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The SEED Method: An Evidence-Based Method for Engaging Communities

The SEED Method is a multi-stakeholder approach to engaging communities in research, problem solving, and action planning. Developed at Virginia Commonwealth University, SEED provides a framework for collaborative research and action planning that can be scaled up or down depending on project resources and goals.

Now Available! SEED poster with Engagement Tools and Key Process Elements


The SEED Method engages diverse stakeholder groups in research development,  we recently uploaded a poster that presents adaptable engagement tools and process elements from the SEED method that aid in stakeholder engagement.  They are the Stakeholder Identification Matrices and Participatory Conceptual modelling.

The SEED Method was designed to take place in six steps:

1. Identify and Engage

2. Consult

3. Conceptualize

4. Generate Questions

5. Prioritize Questions

6. Disseminate Agenda

The tools presented in this poster correspond to two of these steps.

The SEED Stakeholder Identification Matrices are tools that correspond to Step 1 in the SEED Method process, IDENTIFY AND ENGAGE. They are designed to aid the development of a comprehensive sampling plan for stakeholder engagement. Most importantly, this template can be customized to your study population and topic.

Participatory Conceptual modelling corresponds to Step 3 in the SEED Method process, CONCEPTUALIZE. This is a facilitated concept mapping exercise designed to tap into stakeholders’ experiences of why and how factors are interrelated to the research. The  modeling activity takes place with each of the stakeholder groups.

To view and download this poster, click HERE

To download the full SEED Method Toolkit and find more customizable tools, click HERE.

Interested in learning more about these tools or customizing them for use?  Reach out to us for technical assistance, contact us HERE.

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This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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