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Community Engagement: Of the people, by the people, with the people

After school care, suicide prevention, pothole repair, national defense. Government does a lot of good for people. But as governments look to engage their communities, the fact that they are designed to do for people gets in the way.

Community engagement is not about doing *for* people, it’s about doing *with*.

Community engagement is a pillar of the open data movement. Almost all governments working to build a sustainable open data or civic tech culture are at least thinking about the importance of community engagement. So you may be thinking, “my government already does civic engagement.”

But to what extent are you getting beyond the usual suspects?  Does your community engagement approach have a set goal? How deeply do you understand the environment of the community your government needs to connect with? What tools do you have available or need to not only make that connection, but to be responsive to the concerns of the community?

If you don’t have ready answers to these questions, our Community Engagement Playbook can help. It’s developed with the real needs and limitations of government in mind. And it will provide you with a pathway and critical tools to starting doing with, and not just for, the people.

 

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