Why do we need VOiCE?

Community participation and engagement is a central feature of public policy across almost all services. Endorsement and adoption of the National Standards for Community Engagement by Scottish national and local government and leading public agencies has set targets for best practice. These targets reflect the desire of public sector reform to deliver outcomes that respond to the aspirations of service users and communities.

The User’s Guide to the National Standards for Community Engagement notes:
“Community engagement can take many forms, however it is always a process that involves purposeful dialogue between public agencies and communities aimed at improving understanding between them and taking action to achieve beneficial change.”

VOiCE sets out to support such purposeful dialogue. It recognises that delivering effective engagement is challenging both in relation to specific participation initiatives and in terms of the overall management of the range of initiatives that are conducted. VOiCE has been developed to assist with designing and delivering effective engagement at both levels.