Learning from Abroad: “Citizen Engagement and Legitimacy” and “Inter-Municipal Collaboration and Regionalism”

How can US local governments learn from abroad in order to better address their jurisdiction’s problems and their residents’ needs?


What is politically and culturally feasible for adoption in the United States? 

The Local Government Research Collaborative contracted with George Washington University, Institute of Public Policy, in 2015 to answer these question, specifically looking at “Citizen Engagement and Legitimacy” in Australia and “Inter-Municipal Collaboration and Regionalism” in British Columbia:

Hal Wolman and Bill Barnes, Principal Researchers, answered two key questions on these two practices:

  1. Did it work or, more formally, what was its effect, where it was in place? 
  2. Given the differences in context and setting between where it was in place and your own local government, is it likely to work, and with what adaptations, for your own situation?

Download the five reports summarizing their findings:

Developing Legitimacy for Action by Connecting Citizens and Government: Lessons for U.S. Local Government Leaders from a Citizen Engagement Process in Australia

Synopsis and What to do Next

Full Report

Learning from Abroad: Multi-Purpose Special Districts in British Columbia as a Possible Model for Governance Innovation for Local Governments in the United States

Synopsis and What's Next

Full Report

Learning From Abroad: A Framework

A Supplemental Report

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