With increasing emphasis placed on the engagement of service users, citizens and communities in government policy, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has published a 70 page report that examines community involvement in the governance of local services, with an emphasis on the role of public officials. Community involvement in governance is defined as “community involvement in shaping local services and policies.”
According to the report, “The role played by public officials in community engagement has important effects on the extent to which community views can influence local services”
The report studies the experiences and views of public officials, comparing a local authority, a police service and a Primary Care Trust in Haringey, North London.
Specifically, the research examines:
– public officials’ perspectives on the purposes of community engagement, the different types of engagement mechanisms used, and the role played by community participants;
– organisational constraints and enablers of community engagement, including senior management support, resources, performance management systems, time frames and organisational culture;
– the informal practices and processes used by public officials to engage with the community and their attitudes and feelings towards it; and
– officials’ views about the extent of community influence and the factors which affected this.
Download the report, Public officials and community involvement in local services, here.