2. Connect - Engaging People with Lived Experience

This toolkit was developed by the People with Lived Experience Workgroup and Community Champions from 100 Million Healthier Lives, and is brought to you in partnership with 100 Million Healthier Lives and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.


Trust and relationships are the foundation of all of our work. It's so simple to get started--just have a conversation with someone. You will be surprised at what they share with you, whether it's over a kitchen table, a park bench, or a shared meal. Building trust and rapport takes time, but it's worth it! Existing relationships with community residents, organizations, community leaders, partnerships, and those trusted by the community will help you connect with the right people. 


  1. Connect with people with lived experience who can contribute meaningfully to your work  
  2. Build relationships and make connections with the community as a whole


  • Identify the people with whom you need to connect. Ask: whose lives can be improved because of your work? Whose lives will most be impacted by your work? 
  • Meet community residents in a space of their choosing to build trust and respect their time and effort.
  • Connect in a range of ways—one on one is the most effective; small groups can also work
  • When you DO make these connections:
    • Introduce your organization.
    • Make it clear that you are not there to ‘fix’ community challenges. Instead, you are looking to collaborate and co-design solutions together.
    • Spend time getting to know each other. (See Questions to Ask at right.)
  • Offer fair (as defined by the PWLE) compensation for their time and knowledge.


First page of Recruiting Community Members with Lived Experience
Recruiting Community Members with Lived Experience
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by 100MHL
Collage of portraits from 100 Million Healthier Lives movement
Stories from 100 Million Healthier Lives
Brought to you by 100MHL
Published on 09/10/2020

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