Public servants have a difficult task: they must plan to implement social change that they think will serve the best interests of the public, and then convince the public that these changes really are in their best interest!
The different political viewpoints and perspectives present in society make this goal very difficult, and hence change is often accomplished through baby steps and compromise. The purpose of public servants is to figure out how to effectively do this.
Bringing Social Change
Here are some ways to adopt.
Communicate With the Public
How can governmental officials and NGO employees know what the public wants if they have not yet consulted the public?
Having open public forums and policy debates may be difficult and tedious work, but the public is more likely to acquiesce to a particular plan or change if they have at least been consulted about it.
A productive back and forth with the members of society is the best way for a public servant to put a human face and voice to a policy proposal.
Properly Educate Yourself
Analyzing policy and preparing social change solutions becomes much easier when one has been trained in an institute of higher learning. With so many online programs these days, you can continue or even start your education as you continue to work your day job as well.
Masters programs allow participants to expand their fields of vision and learn about the constituent pieces of policy making, from political science to business to sociology. Taking continuing education courses is also a fantastic way to learn more about a particular subject.
Create Private-Public Partnerships
Getting residents and citizens involved in social change is only half of the battle: as a public administrator or government employee, it is your responsibility to engage the business community and the wider private sector in policy prescriptions.
Private sector employees have many attributes that can make partnerships fruitful: they have access to capital and the ear of powerful people in the community, and they can supply resources and opportunities that the government (on a limited budget) simply cannot.
Engaging the community and promoting the public good takes contributions from every group in society.
Social change is rather difficult to implement, but by engaging shareholders across the political spectrum and the community, public servants can accomplish great things. The public’s best interest is a tricky value to pin down, but frequent consultation with a number of different actors can uncover solutions no one knew were there.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Rachelle knows that an online master of public administration degree is available for those who are interested in learning more about this sort of work. Follow her on Twitter @RachelleWilber
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