakeholders’ approach will not only create a holistic evaluation process, but will also assist in fostering a sense of ownership of the community engagement program.

Originality/value

Community engagement is given much importance nowadays in Malaysia, especially in line with institutes of higher learning's tripartite mission, the third mission being the ability to engage with communities. It is not surprising because community engagement offers enormous benefits for regional and societal development. Community engagement relies heavily on partnership and mutual reciprocity between different stakeholders such as communities, universities, non-government organizations, field experts and funding organizations. In order to sustain the engagement initiatives, it is important to know who are the “owners” or stakeholders of the program.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to extend their gratitude to the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and Research Management Center, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. This study was supported by CLMV Grant, Vote No. 4B109.

Citation

Ramachandra, A. and Naha Abu Mansor, N. (2014), "Sustainability of community engagement – in the hands of stakeholders?", Education + Training, Vol. 56 No. 7, pp. 588-598. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-07-2014-0084

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited