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Community engagement 101: understand the impact of public consultation

Public consultation Community engagement Policy implementation

Community engagement can be a complicated concept. Too often, attempts at singular definitions turn the concept of engaging people to have their say on decisions that impact their lives into abstract notions that sideline its essence. Emphasis on the lived experience of community members taking a front seat and local knowledges informing decision-making processes challenges a top-down approach to public decisions. It also deepens democracy at a time when it is under threat the world over.

This e-book cuts through these abstract attempts and instead provides a fundamental understanding of the meaning, use and ever-increasing global role of community engagement in public decision-making. With the rise in deepening and expanding public engagement globally – indeed, with the increasing mandating of public participation around the world – the need for answers to straightforward questions is required.

Written for on-the-ground practitioners, engagement professionals and community members, this resource provides accessible explanations that cover the basics and bring an understanding of the principles that underline best-practice engagement. It takes an integrated approach that combines concepts, methods and practice to underline how engagement - including digital engagement - can lead to more equitable policy and decision-making.

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