Community engagement is the foundational way government opens its doors to connect communities to programs and services, better understand community need, share decision-making, and work in solidarity with what’s already occurring in neighborhoods. However, many communities won’t and can’t interact with the City of Philadelphia (i.e., the City) because the City has either broken their trust or hasn’t created the conditions for their engagement.
The Equitable Community Engagement Toolkit (i.e., the Toolkit) intends to create the conditions so equitable forms of engagement can occur between the City and the communities it serves. The PHL Service Design Studio (SDS) and the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service (MOCEVS) are partnering together to build the Toolkit.
Relying on input from more than 150 conversations with community members and City engagement practitioners, the Toolkit will consist of guidance and training to help practitioners practice more equitable forms of community engagement. However, as the project team prepares to test the Toolkit with City agencies, they’re currently thinking about accountability and what mechanisms and examples exist that encourage lasting culture change in large and siloed organizations.
1) What are some examples that demonstrate how community members have helped hold organizations accountable?
2) How might City engagement practitioners hold themselves accountable to use Toolkit guidance and training?
3) What strategies and tactics have you witnessed that generate lasting culture change?