In an age where trust in government (and indeed all institutions for that matter) is at an all-time low, the very future of local representative democracy requires leaders with a new skill – the ability to break through cynicism and mistrust to directly engage residents in local policy. From public safety, to city budgets and spending, to planning and environmental policies, today’s challenges need leaders who can revitalize public involvement.
Public engagement is not a fad, buzz phrase, or government jargon. It is a necessary component of any local government decision that affects residents and community members. However, only the engagement strategies that are well-planned and well-executed will inspire communities to come together for civic improvement.
Many engagement techniques can be improved upon; however, the first step is analysis and evaluation. When examining current strategies, take note of what has been effective and what has fallen short of expectations.
Numerous public and nonprofit organizations host a variety of workshops and events each year where professionals can learn first-hand how to better their existing systems of engaging the population, backed by the advice of seasoned experts.
The Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership offers a three-day intensive workshop for local government practitioners who want to analyze and improve their current engagement strategies. During this program, participants have the opportunity delve into open discussions on relevant topics and leading edge techniques with peers as well as senior faculty members, receiving direct mentoring from experts on their successes and lessons learned. Moreover, following completion of the program, the cohort is awarded a Professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement for Local Government.
Collaboration with senior professionals and thought leaders in civic engagement can boost the success of your engagement tenfold. Mastering your engagement strategies is a three-step process that begins with a deep inspection of existing practices, then progresses with techniques backed by proven experience. The final, but continually improving and evolving, phase is implementation. Workshops and conferences similar to those offered by Davenport Institute can help you through each step and prepare you for success.
Davenport Institute’s next Professional Certificate workshop will take place January 19 – 21, 2018 on the Pepperdine University Malibu campus. More information about this program and other upcoming training workshops can be found here: https://publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/certificate-public-engagement/