On the International City/County Managers Association website, author and professor Kevin Desouza writes about the growing public sector trend to promote citizen engagement, and the remaining woes over these efforts.
From the article:
Given that citizen participation is a cornerstone of a democratic society, here are five suggestions to ensure your local government’s effort to engage residents are well-thought out and encourage meaningful collaboration.
Don’t cry wolf. Do not conduct citizen engagement casually. Don’t ask for feedback you don’t need or won’t use. If you keep screaming for engagement, eventually it will be part of the noise and get lost and lose its credibility. Choose carefully when and where you want to engage and toward what end.