“Local community governance and public problem solving have become more detached from the ordinary citizen,” the result of “a half-century trend of local government, education, and community civic institutions becoming more task- and service-oriented, as well as organizational cultures becoming increasingly hierarchical, narrow in scope, and expert defined,” according to a recent issue of PM (Public Management) magazine.


To address this issue, the Center for Management Strategies (CMS) of ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, has added “Civic Engagement” to the list of leading practice topics on which it provides training and technical assistance services to local governments. These new services, aimed at educating the local government manager on effective approaches and techniques for engaging the public in the work of government, were launched in September at the 2013 ICMA Annual Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Civic engagement is a leading and trending practice for local governments and is critical to quality local decision making and community building. CMS is proud to partner with a number of experienced engagement practitioners and recognized subject matter experts to deliver high-quality training and technical assistance to local governments. The partners include:

  • Center for Public and Nonprofit Management at University of Central Florida  (Dr. Thomas Bryer, Director)
  • The Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University   (Pete Peterson, Executive Director; Ed Everett, Senior Fellow, Civic Engagement Practice; Ashley Trim, Assistant Director)
  • Deliberative Democracy Consortium (Matt Leighninger, Executive  Director)
  • National Civic League   (Gloria Rubio-Cortes, President)
  • The Participation Company, LLC  (Marty Rozelle and Doug Sarno, Principals)
  • Peak Democracy, Inc.  (Robert Vogel, Co-Founder and CEO)
  • Public Collaboration Associates (Mike Huggins, Principal)

CMS will facilitate provision of the services of these experts to the nearly 9,500 members of ICMA worldwide through a variety of educational formats and various publications designed for the local government audience.

ICMA’s CMS is a member of the Enhanced Research Partnership of the Alliance for Innovation.  The Alliance is a tri-party organization consisting of the Alliance for Innovation, Arizona State University, and ICMA and is charged with identifying and researching emerging and leading practices, evaluating their use in innovative government settings, and disseminating the information to the wider local government audience. Civic engagement was the first research project of the Enhanced Research Partnership, which is scheduled to begin its second project on collaborative service delivery later this fall.  

For information on the ICMA Center for Management Strategies and its work on leading practices, including civic engagement, visit icma.org/strategies  or contact Cheryl Hilvert at chilvert@icma.org.
About ICMA                   
ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government worldwide.  Its mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and advancing professional management to create sustainable communities that improve lives worldwide.  ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,500 city, town and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.

ICMA’s Center for Management Strategies assists local government managers in identifying those leading practices that can address organizational efficiency and effectiveness. The Center, through its network of technical assistance providers and subject matter experts, delivers quality educational programming and technical assistance to help local governments implement these practices to enhance their delivery of high quality service products that are valued by the stakeholders in their communities.

About the Alliance for Innovation
The Alliance for Innovation (AFI) is the partnership of local governments committed to innovation with ICMA and Arizona State University that promotes excellence in local government and builds a community of practice in local government innovation. AFI is an international network of 350 progressive governments and partners, a board of directors representing the partners, and a national and regional staff. AFI seeks out innovative practices, challenges existing business models, exchanges knowledge, and provides products and services that help its members perform at their best. 

About the ASU School of Public Affairs
The Arizona State University School of Public Affairs advances excellence in governance by creating, sharing, and applying knowledge of public administration and public policy. Integrally linked to its educational programs at the bachelor's, master’s, and doctoral levels, the school supports cutting edge basic and applied research. The Center for Urban Innovation is committed to improving the quality of life by promoting innovation in urban governance, policy, and management. Other school programs support research and outreach on participatory governance and policy informatics. The Marvin Andrews Fellowship Program in the MPA degree prepares future local government managers, and the Andrews Fellows spend their first year as researchers in the Alliance for Innovation. 

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