New technologies for global public health are spurring critical evaluations of the role of communities in research and what they receive in exchange for their participation. Community engagement activities resulting from these evaluations are most challenging for novel scientific ventures, particularly those involving controversial strategies and those in which some risks are poorly understood or determined. Remarkably, there is no explicit body of community engagement knowledge to which researchers can turn for guidance about approaches that are most likely to be effective in different contexts, and why. We describe here a framework that provides a starting point for broader discussions of community engagement in global health research, particularly as it relates to the development, evaluation and application of new technologies.
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