Considering engaging with communities

The most pragmatic way of solving social issues is by interacting with the communities. This progressive method of work is often dubbed as community engagement. This how engaging with communities can assist in solving both social and economic problems. Firstly, interaction with the communities gives both leaders and activists a chance to be able to have a practical understanding of the problems faced by various communities. An example would be when a leader or an activist reads about water scarcity in South Africa versus when a leader or activist visits a community without water. The latter gives the two people an opportunity to better reflect on the problems faced by people as opposed to receiving information which provides a mere explanation of the problems.

Secondly, is the use of knowledge of the communities to solve their own problems. One of the most cumbersome approaches which has been both problematic and time consuming is the top down approach. This approach prefers those on the top to provide solutions for those in the bottom. What this approach brings is a contradiction and further escalates the immediate problem by delaying its solution. Therefore, by engaging with the communities helps to discover and eradicate the top down approach without compromising what the leader in the top sphere of society has to do.

Thirdly, is the involvement of the communities in decision making processes. Just like the first and second leg of community engagement, it is imperative to have communities actively involved in processes which decide on their lives. These decisions either have a direct or indirect impact on their lives and wellbeing. Therefore, the communities being involved through engagement creates both practical solutions for people in diverse communities and the will of the people is satisfied.

The above is a more detailed anatomy of what cooperative governance stands for and the role of Ubuntu in the modern day discourse of politics and economics. This is in fact what the municipalities should be engaged in since they are the nearest structure of governance close to the communities. This is also not only limited to government, private sector and the non-government sector should be actively involved in engaging communities in a more simplified and scientific manner. This will amongst other issues solve the issue of the top down approach which is the primary problem in many developing countries.