The Brisbane Declaration (Definition of Community Engagement)

Developed at the first United Nations Conference on Community Engagement, this Declaration presents a robust definition of Community Engagement and principles for defining what makes for good engagement.

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The Declaration:

  • Affirms that community engagement is critical to effective, transparent and accountable governance in the public, community and private sectors.
  • Recognises that community engagement is a two way process:
    • by which the aspirations, concerns, needs and values of citizens and communities are incorporated at all levels and in all sectors in policy development, planning, decision-making, service delivery and assessment; and
    • by which governments and other business and civil society organisations involve citizens, clients, communities and other stakeholders in these processes.
  • Affirms that effective engagement generates better decisions, delivering sustainable economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits.
  • Also recognises that effective community engagement enables the free and full development of human potential, fosters relationships based on mutual understanding, trust and respect, facilitates the sharing of responsibilities, and creates more inclusive and sustainable communities.