This is a repost on how to have more permanent forums and tools to support strong public engagement.
A hat-tip to Matt Leighninger for his thinking and permission drawn from Part 5 of his series, How Public Engagement Needs to Evolve.
Matt, a friend and colleague, identifies some of the problems as:
- In many instances, engagement happens as a temporary, stand-alone activity;
- Professionals in these different areas (for example, school policy, police-community relations, and community development) rarely work together when they are trying to engage the public;
- Every-department-for-itself engagement usually results in lower turnout. Faced with a choice about which of many meetings to attend, busy citizens will usually choose the one that is most relevant to their interests (or none at all).