citizen engagement [English]

Syndetic Relationships

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ Efforts to actively empower citizens in government decision-making processes through transparent dialog and communication among individual citizens and with the government in order to increase trust in the government and to ensure decisions reflect citizens' interests.

Other Definitions

  • Hurley 2017 (†902 p. 3): A communicative, interactive and iterative process or initiative that actively involves citizens in policy or program development at any level of government.


  • Hurley, Léveillé, and McDonald 2016 (†901 p. 6): Government-Citizen Engagement (GCE) initiatives are part of a rapidly developing global experiment to enable citizens to participate in government. Initiatives may range from simply making information available in a transparent manner, to highly dynamic processes that interactively involve communities and individuals in decision-making. The promise is that these initiatives will create stronger links between citizens and governments, bolster trust in government, and ensure that decisions and services adequately reflect citizen needs, from local issues to national matters. (†2714)
  • Sheedy 2008 (†900 p. 4): Citizen engagement values the right of citizens to have an informed say in the decisions that affect their lives. It emerged from the ideas of public participation, which is distinguished below from public communication and consultation. Both public participation and citizen engagement are different from traditional forms of interaction between governments and citizens because they are based on a two way interaction, conversation or dialogue. Citizen engagement emphasizes the sharing of power, information, and a mutual respect between government and citizens. (†2712)
  • Sheedy 2008 (†900 p. 5): · Involves citizens (individuals, not representatives) in policy or program development, from agenda setting and planning to decision-making, implementation and review · Requires two way communication regarding policy or program change (interactive and iterative): between government and citizens; among citizens; and among citizens and civil society groups · Aims to share decision-making power and responsibility for those decisions · Includes forums and processes through which citizens come to an opinion which is informed and responsible · Generates innovative ideas and active participation · Contributes to collective problem solving and prioritization (deliberation) · Requires that information and process be transparent · Depends on mutual respect between all participants (†2713)