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Citizen/Community Engagement

The LGA has adopted the following as a working definition:
"Citizen/community engagement is about involving the community in the decision making process and is critical in the successful development of acceptable policies and decisions in government, the private sector and the community."

Source: adapted from Department of Transport, Western Australia

Community Engagement Revised Handbook 2016

The LGA updated, in 2016, the LGA Community Engagement Handbook. 

The Handbook was originally developed in 2008 and partially funded by the LGR&DS. 

The project incorporated further developmental work but was focused particularly on the needs of Elected Members and issues for CEOs and organisational structures.

2016_LGA Community Engagement Handbook Revised 4th Edition June 2016_Final.pdf


For further information contact Barbara Chappell at:  or Sama Reid at the LGA at

Citizen/community engagement is a broad field which includes a range of activities including public consultation. In discussing these issues people use a range of terms without a high level of common definition.

Showcase & Handbook

As the first step in a 2007 project the LGA gathered information from Councils including case examples. The survey used can be found here: Circular 11.12.

A summary of survey responses can be found here: Community Engagement Snapshot of Councils April 2007 Community%20Engagement%20Snapshot%20of%20Councils%20April%202007 (149 kb)

A publication documenting case examples of citizen/community engagement can be found here: Community Engagement Showcase - June 2007 Community%20Engagement%20Showcase%20-%20June%202007 (967 kb).  Click here to view a joint media release between Minister Rankine and LGA President, Mayor Joy Baluch.

The second phase of the project involved the development of the Community Engagement Handbook - A Model Framework for leading practice in Local Government in South Australia:
Community Engagement Handbook March 2008 - PDF Community%20Engagement%20Handbook%20March%202008%20-%20PDF (1346 kb)

Community Engagement Handbook - March 2008 Community%20Engagement%20Handbook%20-%20March%202008 (922 kb)

The principle aim of the Handbook is to provide Councils with a model framework to adapt to local circumstances for effective planning and implementation of community engagement processes for small and large projects. The Handbook is based squarely on the principle that effective planning needs to precede the selection of techniques for community engagement, and will be a valuable tool for all those across a range of disciplines who have an interest in and responsibility for designing and implementing community engagement initiatives.

Note that the LGA is currently undertaking a revision of the Handbook: Refer Circular 37.7

2007/8 Case Studies  

Whyalla Case Study Whyalla%20Case%20Study (52 kb)

Playford Case Study Playford%20Case%20Study (58 kb)

Mount Barker Case Study Mount%20Barker%20Case%20Study (89 kb)

Campbelltown Case Study Campbelltown%20Case%20Study (42 kb)

Training in the use of the Handbook will be offered through the LGA Training and Education Program. For further information contact LGA Education & Training, email, or telephone 8224 2035.

For further information

Queries regarding the handbook can be directed to LGA Director of Communications, Chris Russell, on 8224 2030 or

The LGA appreciates input from the Adelaide Chapter of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and the Office of State/Local Government Relations.


International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) -

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