5 Types of Civic Engagement

  • By: Tara Astbury
  • March 16, 2023
a group of diverse people sitting together discussing ideas

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Democracy is not a spectator sport,” meaning democracy is only as strong as its citizens enable it to be. One of the primary ways citizens can influence democracy is through direct civic engagement.

Civic engagement can take many forms, from voting and volunteering to working at a polling station. In this article, we’ll introduce some of the common types of civic engagement, and how technology promotes civic engagement and transparency.

What Is Civic Engagement?

Civic engagement refers to the participation of individuals in the democratic process, which may include voting and attending town hall meetings to writing letters to elected officials. Put simply: It’s a process for citizens to come together to make their voices heard and affect change in their communities.

Types of Civic Engagement

There are many types of civic engagement. Here are a couple of common examples:

1. Activism and Advocacy

This type of civic engagement occurs when citizens band together to  support  a cause or issue. Activism and advocacy are also effective tools to hold governments accountable. By raising awareness and mobilizing citizens around a common idea, civic engagement provides a powerful voice to bring positive change in the community.

2. Community Service and Volunteering

Community service and volunteering are great ways to give back to your local community. This type of civic engagement is essential for many reasons, such as giving the public an avenue to improve their community, bring attention to important issues, and raise awareness about societal misgivings. It can also teach citizens valuable problem-solving and teamwork skills, which can benefit them personally and professionally.

3. Community Education and Awareness

When it comes to civic engagement, education and awareness help community members learn about important issues that directly affect their lives. Educating individuals on local politics and policy initiatives improves transparency and increases citizen participation in community matters. Governments use the opportunity to highlight important issues, encourage dialog, and listen to citizen input.

4. Public Art Projects

Public art projects create a space where citizens can come together to celebrate their culture and history while engaging in meaningful dialog about community issues. In many instances, public art displays overlap with other types of civic engagement and can showcase forms of advocacy and activism.

5. Electoral Participation

Voting in local elections, as well as volunteering to work polling stations, serve as the most impactful ways to participate in civic engagement and influence real change. Electoral participation also keeps politicians accountable to the communities they serve, as citizens can vote candidates in or out of office depending on the legislation they enact.

How Technology Impacts Civic Engagement

By harnessing the power of technology, citizens and elected leaders gain access to critical information quickly, while engaging one another in meaningful dialogue to influence change.

With meeting management software, such as eScribe, local communities can enhance civic engagement by making key meeting information readily available, tracking votes and resolutions in real-time, organizing agendas and meeting minutes, and securely storing all meeting data in a central, cloud-based hub..

eScribe makes it simple for organizations to create and manage agendas, government meeting minutes, and other related documents. It also offers a secure document storage system and sends real-time notifications when changes are made. 

Get Started with eScribe today

There are many ways to get involved in your community, and each has its benefits. Civic engagement is a great way to make a difference, whether you want to make a political statement or improve your community.

At eScribe, we believe that civic engagement is essential to healthy communities. That’s why we created a software solution specifically for municipal board meetings and public-sector compliance. Our platform makes it easy for citizens to get involved and make their voices heard.

While you’re here, check out our recent article on Tips & Tricks for a Successful Remote Meeting. And if you want to learn more about eScribe’s meeting management solution, check out our pricing page and make sure to request a demo.