Councils play an essential role in supporting their local communities to build resilience, develop and thrive. Particularly in areas such as improving health and wellbeing, taking care of those in need, looking after places and spaces and influencing positive outcomes.
It must be recognised that Councils can’t and aren’t doing this alone. Every day we see an abundance of good will, passion and commitment by ‘local people doing great things’ to improve their suburbs/towns, and to support people in need. They are often addressing the same challenges as Councils.
Ordinary people are taking positive steps because they care, see a need and want to contribute. As part of the community they are sometimes achieving results that councils are challenged to reach, by drawing on their own resources, existing relationships, expertise and good will.
Knowing this presents enormous opportunity for Councils to make smart investments in people. This can be done through mobilising community resources economically that drive long lasting outcomes, particularly in areas such as liveable cities; art and culture; health and wellbeing; environment; and inclusion.
To support the best intentions of community, smart Councils will understand and invest in community development, with the following awareness:
- Despite huge effort and good intentions, ‘local people doing great things’ aren’t necessarily equipped with the kinds of skills required to manage, communicate, and deliver projects. Skills training is a critical need in mobilising community resources effectively
- Working on individual agendas can result in a silo approach to problem solving, resulting in duplication of effort and reducing the potential for good outcomes. Facilitating opportunities to meet, share learnings and provide peer support across issues and interests will generate sustainable collaborative solutions.
- Limitations in time, resources and funds, means none of us can tackle our challenges alone. Confidence must be built between key sectors, with an innovative approach to maximise community contribution. Initiatives that develop individual/group goals and aspirations will build trust and strengthen human resources to develop community as a whole.
- Councils can be encumbered by necessary due diligence and bureaucratic process. Sometimes this can get in the way of velocity and productivity, resulting in missed opportunity to effect changes that are needed. Effective partnership with community leadership allows for short cuts and quick results.
We have a number of initiatives that can assist Councils in making the changes that are wanted and needed in their communities
One offer is Expand Your Impact – a program that Councils can invest in to activate, support and grow community led outcomes. A program that brings together local people in a supportive environment to: build skills; facilitate resource sharing; generate opportunities for collaboration; and leave participants feeling inspired to do good work in their communities.
To find out more about Expand Your Impact or how Make a Change can assist your council drive positive community outcomes, get in touch here.