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.
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.
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.
- Occupy movement
- International Conference on Social Cohesion and Development
- The Revolution IS Currently and Will be…. Facebooked? (27 January, 2011)
- Civic Engagement – Canada 25
- Public Intellectual
Studies and publications
- Citizen Involvement & Quality of Life: Exit, Voice and Loyalty in a Time of Direct Democracy by Yonk and Reilly. Applied Research in Quality of Life. (2010)
- UK Data Service Case Study: Something about young people or something about elections? by Edward Fieldhouse, Mark Tranmer and Andrew Russell. (published as Fieldhouse, E., Tranmer, M. and Russell, A. (2007)
- Something about young people or something about elections? Electoral participation of young people in Europe: Evidence from a multilevel analysis of the European Social Survey European Journal of Political Research 46 797-822) (2007)
- UK Data Service Case Study: When do people feel European? European identity, EU attitudes, and questionnaire design by Robert Johns, University of Strathclyde. (2008)