Community Engagement Effectiveness

Enterprise Community Engagement

Applying enterprise approaches to community engagement helps government increase input and feedback for better decision making, inclusion and efficiency.

The IBM Center for The Business of Government connects research to practice in helping to improve government and to assist public sector executives and managers in addressing real world problems with practical ideas and original thinking to improve government.  The“Seven Drivers Transforming Government” is the culmination of research with current and former government leaders that identifies seven drivers for transforming government in the years to come.

PublicInput is applying a selection of those drivers to interpreting the future of one of the government’s most important success components: community engagement.


IBM Center for The Business of Government

Applying enterprise approaches to achieve better outcomes, operational efficiency and a leaner government.

Approaches to Engagement

When asked for examples of community engagement, many people may suggest a town hall or council meeting where members of the public are allotted a brief opportunity to provide public comments to their elected officials. Others may point to government initiatives around transportation or environmental projects where governments seek input or feedback from impacted residents.

Few people, if any, suggest an example of community engagement as a 24/7/365 service between government and their constituents. On the surface daily engagement  sounds like a pretty massive undertaking. Engagement practitioners often wonder, can something like this be accomplished and what benefits can be realized for a government and a community engaged in  on-demand collaboration around important policy issues?

The answer is a government with the ongoing goal of being more effective, both in terms of its operations and results.


Effectivity has been demonstrated through the use of technology across government agencies –known as the adoption of enterprise solutions– to deliver mission-support services seamlessly across program and organizational boundaries.

The Future of Performance

IBM Center for The Business of Government

. . . the future of government performance relies not simply on greater efficiency, but also on increasing capacity to work effectively

How does this apply to community engagement? 

We saw first hand at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the critical challenge for state and local agencies to effectively use technology to continue its deliberations with public officials and the community. To continue public meetings in many jurisdictions, it took emergency executive orders, supporting legislation, and a corps of  talented and hard working CIOs and IT departments across the nation. Not only was the government less efficient in carrying out the basic function of community engagement, it was also noted among many jurisdictions and governing bodies as an ineffective way to inform constituents and to solicit input on public issues.

As the pandemic continued, most governing bodies adopted some form of information and/or communication technologies to continue meetings and community engagement, even without the efficiency or effectiveness required or desired. Today, a new era of community engagement and representative democracy is emerging through the use of dedicated community engagement technology platforms.

From these platforms, governments are realizing the benefits of blending virtual and conventional approaches to community engagement that increase and diversifying participation. Data collected through the use of new public engagement models to organize and centralize public governance are creating more effective processes that can be realized across multiple departments.

Positive, Significant, & Lasting Change

IBM Center for The Business of Government

To achieve positive, significant, and lasting change, government leaders must focus on sound implementation. The focus on implementation involves the meaningful integration of operations across agencies via an enterprise approach.

24/7/365 Engagement

Governments need to consider what an enterprise approach to community engagement could look like with a 24/7/365 process. It will take a rethinking of how we use technology and how we define community engagement.

It will require the government and the public to change the narrative when it comes to community engagement. Instead of being selective where public participation or comments are sought, the government should be engaging the public on issues in every department on every day. This cannot be accomplished without the use of technology solutions. Fortunately, we have the technology capable of enterprise deployment.

Governments must also consider how they can be more effective through more engagement. There is a vast ocean of knowledge among the residents in a community. Many who possess skills and expertise about challenges the government faces everyday surrounding public policies would offer their input or feedback if given the right mechanism to contribute to it.

At PublicInput, we agree with those thought leaders who advocate governments should constantly be thinking about how it can tap into the community’s energy and enthusiasm and leverage that with public work being performed by the government on their behalf.

Enterprise Government

IBM Center for The Business of Government

. . . enterprise government focuses on mission support and emphasizes streamlining and integration of administrative services, as well as processes and functions that share common elements.

Community engagement can be a shared service —government-wide or department-wide– as a system that can be standardized, produced and delivered, aligning enterprise approaches with problem solving. That is, community engagement should look and operate the same across all government sectors and agencies offering governments a centralized, organized, managed and reported system made more efficient through an enterprise solution.

Government Transformation

IBM Center for The Business of Government

Enterprise approaches that leverage modern management and technology systems and practices can enable progress across the public sector. The evolution of enterprise government can give fresh momentum to improving effectiveness and driving transformation in government. 

Adding “engagement” to public administration along with the basic framework of economy, efficiency and effectiveness is a principal way of practicing the work of governance with more inclusion and equity creating more informed decision making.

Read more about how PublicInput can help your community engagement be more effective in our eBook Collaborative Democracy is Trending

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