Stakeholder Engagement

As a complementary service to IMPAQ’s exemplary research and evaluation divisions, we offer staff skilled at developing strategic, customized engagement and dissemination approaches and products. Our talented team plans communication campaigns inclusive of measurable outcomes; creates compelling materials and resources designed for connecting with specific stakeholders; and uses social media, conferences and trainings, videos and websites, virtual events, and other means to deliver messages to target audiences.  

Our Approach

During the planning process, our integrated and evidence-based approach takes into consideration the needs of our client; the audience being addressed; best practices for reaching that specific audience (including accessibility to different dissemination platforms); and the criteria by which impact will be assessed.

We collaborate closely with our clients to optimize their existing avenues of dissemination and outreach while also introducing fresh approaches.  We strive to leverage both new and existing relationships with other partner organizations to ensure reach and bolster impact of the messaging.

Our Impact

IMPAQ has successfully prepared communications plans; researched and developed products for dissemination; managed resource websites; and promoted services and products through large marketing mailings, email campaigns, syndicated news articles, radio interviews, PSAs, social media, blog posts, and national conferences to reach both the general public and select professionals.

To ensure information is useful and up to date, we conduct literature reviews, gather stakeholder feedback, and synthesize data. Skilled at plain language writing, we translate research into materials, such as online trainings, that are clear and beneficial for lay audiences. Our usability specialists ensure all items distributed online meet Section 508 requirements.

Click on any of the links below to learn more about our communication services.

Conferences, Meetings, and Other Events

Since 2000, the Stakeholder Engagement division has successfully facilitated meetings, conferences, workshops, virtual events, and trainings of all sizes. Our team of seasoned professionals has supported events ranging from meetings of prestigious invitational advisory boards and strategic planning groups with as few as eight participants to major national conferences with more than 1,500 attendees. Additionally, the IMPAQ team successfully transitioned two large in-person conferences in 2020 to virtual events as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Our team provides complete logistics support services, including:

  • Program and content development
  • Venue selection and contract negotiation
  • Event marketing and partner coordination
  • Abstract submission and review
  • Secure, web-based registration management
  • Travel coordination
  • Conference mobile app and other materials development
  • Onsite support
  • Livestream, virtual event, and webinar production
  • Post-conference evaluation

The following event profiles provide a relevant sampling of recent projects.

Large Conferences

  • Since 2004, IMPAQ has planned and managed the Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency for the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. This is a national conference that brings together more than 800 federal and state welfare officials and experts to discuss cutting-edge research on family self-sufficiency and social welfare programs and policies.
  • IMPAQ has been chosen by ACF’s Office on Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) three times since 2016 to plan and implement the biennial National Research Conference on Early Childhood (NRCEC). The NRCEC is designed to encourage an ongoing exchange of knowledge to improve services for children and their families. It consistently draws more than 1,300 academics from a broad array of disciplines together with people working in leadership positions in government, national organizations, foundations, and early childhood and family programs.
  • IMPAQ has planned and implemented the biennial National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) since 2015. As the only federally sponsored national conference devoted to issues of child maltreatment, it is the nation’s leading training and technical assistance event for practitioners, policymakers, advocates, and researchers. More than 2,000 in-person and virtual participants meet for two –and –a half days, gaining knowledge; building skills and powerful collaborative networks; and shaping public policy, research, and practice in child maltreatment prevention and child welfare.

