Active Citizenship

Active citizenship means citizens taking opportunities to become actively involved in defining and tackling the problems of their communities and improving their quality of life.

 

There is a lot of evidence about the benefits of social networks and engagement. Active involvement in communities is generally beneficial and the presence of vibrant, engaged communities can;

  • help to address more effectively many social and economic problems, as individuals and civic organisations are involved in finding and implementing solutions
  • create real economic and social benefits as high levels of interpersonal trust reduce the costs associated with extensive rules, contracts, litigation and bureaucracy
  • generate networks of support and connection, both within social groups and across groups
  • benefit the individuals who participate in voluntary activities and community organisations
  • strengthen the quality of decision-making through the democratic process and the sense of belonging of individuals and communities
  • lead to a healthy and varied range of voluntary and community organisations which is good for democracy

Ultimately, Active Citizenship is about the underlying values which shape behaviour by individuals as members of communities. Active citizens help shape strong, healthy, inclusive societies. By looking beyond our purely private roles and rights as consumers to our active roles and responsibilities as citizens, society as a whole benefits.

 

Active citizenship allows for:

  • Participation in the community
  • Empowering people to influence the decisions which affect their lives and the lives of the broader Sligo community
  • Knowledge and understanding of the political, social, and economic context of their participation so that they can make informed decisions
  • Able to challenge existing structures

The PPN is an opportunity and provides:

  • A formal structure for active citizenship & participation
  • Ongoing opportunities for registered groups to raise issues of collective concern for their community
  • Provides a nominating structure for community & voluntary interests on key decision making bodies
  • Provides a link for the Local Authority to connect with Community groups promoting better consultation and engagement
  • A structure which encourages and articulates a diverse range of views and interests

 

“Whatever the problem, community is the answer”

(The Berkana Institute, 2013)

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