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Principles for working with communities

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We have developed these principles to help public service organisations and local people to work together better.

The principles are:

  • The involvement of communities, service users and organisations in defining problems and in the identification, design, delivery and evaluation of new approaches.
  • Recognition of shared responsibility to improve public services focused on outcomes and people’s needs.
  • Mutual respect for the contributions of different partners in the process of designing and delivering services and improving outcomes, recognising roles will vary.
  • Valuing diversity and promoting equality.
  • Processes designed to recognise there are resources, capabilities and assets not just within public services but in communities too and ways should be found to release these and realise their potential to increase wellbeing.
  • Readiness to adopt and invest in new ways of working in policy and delivery.
  • Transparency regarding how and by whom decisions will be taken.

These are not a replacement for well-established principles and practice used by community groups and public sector organisations. They are our Principles and this is the approach we will use when working with communities.

These Principles will help build resilient communities and support community activity whilst strengthening public service delivery, for current and future generations.

Communities First staff have considerable experience in working with communities and through their approach demonstrate the use of many of these principles in their work. 

We will seek to promote and influence best practice and advocate for other bodies working with communities to adopt these Principles.

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