Grantee and Advisory Group Meetings

  • IMPAQ has historically provided support for a variety of grantee and federal advisory meetings across multiple federal agencies. Most recently, we provided annual support for approximately 16–20 grantee orientation and progress meetings for the ACF Children’s Bureau. Clients have included ACF’s Children’s Bureau and the Office of Head Start, as well as the National Science Foundation and the Department of Education. These events offer information on the basic requirements of the grants, acquaint grantees with each other, provide programmatic technical assistance, and offer peer networking opportunities. IMPAQ also has been responsible for convening the Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse and Neglect (FEDIAWG) on a quarterly basis, and has supported gatherings of various advisory groups for different institutes at the National Institutes of Health.
  • IMPAQ provided logistical, travel and administrative support for orientation trainings for recipients of Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnership grants. The EHS-CC Partnership is a relatively new competitive grant opportunity to support the partnering of EHS programs with child care providers to expand the number of high-quality slots for infants and toddlers. IMPAQ convened trainings for hundreds of new grantees throughout the country in every Head Start region in the country. 
  • IMPAQ works with OPRE to conduct biannual Technical Working Group (TWG) Meetings. These gatherings explore issues of interest that allow for interaction between experts in different fields cutting across disciplines and specialties. Meeting content relates directly to evaluation of self-sufficiency programs and emerging topics by an interdisciplinary group of experts. TWG meetings are an iterative process that involves the feedback and input from many stakeholders, including ACF leadership and program office staff. Staff content knowledge in family self-sufficiency and related policies and programs allows IMPAQ to provide technical expertise on research topics of interest to ACF as part of the agenda development process.

Other Events

  • IMPAQ has provided support for the Office of Head Start’s (OHS’s) Tribal Consultations, which convene elected and appointed leaders of Tribal Governments and their designated representatives with OHS leadership. Tribal Consultations provide the opportunity for meaningful dialogue between Tribal leaders and Head Start partners. Participating Tribes are asked to provide testimony, ask questions, and identify challenges and priorities for the OHS to review. IMPAQ has been responsible for providing meeting materials, onsite support, note-taking, and report writing.
  • IMPAQ organized OHS’s 50th Anniversary celebration by coordinating a virtual national block party that honored the families, staff members, volunteers, community partners, and other key stakeholders that have prepared Head Start children for success in school and in life. As part of the celebration, IMPAQ produced a live stream broadcast from the Campagna Center Head Start and Early Head Start Program in Alexandria, Virginia that included messages from OHS leadership. The celebration was re-broadcast in Central, Pacific, and Hawaii Time zones.

Training and Virtual Learning

One way to maximize the benefits of information dissemination is through the provision of training and peer-sharing events. Both in-person and virtual trainings help formalize the information-sharing process and provide a sound approach for reaching a target audience. IMPAQ does this by linking those in the field with one another in virtual communities of practice; by offering webinars featuring subject matter experts; and by using a train-the-trainer model to expand the impact of dissemination and learning multiple times over. Our trainers, curriculum developers, and experienced facilitators deliver tailored, culturally competent, population-specific training and peer-learning opportunities to the general public, federal grantees, and gatherings of subject matter experts.

  • As part of our overall support of the SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC), our staff participate in curriculum development activities and deliver two annual in-person training courses at the Department of Homeland Security’s Emergency Management Institute. Funded in part by FEMA, the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) Grants Training for State Mental Health Authorities and the CCP Training of State Trainers help prepare states, territories, and Tribes to apply for and successfully implement CCP grants after a disaster. IMPAQ DTAC staff have also developed several online, video-based trainings for first responders.
  • A consistent task on many of our projects has been the provision of peer-learning events. One ongoing example is the 18 to 20 “Digital Dialogues” we facilitate annually for the ACF Children’s Bureau. Averaging 125—200 attendees,  these webinar-based conversations allow for direct engagement among presenter(s) and participants through text chat and audio discussion. After each webinar, our staff prepare and post a “From the Field” summary of the discussion along with other related resources. To date, our team has achieved an average evaluation rating of 4.4 out of 5.0, with approximately 50 percent of the attendees also downloading 508-compliant resources.
  • For the CDC, IMPAQ participated in a project with several other contractors to teach and support state grantees in the use of collective impact principles to assure children grow up with safe, stable, nurturing relationships in environments that support stronger and safer families. IMPAQ staff were responsible for facilitating the monthly virtual peer-to-peer learning and sharing sessions of the grantees.
  • The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the U.S. Department of Labor contracted with IMPAQ to take 3 previous years of work of the Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative and broaden the collaborative's reach and impact. Among our many tasks, IMPAQ staff facilitated and expanded the SAW/RTW Policy Collaborative Community of Practice (CoP) of key stakeholders and created and supported several policy working groups with the expertise to address policy and program issues raised by the CoP; Final deliverables included 11 new policy and communication products, all of which were prepared and distributed online. The team also supported development and delivery of a webinar describing the work of the SAW/RTW Policy Collaborative, including key insights and recommendations for future directions in SAW/RTW policy. The webinar, A New Look at Ways to Minimize Work Disability and Job Loss after Illness or Injury, is available at the website of the Center for Workers' Compensation Studies, part of CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
  • Over a ten-year period, IMPAQ provided training and resource materials development support to the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP). Our role was to support the effort to teach grantees from across DOJ how to financially manage their grants. Beginning in 2009, we facilitated biannual updates of program manuals for online distribution (the DOJ Financial Management Guide and the DOJ Procurement Guide) and contributed content and infrastructure in the development of two multi-module online financial management trainings.  Our staff provided technical assistance to grantees required by their grants to successfully complete the online training, compiled bi-weekly reports on the training status of more than 9,000 grantees, and supported OJP staff providing in-person training seminars by managing registrations and preparing training materials.

