Public and civic engagement

Reinventing the wheel? Why civic engagement looks a lot like public engagement

Joanna Heaton Marriott, writing on WonkHE, makes some excellent points about the relationship between public and civic engagement:

In our efforts to embrace this shiny new thing [civic engagement], we must not overlook the depth of learning available from experienced public engagement practitioners, who have been valiantly flying (an admittedly quiet) flag for years and delivering excellent results: from challenging perceptions of asylum-seeking unaccompanied children (University of Bath), to improving livestock health in Botswana (University of Bristol), and even using theatre to explore issues of oral health (University of Leeds). Their work has developed evaluation frameworks, informed best practice guides and inspired an entire community of practice.

And she finishes:

let’s stop creating mini-silos and instead nurture this work, in the way the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement has done for the past ten years. We’re all talking about the same thing and we don’t need a hostile takeover.

There is a huge amount to celebrate about the last decade of effort on public engagement, and what we need to do now is build on those successes.