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Citizens play a critical role in advocating and helping to make public institutions more transparent, accountable, and effective, and contributing innovative solutions to complex development challenges.

Growing evidence confirms that citizen engagement can help governments achieve improved development results in creating links between citizen engagement and improved public service delivery, public financial management, governance, social inclusion, and empowerment.

Evidence also shows, however, that the outcomes of citizen engagement are context specific and depend on government and citizens’ capacity and willingness to engage collaboratively.  Social, political, economic, environmental, cultural, geographic, and other factors, such as gender dynamics, shape the opportunities and scope for effective citizen engagement.

Engaging citizens is especially important during times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, as the effectiveness of response efforts can often hinge on behavior change at the micro-level, building understanding of the need for local action is best done in dialogue and partnership, and timely citizen feedback can provide insight into how the crisis is affecting communities as well as enable real-time course correction in rapidly evolving situations. 

Last Updated: Apr 14, 2022

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Contacts

Washington, D.C.
Laura Ivers