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Five Major Roles of Citizens in Effective Community Governance

Citizens can and do play many roles in community governance. While citizens should be treated as valued customers (part of the "stakeholder" role below) by government and non-profit service providers, they are much more than that. Citizens have potential to contribute to their communities in many ways, especially if the different roles they can play are recognized by community leaders, and they are given support and encouragement in playing those roles. Five major citizen roles in results-based community governance (including some key variations), are:

Chapter 2 of the book Results That Matter describes these roles in detail and presents in-depth examples of community problem solving that stress how citizens play these roles in improving their communities. Organizations that work with citizens can do a lot to support them in these roles and help strengthen citizens' influence when they play these roles.