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Online Collaborative Platforms

Online Collaborative Platforms are web sites or other virtual spaces that enable interaction. They allow stakeholders to communicate, share information, and work together while promoting transparency, participation, and collaboration. Online Collaborative Platforms can be used in many ways, including for advisory panels and Delphi panels (among others). Stakeholders can engage virtually and (when done asynchronously) at their own convenience. Organizations can make use of free or low-cost platforms that are available for public use.

far fa-dollar-sign fa-sm Budget (e.g. personnel, space, equipment) Low Medium High far fa-user-clock Time per interaction I expect to engage stakeholders for... An hour or less Half a day A full day far fa-calendar-check Number of interactions I expect to interact with stakeholders... 1-2 times Appx. 5 times 10+ times Engagement Purposes far fa-scrubber Identify and explore new perspectives or understanding far fa-scrubber Identify which topics are most important to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Develop research questions relevant to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Select outcomes and measures that matter to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Refine and help implement effective recruitment strategies far fa-scrubber Expand and diversify stakeholder outreach far fa-scrubber Investigate best ways to successfully implement a study, based on stakeholder insights far fa-scrubber Describe findings in a way stakeholders can understand and use far fa-scrubber Disseminate findings to relevant audiences far fa-scrubber Design strategies for translating research into practice far fa-clock Time Frame

Time per interaction varies; Weeks to months to carry out the full method

fal fa-tasks-alt Workload LIGHT MEDIUM HEAVY
Appropriate Applications More useful for: far fa-scrubber Idea generation and prioritization far fa-scrubber Individual or group engagement far fa-scrubber Stakeholders unable to give a significant time commitment far fa-scrubber Stakeholders who are geographically dispersed far fa-scrubber Quick engagement far fa-scrubber Gathering a broad range of opinions or ideas far fa-scrubber Tracking engagement levels (since online platforms can collect usage data) far fa-scrubber Providing feedback to stakeholders Less useful for: far fa-scrubber Projects where in-person facilitation is crucial (e.g. projects with narrow scope of focus where participants need to stay on topic) Key Characteristics Resources Needed fas fa-money-bill-waveMoney far fa-scrubber Participant incentives in some situations fas fa-paperclipMaterials and Resources far fa-scrubber Online/virtual platform software fas fa-usersPersonnel far fa-scrubber Facilitator far fa-scrubber Web Developer (some situations) far fa-scrubber Staff for recruitment, monitoring engagement, providing feedback, and disseminating results far fa-scrubber Qualitative and/or quantitative analysts (when formal qualitative analysis or survey are used) How To

Since online collaborative platforms/ideation platforms can take many forms, there is no one specific set of steps. Instead, here is a list of generalized steps to help you get started:

Identify the research issue and agree upon engagement objective. Define what success will look like for your engagement process and define how it will be measured. Identify relevant stakeholders and develop a recruitment strategy. Lay out a future plan for communicating results back to the community. Identify and research the software options available to you, keeping your engagement objectives and stakeholder audience in mind. Provide training for your stakeholders to help familiarize them with the software program. After selecting a software, develop content. Establish expectations for engagement - since you will not be meeting in person, how often should stakeholders interact on the platform? What will the interactions consist of (e.g., discussion forums, use of survey tools, video chat meetings, etc.)? These expectations should be informed by the purpose of engagement. Establish protocol for monitoring stakeholder engagement and providing feedback to stakeholders. Who will monitor engagement and how often? Who will provide feedback and how often? Extract and analyze all qualitative and/or quantitative data to develop engagement outcome(s). Communicate results/distribute final product back to the community.
Considerations (Potential Pitfalls) Consider whether or not those you are trying to engage can readily access the internet. Choose a simple software that designed for ease-of-use so that stakeholders will be more likely to adopt it. Make sure that the software works on multiple platforms (e.g., Macs, PCs, mobile devices, etc). Examples References / Other Resources

The Stakeholder Engagement Navigator is a service of the Data Science to Patient Value Initiative at the
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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