January 28th is a day to embrace the advances that have been made around community engagement. We all know it is important, but everyone values it for their own personal reasons.
To celebrate and embrace Community Engagement day, I asked a few of our team members why they think community engagement is important – here are the answers.
"Trust is the most important thing when it comes to interacting with any community. In a time where technology is constantly gathering data from us, the more informed and involved a community is, the more likely they are to participate and give feedback. Consistently engaging with your community will help to maintain credibility over time." - Charles
"Asking your community for feedback is a great way to gather data to guide the decisions you make in your project. When you have enough data, you are able to make the best decision to ensure your community that their opinion matters and help residents to understand what their input is used for. With digital community engagement strategies, your data is stored safely and is easily accessible which makes the process of reporting back to the community after a consultation much easier. Your data gathered from community engagement will enable you to prove to the community that the decisions that were made in the planning process were intended to meet the desires of the majority of the community." - Colin
"Community engagement ultimately leads to improved outcomes for communities. In order for a plan or project to accurately meet the needs of the community, it's essential gather input from people that projects will affect and develop a plan that directly addresses the feedback received. Involving the community in important decisions will empower and integrate residents from all sort of backgrounds. Digital engagement is an effective way to encourage a much more broad section of a community to feel confident enough to participate and encouraging as many people to participate as possible will result in the best possible outcomes." - Melissa
"In the past few years we have seen a shift in the attitude towards community engagement from a ’nice-to-have’ to a crucial element of any project. The community expects to be involved in decision making and in a world of technology and fast-paced lifestyles, they want to have their voice heard at a time that is convenient for them. While community engagement can sound daunting, if you ask the right questions, approach it from multiple angles and use the right tools, it can help you hear from a true cross-section of the impacted stakeholders and help build better communities." - Ollie
"All around the world we're seeing governments out of step with community expectations. Community consultation - listening the to voice of the people across all areas of policy and regulation - has never been more important. Through genuine community engagement we can heal the wounds caused by misinformation and short-sighted planning. I think we're sitting on the edge of the next great leap in the democratic process and it's powered by community engagement. Through comprehensive digital tools the community will be able to have a substantive and supportive role in policy development. It's an exciting time for public participation, and it's never been more important to open up conversations and be the most inclusive we can be." - Patrick