The Brisbane Declaration (Definition of Community Engagement)

May 3rd, 2017

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

Community engagement takes a strategic approach to the relationships, communication and interactions between community members and an organization to try to influence outcomes for both.

The Brisbane Declaration in a nutshell:

  • 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.

You can download a copy of the declaration here

If you find this information useful and want to know more about community engagement you can also read our blog post: 5 Steps to Communicate Value for Community Engagement here.