Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL), a long-time supporter of SOLGM, has produced a think-piece for the Helen Clark Foundation on engaged communities. There is growing anecdotal evidence that community disengagement is rising with decreasing participation in local democratic institutions across the country. The research considered whether community-led development could support local governments to enable more engaged communities, to achieve long-term and sustainable outcomes, relationships, and decision-making.

The dimensions that make communities engaged were explored by talking with different types of communities, and hearing from them what influences, directs, and also impedes, their ability to be engaged. We found these dimensions are often driven by main “actors” that are within or engaging with communities, including technology, as well as “enablers” within local government.

The report focuses on community-led development engagement by local authorities for the development of public policy. It provides clear recommendations to shape and better inform the development of community engagement tasks that could foster, inform, and lead to more engaged communities. The report is available here.