Community Decision Making
Communities make many decisions, often these decisions are made by local officials or even by unofficial leaders. Mostly these decisions are what is best for the community, but some decisions are better made by the people whom they will most impact. There is a principle that says, “Nothing about us without us” (Latin: “Nihil de nobis, sine nobis”) meaning that those most impacted by a decision should be a part of making it.
While community participation in all decision making is not possible, it is recommended that communities think strategically about when participation is essential for good decision making. It should be noted, that even though participatory decision making is time consuming, it may be less time consuming than making a decision for a group without input and having to deal with negative outcomes or belatedly need to enter into a more community driven process. Additionally, not only may time be saved, but the balance between stakeholder priorities can be properly considered.
NC State Extension is often involved in working with communities to facilitate community decision making. The NCCE Facilitators Team of trained Facilitators across the state may be able to provide assistance.