Community Engagement

Determining community needs and providing responsive, equitable services.

ICMA is committed to providing workshops that are affordable, accessible, and designed to meet the specific needs of local government professionals. By partnering with localities, state associations, and universities in the delivery of these programs, we are able to reduce travel costs and provide high-quality workshops.

To reserve a workshop email:
Half-day workshops: $3,960 for states with a signed affiliation agreement with ICMA for up to 50 participants. Non-affiliated states pay an additional fee.



Workshop: Design Thinking

How does design influence engagement, culture, and innovation? Design Thinking focuses on developing a deep understanding of the customer experience and of how customers interact with your service or product. Use Design Thinking principles to breathe life back into customer engagement. Learn how others have created innovative services using a Design Thinking process, and participate in a hands-on activity that demonstrates that process. (Practice groups: 6 - Strategic Leadership; and 9 - Community and Resident Service)

Workshop: Citizen Surveys: What, Why, and How

Representatives from the National Research Center, Inc. — founders of The National Citizen Survey™— will be on hand to share their expertise and answer questions as you explore the wisdom behind conducting a citizen survey, as well as tips and tricks to make your next survey the most effective one yet. Most importantly, we’ll address the steps you need to take once the survey is finished to ensure that your citizens stay engaged and the data you collect is useful. (Practice Group 7 - Strategic Planning) 

Workshop: Gov2.0: What Public Leaders Need to Know 

From "Open Data" to "Gov2.0" to "hackathons" to "online engagement platforms," technology is fundamentally changing the relationship between citizens and their governments. Unfortunately, our understanding of what different terms mean and which technologies should be used for particular enterprises hasn’t caught up with all of these changes. In this fast-paced and interactive seminar, public leaders will learn:

  • How to understand the “new vocabulary”
  • How your purpose determines your technology
  • How to think like an online marketer
  • Whether online engagement = public engagement.

(Practice Group 2 - Community Engagement)  

Workshop: Building Customer Service into Local Government

Practicing excellent customer service differs for a local government than it does a business.  A local government employee can’t write off a constituent’s property taxes for the quarter because the person was upset about the condition of city streets in the winter. And a constituent can’t easily take her business elsewhere if she’s unhappy with the decision of the local planning board to allow a new subdivision in the neighborhood. Still, local governments need to be concerned about providing excellent customer service as part of their overall citizen engagement strategy. Come learn about how local governments can create an excellent customer service experience for their constituents.  (Practice Groups: 4-Staff Effectiveness; 9 - Community and Resident Service; and 14 - Communication and Information Sharing)

Workshop: Moving Forward with Data

As a city or county manager, you’re up to your ears in data. But do you have any idea how to put that information to work for you? This workshop will address each of the Six E’s of Data-Driven Communities – Envision, Engage, Earmark, Educate, Enact, and Evaluate – as revealed through ten years of work with more than 300 communities. We’ll look at case studies for success and work through a group planning process with your own data to determine the best path forward. (Practice Groups: 6 - Strategic Leadership; and 7 - Strategic Planning)

Workshop: Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill in Difficult Times

As cities, regions, and school districts face unprecedented decisions on issues ranging from budgets to land use, a growing number of public leaders are finding new ways to arrive at policy solutions—more participatory and transparent. Previously, these conclusions were reached through bargaining at the “stakeholder” level, but the size and scope of today’s budget deficits and longstanding planning battles are pushing some leaders to “look out” to their residents rather than “look in” to their own capabilities. This can be a nervous undertaking, but managed effectively, public involvement on important decisions can lead to more creative, acceptable solutions. In this practical and participatory three-hour seminar, you will learn:

  • The “Civic Engagement Spectrum”: From “informing” to “involving” your residents
  • When your city, region, or school district is ready to engage the public
  • The five main criteria for judging an effective civic engagement process.

(Practice Group 2- Community Engagement)

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Learn more about ICMA membership and benefits. 

Related Resources

Research and Technical Assistance | Civic Engagement
ICMA University webinars| Community Building and Engagement 
ICMA Bookstore | Community Engagement
About ICMA's Practices for Effective Local Government Leadership


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