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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Citizen and Community Participation: Understanding and Leveraging Its Potential

Report by Sandra Lopes

This report, prepared by Sandra Lopes, summarizes the June 2004 roundtable about the ideas and investment framework for citizen and community participation. Lopes identifies seven elements which comprise the spectrum of activity defined as citizen and community participation: public involvement; volunteering and giving; caregiving; environmental stewardship; belonging; cultural activity; and, sport/physical activity.

Lopes reports participants confirmed a strong connection between citizen and community participation and the capacity to address major public issues of health, security, social development, culture and identity, and others. They also strongly supported investing in participation at the individual, community, and convening levels.

Participants identified a number of barriers to effective investment in community participation, including a culture of “credentialism,” public apathy, and the difficulties in measuring the indirect benefits of participation. They suggested these challenges could be overcome by emphasizing and explaining the benefits of participation for individuals and society, and agreed all sectors and all levels of governments should invest in participation.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Sandra Lopes;
Publisher: Public Policy Forum [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Municipal;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Volunteers
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Volunteers / 2004
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement


Keywords / Tags:

community participation; citizen participation; public involvement; government's role in community; public apathy; social development;