Local Governance

Rural communities, like communities everywhere, do best when they take charge of their own affairs.  RCA is committed to supporting communities in the development and implementation of self-government structures and processes.

Local councils are a key part of this governance structure.  Within the boundaries of the legislation and regulations they are bound by, local councils can be a real force for community development, on all fronts. RCA works with local councils to support them in:

  • engaging respectfully and effectively with their communities
  • reflecting community concerns and priorities in conducting their business
  • advocating for their communities to other arms of government to address crucial social needs
  • facilitating the coordination of service providers
  • promoting and backing small business development
  • building environmental integrity and sustainability into all key programs

Deliberative methods of self-governance are a second key element of the RCA governance initiative.  The last two decades has seen an upsurge in the use of approaches to community decision-making which are participative and community-led.  With such approaches the community increasingly gains experience, capabilities and skill which build their governance capacity.  These methods include:

  • consensus conferences, workshops and planning cells
  • citizen’s juries
  • deliberative polling
  • on-line dialogues
  • community capacity enhancement and community conversations
  • collaborative learning (action learning, appreciative inquiry, study circles, etc.)
  • self-directed research and assessment methods for community change
  • community asset-based development

 

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