November 29, 2021

Community Engagement Done Right & How To Avoid Common Pitfalls

by By Nina Bennett and Anjali Chainani

Local/ What Works Cities/ 2021/

As cities aim to equitably recover from COVID-19, engaging residents for input on establishing budget priorities, formulating policy, and designing programs has become more important than ever.

Community engagement done well can generate a clear mandate for change and help ensure that a City’s equity-informed strategies pay off with results. However, community engagement done poorly can do more harm than good. Common pitfalls can turn a well-intentioned strategy into one that fails to produce the needed results, or worse, harms your city’s relationship with the community.

The blog Community Engagement Done Right, and resource, Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Community Engagement, both from What Works Cities’s City Budgeting for Equity and Recovery Program, created in collaboration with HR&A Advisors, outlines community engagement approaches, common pitfalls, and tactics suggested in order to be more inclusive, gather better data, build trust with community.