Home » Research approaches » Participation

New thinking on managing participation and engagement

Over the past few years a number of reviewers have pointed to the need for us to get more accurate about our use of the word participation. Similarly we need to look not only at how well citizens and other stakeholders engage, but on the capacity that government and other agencies have to support the engagement of citizens and other stakeholder groups. There is growing evidence that we need to replace recipe-based approaches - which emphasise selecting the relevant tools for the job - with an approach that emphasises participation as a process. The latter also implies the need to pay more attention to ensuring that processes are managed by those with well-developed skills in relationship-building, facilitation and conflict mangement.

Further reading on this topic can also be gained by the related page on building networks for learning which also looks at managing different engagement approaches including partnerships, team building, communities of practice and learning groups.