What is a Civic Partnership Association?


A Civic Partnership can create a pathway for citizen groups and local authority leaderships to work together to create and build resilient and healthy communities. A Civic Partnership is a framework for developing partnerships between governments, regional and local authorities, civil society organizations and other relevant actors,

Local efforts to build effective civic partnerships need to engage with various complexities and challenges.

Some aspects of the local strategies required to work with this complexity for civic gain include:

  1. Setting clear goals through defining valued outcomes.
  2. Working across agency and other boundaries so as to engage whole systems.
  • Making local people active partners in co-producing the future.
  1. Strengthening local resilience to cope with uncertainties.
  2. Working with multiple stakeholders with various interests.
  3. Bringing all these processes together to seek cooperative solutions to local challenges.

Civic partnerships work to establish clear goals to guide the action required to meet a complex set of local challenges through outcomes based policy-making. This concept is a simple idea to encourage civic leaderships, working with their communities and other local  stakeholders to ask – and answer – the question ‘what are the key things (the  valued outcomes) we are seeking to achieve overall in this locality?’ and then to  use this public statement of priorities as the template to guide and evaluate  everything which is done e.g. through the enabling role of the local authority, the  services it commissions/provides and different kinds of community action.

Local people become active partners in shaping and delivering the actions which affect them and their communities now and into the future.  People are experts in their own lives and this expertise needs to be the key contribution. Communities are typically rich in the capabilities of their members, their reciprocity and social networks. These are all important assets in improving local well-being.

Communities joining in Civic Partnership with public agencies to build a better future has come to be described as ‘co-production’. This partnership may be at the level of the individual or involve a particular group or be about challenges facing the whole community.

Each Civic Partnership is unique but always involves shared goals and agreements on how to best achieve those goals.  There is no specific framework for creating a Civic Partnership because it is created through processes of building relationship to achieve positive outcomes for challenges faced within a community.  Therefore it is a self-defined partnership based on trust and mutual benefits for all involved in those outcomes.