Engagement Narrative

Explain to participants why you want to involve them, what they have to gain and what you expect them to give. A narrative is not just a compelling poster, but a vision of a journey you hope to co-create with your stakeholders and residents.

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People, especially those struggling in their day-to-day lives are busy and often times lack positive experiences of being heard or participating.

You need to excite them to join this undertaking without overselling – something that would erode trust and make it harder the next time round. A narrative also helps local media, organizations and partners buy into the journey you are charting.


Kaboom! Is a charity that promotes kid friendly and playful cities. Their research and vision, honed over 20+ years, has led to a practice in which playgrounds only succeed if children and the community are involved in providing them. Kaboom! Has also excelled at providing a compelling narrative to participation; you will improve health and other measurable outcomes for your children and create a more lively, safer and beautiful place by getting involved.

The narrative is tailored to serve specific audiences that are needed to participate: City leaders, project implementers, businesses, child-, family-, and community-serving organizations.

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Vision and mission

Explain what success would look like to all, with a clear set of actions to be taken to achieve that outcome.

Tailored to target groups

Provide tailored messages to the different stakeholder audiences you might have: government officials, businesses, operators, residents, schools, organizations, different language groups.


Involve members of your target groups in developing the narrative to make sure it is owned by all.

Evidence and cases

Try to create shared truths through your narrative around which all groups can agree. Avoid judging, politically tinged or operator-biased messaging that may alienate people or groups.

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