The term community engagement does not have a definitive, or agreed upon, definition. Several entities are more likely to use the term, as a part of their mission or identity, and these entities help to define the term. The UN, land-use and marketing corporations are likely users. Overall the term refers to those who interact with, and act upon, a community, usually to enhance it.
- Different industries, professions, organisations, business units within a single organisation, and even people within those business units will have different understandings of what constitutes “community engagement”.
- Each working definition of community engagement is correct in its own context.
- But some projects lean more heavily toward one outcome that one or another of the others. So, some engagement processes are all about decision-making.
“Each working definition of community engagement is correct in its own context. The only error is to exclude the possibility that it can validly mean something else to a person working in a different context.”