Civic Participation as a Component of Service Provision
This is section 2 of the “Integrating Civic Participation Strategies into Service Delivery Organizations” Toolkit, which was created by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) in order to create a participation continuum that links constituencies to a variety of civic opportunities such as citizenship promotion and engaging in issues. This section focuses on expanding the traditional role of service providers to affect decision-making authority, changing the systems that create the need for services.
This article presents models for governance by stakeholders in contrast to traditional board model. In the Community-Engagement Governance framework, responsibility for governance is shared across the organization, including the organizations key stakeholders: its constituents and community, staff, and the board. Community-Engagement Governance is based on established principles of participatory democracy, self-determination, genuine partnership, and community-level decision making. It can be explored as a way to ensure that engagement is integrated into daily practice.
These questions are adapted from Cultural Competency: Organizations and Diverse Populations: The Handbook of Community Practice, Patricia St. Onge, 2013. It can be part of the process to assess organizational cultural competency. Questions are based on the belief that working towards organizational cultural competence is an on-going process that requires constant vigilance because the negative consequences of racism, sexism and oppression need on-going understanding and confrontation.