Conference Abstracts & Papers


The Queensland State Government is proud to partner with the United Nations in developing the inaugural International Conference on Engaging Communities.

It is a great honour that the United Nations has chosen to work with Queensland in developing this international event, in recognition of the State’s reputation as an active democracy and an innovator in community engagement theory and practice.

The role of governments across the world is changing. Globally and locally governments are being challenged to increase their focus on more effective community involvement in planning, decision making and service delivery.

Similarly, the private sector and community organisations as well as educational institutions, are under pressure to offer and be responsive to stakeholder engagement.

The Queensland State Government in Australia has embraced this challenge and is a leader in implementing new ways for citizens to participate in government. With a strong record of innovation in engaging communities it is fitting that Queensland -Australia’s Smart State - host this Conference.

This Conference will provide an unparalleled opportunity for local community engagement and development practitioners to interact with leading international thinkers in engaging communities.

While in Queensland presenters and delegates will be exposed to some of the world’s innovators in the field and I invite you to visit our great vast State and experience one of the world’s most spectacular destinations.

Peter Beattie MP
Premier of Queensland and Minister for Trade


The work of the United Nations has increasingly become oriented to policy advice and capacity-building towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The United Nations Programme on Public Administration of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs is focused, among others on poverty reduction and improved service delivery. The overall governance environment, especially elements that contribute more directly to the planning, budgeting, implementing and monitoring of public services, needs adjusting, repositioning to become more engaging. What are also required are new relationships and new partnerships.

In recent times, the United Nations has taken initiatives to debate both the concept as well as the practical needs of “engaged governance.” In these debates, the UN is looking for options and models that can assist in institutionalizing the concept of citizen-government dialoguing as a process for policy-making and mainstreaming the concerns of the poor and the disadvantaged into the public policy processes.

It is against this backdrop that the United Nations has welcomed the initiative of the State Government of Queensland, Australia and is very pleased to support the International Conference on Engaging Communities. The UN is particularly pleased that it is partnering with an institution, the Government of Queensland, that has given leadership in engaging communities and citizens in public policies and processes. We look forward to learning more from this and other models of engagements, from across the world.

I therefore join the Premier of Queensland, Australia in extending the invitation to citizen groups, academia, government officials, donors and other stakeholders to participate in this unique Queensland initiative in August 2005 to learn lessons of experience and advance further the practice of ‘engaged governance’ for the attainment of the MDGs and the empowerment of the citizens for good governance.

Mr Guido Bertucci
Director, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Department of Economic & Social Affairs
The United Nations