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April 10, 2013

Time to debunk the myths

At the heart of the debate about how public services need to be redesigned, is the centrality of citizen engagement to that process. The problem, as the RSA spells out in its new report, is that the very people who need to believe and act on this central tenet the most, are also the most sceptical of its true value. The report identifies five myths about public engagement that it argues need to be debunked and illustrates how to do this using practical examples. 


Citizen engagement has become increasingly important in the last ten years, but we have barely scraped the surface of what innovative public engagement can do for public services, communities and citizens. Part of what is holding us back is outdated myths about citizen engagement.

“From Fairy Tale to Reality: Dispelling the Myths around Citizen Engagement” is a collaborative venture by Involve and the RSA. The pamphlet debunks common misconceptions of public engagement such as fears of spiralling costs and dwindling prospects of success, and provides evidence to the contrary. Drawing on six innovative case studies from Croydon to Tuscany and Estonia, the pamphlet offers much needed alternatives to the way in which we deliver our public services.

Full pamphlet: From Fairy Tale to Reality: Dispelling the Myths around Citizen Engagement

(PDF document)