Keeping People at the Centre

Principle 6 – Keeping People at the Centre

 

When we are making decisions, as service providers or staff working in services, we need to remember that our decisions are about people and the lives of people in our communities and in our place.

We believe we should all have a commitment to keeping people at the centre of everything we do. We want to properly listen to people with the intention of acting on what they tell us and using what we learn to feed into our service design, delivery and development. It is at the heart of democracy that citizens’ concerns are the basis for change. In some sense this principle is about the need for increasing and improving opportunities for civic participation, participation in decisions made that affect the public, or a segment of it, by the authorities invested with the power to do so.

 

“It seems intuitively right that any political system which claims to be democratic should have at its core an orientation towards the full participation of its citizens. At the very least, democratic institutions should be organised in a way that ensures that no individual citizen is structurally incapable of participating: democratic participation should be meaningfully understood by all citizens as something that they can do.” (Dacombe R and Parvin P, 2021)

 

We believe that our responsible authorities should promote models of participatory democracy that collect and channel the views of individuals, directly or via civil society organisations, providing a substantive exchange of factual and evidence-based information and views that inform the decision-making process and ensure that real public needs are met – making particularly strenuous efforts to engage with and listen to those whose voice is least heard.

 

“Of the numerous inequalities that exist in participation, the relationship between socio-economic status and democratic engagement forms the clearest and most consistent finding of empirical work in the area – put simply, the poorest members of any society are those least likely to participate in a wide range of democratic activities, such as voting, political party membership or civic activism.” (Dacombe R and Parvin P, 2021)

 

Our vision is to ensure that the values of equality, collaboration, compassion and kindness are communicated to people through our institutions so that we can all work together effectively.

 

“… trust is a dynamic concept and positive experiences create more positive expectations, which are crucial for a foundation of trust to be formed more broadly.”

Community Development Foundation