Community engagement

ABCs

Effective community engagement has benefits for both government and citizens.

For government, community engagement allows for wider sources of information, perspectives and potential solutions and is often the basis for productive dialogue and deliberation.

Why community engagement?

  • Understand and respond to issues raised by citizens and community
  • Raises awareness of citizens about an issue
  • Identify challenges and opportunities not previously considered
  • Propose a range of options
  • Obtain public opinion about a range of options
  • Work toward consensus about a recommended option

Benefits of engaging citizens and communities

  • Opportunity to tap into local knowledge about what is likely to work and what is not
  • Allow government to better understand complex issues in communities – and allow citizens to better understand the processes of government
  • Provide opportunities for cooperative, co-learning experiences and critical reflection building capacity within both govt and community
  • Increase effective, open and transparent engagement processes that carry greater legitimacy and credibility in the community
  • Deliver networking opportunities, access to information and resources, personal recognition, skill enhancement and a sense of contributing to community problem solving for govt officials
  • Achieve effective and sustainable policies, programs and services, efficiencies in coordination and improved community outcomes

What NEMRC can do:

We help your organization –

  • Develop a supportive culture
  • Develop skills, knowledge and capability in community engagement
  • Develop robust systems and processes
  • Improve coordination across agencies
  • Manage engagement in the context of govt commitment, priorities and cycles
  • Clarify the roles and responsibilities of public agencies, elected representatives, executive govt
  • Find ways to reduce barriers to involvement and reaching out to the unengaged and disengaged

We help you make informed decisions about –

  • The most suitable method of engagement
  • The timing of engagement in policy development and planning processes
  • Who should lead and facilitate the engagement
  • Strategies to address risks and manage expectations
  • Identify and incorporate political imperatives
  • Address and manage distrust and disinterest
  • Address and manage vested interests
  • How the results of engagement will properly inform policy development and decision making