Civic Engagement

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Civic Engagement

Civic engagement is the participation of civil society organizations and citizens-at-large through direct and indirect interactions with government, multilateral institutions and business establishments to influence decision making and share control over priority setting, policy making, resource allocations and access to public goods and services.[1]

There are many ways in which citizens can engage, such as voting, volunteering, political advocacy and public demonstrations, community organising and getting directly involved in government processes such as through participatory budgeting.

Civic engagement is essential to a healthy democracy, to ensure transparency and accountability in governments and to foster fundamental human rights and freedoms.


Measuring Civic Engagement

The Civil Society Index (CSI), produced by CIVICUS, the Worldwide Alliance for Citizen Participation, is a participatory needs assessment and action planning tool for civil society around the world, with the aim of creating a knowledge base and momentum for civil society strengthening initiatives. The two primary goals of the CSI are: to enhance the strength and sustainability of civil society, and to strengthen civil society’s contribution to positive social change. The CSI is designed to measure civic engagement, level of organisation, practice of values, perceived impact and external environment. There are currently 56 countries implementing the project.

Other CIVICUS projects measuring civic engagement include the Civil Society Watch and the Early Warning System.

CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, presents a series of studies and data sets on the civic and political engagement of Americans between the ages of 15 and 25.

The Toolkit Partnership is an alliance of NGOs and local governments that provides toolkits, databases and case studies on participatory governance from all over the world.


See also

Blogs related to civic engagement


Studies and publications





External Links

Facebook revolutionaries outflank Arab regimes

Civic Engagement Research Group

Development Gateway: Civic Engagement

CIVICUS: The Worldwide Alliance for Citizen Participation

Society for Participatory Research in Asia

CIRCLE: Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

PACE: Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement

World Bank page on Civic Engagement

Alliance for Children and Families: Civic Engagement Works

United Nations Non-Government Liaison Service

United Nations and Civil Society

The Toolkit Partnership