Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Community Change Initiatives (PA-CCI) 3: Community Engagement

The agency engages a diverse group of community stakeholders to plan and carry out initiatives that improve the community.
2020 Edition




Community Change Initiatives mobilize the community for action, strengthen the capacity of residents and agencies to effect and sustain change, build and improve neighborhoods, and lay the groundwork for future progress.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • List of stakeholders
  • Procedures for communicating with stakeholders
  • Procedures for collecting stakeholder feedback
  • Procedures for group decision making and dispute resolution
  • Evidence of collaboration with stakeholders from the previous six months (i.e., meeting notices, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, correspondence, documentation of decisions) 
  • Copies of outreach and informational materials, including reports on progress, provided to various stakeholder groups over the previous six months
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Stakeholders
  • Observe community meetings, if possible

PA-CCI 3.01

On an ongoing basis, the agency helps the initiative identify and engage a group of stakeholders that represent many segments of the community including agencies, institutions, and residents who reflect the diversity of the community.
Examples: Relevant agenices and institutions can include, but are not limited to: civic associations, tenant associations, neighborhood centers, parks and recreation services, schools and colleges, faith-based institutions and associations, health and social services agencies, libraries, cultural institutions, youth development or afterschool programs, for-profit businesses, public officials and policymakers, funders, and the media.

PA-CCI 3.02

The agency provides opportunities for community stakeholders to be involved in all aspects of the initiative by:
  1. providing timely notification of meetings;
  2. documenting all important decisions in writing;
  3. developing procedures for communicating with community stakeholders about the initiative and its activities;
  4. regularly reporting to the community on the initiative’s status, progress, and outcomes; and
  5. developing procedures for community stakeholders to provide regular feedback about the initiative and the agency's role in the initiative.


In the event that a key stakeholder chooses not to participate, the agency must document efforts to encourage participation and show that the stakeholder was not intentionally excluded.
NA The agency only provides technical assistance to community change initiatives.
Examples: Strategies and techniques for facilitating communication with stakeholders include, but are not limited to: community meetings and public forums, newsletters, news releases, resident information brokers and organizing coordinators, neighborhood networks, house parties, festivals; parades, and other special events.

PA-CCI 3.03

The agency facilitates a collaborative working arrangement by:
  1. bringing community stakeholders together as peers and equals;
  2. ensuring that no stakeholder, including the agency itself, dominates the initiative;
  3. demonstrating tolerance, understanding, and respect for both stakeholders and the community as a whole;
  4. facilitating the development of trust and respect among community stakeholders;
  5. following fair and clearly-understood procedures for decision-making and dispute resolution; and
  6. addressing and managing any conflicts that arise.
NA The agency only provides technical assistance to community change initiatives.