Building Back With: Involving communities in the Covid-19 response and recovery

UK public participation charity, Involve, have recently launched a handbook for Local Government on engaging purposefully and meaningfully with their communities.

Aimed at local councils the handbook “Building Back With: Involving communities in the Covid-19 response and recovery” aims to support local authorities in how they should meaningfully engage with their communities and involve them in their Covid-19 response and recovery plans.

With the intention of demonstrating how the rhetoric “all in this together” can be put into action by Local Government, the handbook contains eight chapters that examine a range of issues including the rationale for involving local communities, tips of securing institutional buy-in, principles for planning high quality public engagement and illustrate processes that aim to provide inspiration for how communities could be engaged with on different issues.

The Covid-19 pandemic, and subsequent lockdown measures, has raised significant questions and challenges across all aspects of how we live, work and play, and with that, how our economies and societies function. The consequences of how we address these questions will be felt for years and decades to come therefore it is vital that local communities are involved in helping to address these challenges. It is argued that local people with real life experiences offering their ideas can also lead to more trustworthy decisions that people are willing to accept.

Developed as part of the joint project by Involve and the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Westminster, “A democratic response to Covid”, the handbook highlights how Government policy and decision-making needs to reflect the diversity of lived experiences of Covid-19 and can be accessed in further detail here.

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