Design, Development, and Dissemination

IMPAQ specializes in translating research results into attractive, Section 508-compliant products for public health experts; grantees; healthcare, social welfare, and education professionals; first responders; and the general public. Using an evidence-based approach that prioritizes an understanding of the target audience, we conceptualize, design, draft, and disseminate meaningful print and digital materials. Our portfolio of products includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Scientific and Annual Reports
  • Newsletters (electronic and printed)
  • Brochures, Flyers, and Fact Sheets
  • Toolkits and Guides
  • Syndicated News Articles
  • Videos and GIFs
  • Posters
  • PSAs
  • Social Media Messages
  • Websites
  • Motion Graphics/Animations
  • Infographics

In collaboration with our clients and project partners, our engagement specialists develop strategic communication plans and detailed marketing playbooks that reveal what information will be communicated, and when. Depending on the type of dissemination platforms and media used, we measure impact using technology such as Google Analytics to track  page views, number of downloads of a product, clicks on links, social media engagement, and other relevant metrics.Our digital dissemination platforms include websites, webinars, meetings, social media sites (such as Facebook and Twitter), podcasts, email campaigns/listserv use, and  strategic partners’ websites. Recent printed materials include posters, fact sheets, annual reports, conference programs, and rack cards.

The following is a sampling of recently developed products and campaigns.

  • For the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, IMPAQ developed a digital media outreach campaign to market the Step Up to Quality child care licensing program to both parents and providers. In addition to developing social media messages and producing a series of outreach videos, our staff developed rack cards for distribution throughout the state in four languages: English, Spanish, Somali, and Arabic.
  • IMPAQ managed the National Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center (CANTASD) from 2014 into 2020. A central task was the development and implementation of a strategic communications plan. Once approved, IMPAQ staff created and dissemintated (1) social media postings on approved platforms such as Facebook and Twitter; (2) short videos disseminated through Facebook, Vimeo, and other platforms; (3) diverse tools and materials through the CANTASD website (; and (4) a monthly e-newsletter. In addition, during National Child Abuse Prevention Month each April, we developed, implemented, and managed a robust national social media outreach and engagement campaign (the WE CAN campaign, short for Work to End Child Abuse and Neglect). We use tools such as Google Analytics and statistical tools within Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and SendGrid to monitor how people interact with the CANTASD website and social media posts. IMPAQ continues to perform similar tasks for the ACF Children's Bureau as a subcontractor for the Children's Bureau's Learning and Collaborative Center.
  • For the Office of Innovation and Improvement within the U.S. Department of Education, our staff developed a five-part whiteboard animation series to teach the basics of program evaluation.
  • As part of our more than 10-year relationship in support of the SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center project (DTAC), IMPAQ’s team members create and disseminate disaster mental health and substance use information, materials and resources, and prepare and train state program officials and first responders. Items developed include monthly and quarterly e-newsletters; tip sheets on disaster mental health and substance use topics; and a collection of online courses for police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel.
  • For more than six years, IMPAQ has prepared an annual report for the ACF Office on Planning, Research, and Evaluation focused on their portfolio of research in welfare and family self-sufficiency.

Learn More

To learn more about Stakeholder Engagement at IMPAQ, contact Kristi Merritt, Vice President, Stakeholder Engagement.