Community Engagement

Community Engagement is the process by which citizens are engaged to work and learn together on behalf of their communities to create and realize bold visions for the future. Community Engagement can involve informing citizens about your initiative, inviting their input, collaborating with them to generate solutions, and partnering with the community from the beginning to tackle community issues. Community Engagement increases community cohesion and allows for the community to have ownership over the outcomes that will ultimately impact them. 

Tamarack is uniquely positioned to act as a bridge between theory and practice. We apply the theory to community contexts and teach and coach organizations, municipalities and groups to engage their communities meaningfully. We stress the importance of approaching engagement with an outcomes-based lens, of always involving context experts, and to provide community ownership of solutions whenever possible. We are leaders in applying community engagement to systems-thinking in order to work collaboratively for community-wide change.

Community Engagement with Children

Featured Resources

Getting Started


Community Engagement Planning Canvas

By Tamarack Institute

This planning canvas will help you work through the main considerations when planning to engage any segment of your community. Use this as a space to reflect, generate ideas, and refine your thinking. It can also serve as a holding place or reference file to summarize the key information for each of your engagement initiatives.

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Community Engagement: A Foundational Practice of Community Change

By Sylvia Cheuy

In 'Community Engagement: A Foundational Practice of Community Change', Sylvia discusses what community engagement actually is and how it is the core idea for change.  She also explores why the nurturing of community ownership and leadership in any change effort is essential for its long-term sustainability and success. This paper will give you different perspectives to consider and questions that will spark ideas.

Community Engagement

Creating Principles for Engagement

By Tamarack Institute

The process of creating principles for engagement allows you to thoughtfully consider the unique needs of and relationship you want to have with your community. Once created, use these principles as a guide and checkpoint during the planning and implementation of your community engagement activities.

Taking It Further

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Bridging the Gap: Repairing Relationships for Stronger Community Engagement

By Lisa Attygalle & Liz Weaver

This webinar explores how most of us recognize the need for and importance of engaging the communities we serve. Working to uphold the slogan, “nothing about us without us”, we might try to engage communities as much as possible. But engagement is a two-way street, and people who work in institutions and organizations sometimes find that the communities they hope to engage are hesitant or even resistant to engage. This can often be true when the relationship between institutions and communities is damaged, or where there is a lack of trust in the organization’s ability to engage in an open and honest way.


2019 Webinar Rethinking Democracy

Rethinking Democracy: Strategies That Put Citizens at the Centre

By Max Hardy and Sylvia Cheuy

This webinar features Max Hardy, a Citizen Engagement expert from Australia, and profiles some new thinking that reimagines our understanding of democracy in action and offers approaches that honour the wisdom and practicality of ordinary people. Listen as Max and Sylvia reimagine how ordinary citizens are invited and engaged as co-creators of the community’s shared vision of its future.



2020 CE Foundations Square Black

Foundations of Community Engagement

Online Course | Access course materials anytime and learn at your own pace

Join Tamarack's Lisa Attygalle, Director of Community Engagement, in this new online course designed to build a foundation of knowledge and practice for your community engagement work. 

Register for the Online Course