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 create a desired outcome together. As Community Engagement increases, citizens move from being passive consumers of information to taking active leadership roles.

  • Passive approaches inform people about decisions or consult with them by asking them questions. This approach however, does not bring the public into the decision-making process.
  • Proactive approaches, on the other hand, give more control over decision-making to the public. They encourage the public to participate in the development of action plans that meet their needs and interests.

Engaging citizens is a critical component of any work that will impact the community in any way. It is about listening to the community’s needs and responding. Community Engagement increases community cohesion and allows for the community to have ownership over outcomes that better reflect their needs. 

Community Engagement with Children

Featured Resources

Getting Started


Top 100 Partners Exercise

By Tamarack Institute

Consider the top 100 people and organizations in your community that could help you realize the change you want to see. Imagine that they were working together to change the community. This would be a dream come true for many communities. The easiest and least effective way for partnerships to emerge is to just let them happen. Use this Top 100 Tool to develop a strategy to identify and build strategic relationships in your work.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement: An Overview

By Tamarack Institute

This article provides a brief overview of the term 'community engagement'. It features the following concepts: community engagement can be passive or proactive; community engagement as a process; community engagement empowers communities; community engagement is not limited by time; community engagement favours multi-sectoral collaboration; and, key community       engagement criteria.

Taking It Further

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Forward: How Technology Improves Community Engagement

By Lisa Attygalle

This Tamarack publication explores how new technologies are lending fresh perspectives and putting power back into the hands of communities.

Strengthening Public Engagement in Edmonton

Strengthening Public Engagement in Edmonton

By Centre for Public Involvement

This document summarizes the state of the art in public engagement, and relates these lessons and innovations to the Edmonton experience. The first section describes the key elements of productive engagement and what it can accomplish. The following three sections focus on the techniques and assets that contribute to the practice, culture, and structure of engagement. The final two sections explore how to put all this information together in visions and plans for public engagement in Edmonton.

Communities of Practice 

Community Engagement Community of Practice

Community Engagement Community of Practice

A Community of Practice for community engagement leaders committed to sharing and learning from one another to enhance our engagement initiatives.

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Learn about Tamarack's upcoming learning calendar

Interested in expanding your knowledge and capacity to tackle the community issues you're facing? Tamarack hosts a number of in-person workshops as well as free online webinars and communities of practice to help you meet this challenge.

Explore upcoming opportunities