Citizen engagement refers to approaches that enable community members to meaningfully participate in the decisions, actions and processes that shape their community. When citizens are actively involved in defining issues, developing alternatives, and selecting priorities for action, they are said to be “engaged.” Engagement can take place at the research, planning or implementation stages of a project or programi or as part of any process that is aimed at resolving community issues or developing strategies to address community problems.
Capacity building describes processes and activities that maximize individual and community potential. A comprehensive approach to capacity building nurtures excellence and expansion in all areas of human and community development: physical, psychological, social, cultural, environmental and economic. In this way, capacity building helps strengthen the ability of individuals, organizations and sectors in order to develop creative solutions that address community issues.